Every day of the 2022 baseball season, I’ll be looking at today and tomorrow’s slate of scheduled starting pitchers and ranking their matchups for your fantasy baseball streams.
There’s a lot that goes into this and you can hang out with me on Twitch.tv/pitcherlist to talk about the specific ranks as I make them every weekday morning from 9am – 12am ET. If you have questions to these ranks, please ask during the morning Twitch AMA. Those are my office hours as I generally don’t answer comments on the site.
There are four tiers to these rankings with 12-teamers in mind:
Auto-Start – Just do it. Don’t overthink this, start the man.
Probably Start – I’m likely starting these arms, though I recognize there is more risk than we’d like there to be. Either it’s a tough matchup for a good pitcher or a weak lineup for a volatile arm.
Questionable Start – There are situations where I’d take the chance, either with strong enough upside on the ability side, or a poor offense that a pitcher could take advantage of.
Do Not Start – The reward is not worth the risk. Don’t do it.
Obviously, there will be circumstances where pitchers should move between teams for your situation specifically and these new tiers should act as a little more help than the straight table from last year.
Please keep in mind that streaming is far from a perfect play. In fact, if they work out over half the time, I’d consider it a success. These matchup rankings & streamer picks are going to be wildly different than the actual results throughout the year, so please, have sympathy before the scathing comments and tweets. I’m only trying to help!
Make sure to read the notes if you’re wondering why I’m favoring certain pitchers over others – I won’t get to everyone and hopefully I answer what questions you will have.
There is a second table for tomorrow’s starting pitcher matchups as well, helping everyone get a jump on their nightly pickups. Please note that these matchups are subject to change, though, and there will be times when I have the incorrect pitcher going. I thank you for your future understanding.
Finally, there are my streaming picks of the day, and please keep in mind that I am forced to pick a streamer every day. Those highlighted in Green are in the second tier and I’d roll with them everywhere. The most common are those in Yellow in the third tier and should be decent if you’re searching for something on a given day. Finally, those are Red are those I really don’t want to start (they are labeled as “Do Not Start”, after all) but have no other choice. Don’t stream these guys until you are truly desperate. A streaming pick is defined as “rostered in 20% or fewer leagues,” which really emphasizes the point that I’d be happy if over 50% of these worked. I could do the whole sub 30/40% rostered, but there’s no fun in that. You can use the rankings to realize who would be those picks, instead.
As I do my rankings, I thought it would be helpful to showcase a table of how we’re ranking offenses. Dave Swan does an incredible job of showcasing future SP matchups every 2-3 weeks in this article, and I’ve elected to use his offense ranks to share with all of you here:
I’m sure it’ll change through the year + there are differences to be made about teams vs. LHP or RHP, but it’s a great general table that y’all should keep in mind.
Alright, let’s get to it.
2022 Streamer Record: 2-1
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- This is a day of some strange rankings and I want to emphasize a major point today – the first week or two of the season will have many starters going fewer innings than normal – guys simply aren’t ramped up enough yet and managers are being cautious with their rotations. Not everyone is Robbie Ray coming out for the seventh.
- That means you have guys like Anthony DeSclafani, Zach Eflin, and Steven Matz getting shoved into the top five plays (Eflin can be streamed!) – all of them have great chances of going at least five frames against weak lineups. It matters a whole lot right now.
- In tier two, you have Hyun Jin Ryu and Cal Quantrill getting decent matchups. Not quite the Marlins, Pirates, A’s of the top tier arms, but I think Ryu can stave off the rangers better than the early blowup of José Berríos on Friday, while Quantrill can be good enough against the Royals.
- Sandwiched between them is Tarik Skubal, who goes against a strong White Sox crew. I think he’s stretched out enough to make this worth your while and if you have him, you’re going to be dreaming of his high four-seamer with strong secondaries down. It’s contentious given the Chicago’s strength against left-handers and I respect anyone who wants to sit him instead.
- In the third tier, we have so many arms who either have a tough matchup – Tanner Houck, Jordan Montgomery, Julio Urías – or can’t be trusted to go very long into the game – Michael Kopech, Ian Anderson, Bailey Ober (maybe…?), Hunter Greene, and Houck + Urías again. It doesn’t make for a confident start among the crew.
- I wonder if Corey Kluber, Marco Gonzales, and Carlos Carrasco have enough in the tank to go through five frames early this year. Or h*ck, are even good enough to produce through them. Not the worst matchups for any of them and they make for curious options if you really want to chase it.
- There’s a ton of hype around Hunter Greene, though I’m personally sitting this out. His 100+ mph velocity comes with an oddly hittable heater and the secondaries aren’t fully developed yet. I don’t see a 5-6 inning guy here, especially in the short term against Atlanta.
- I know it sounds silly, but Caleb Smith looked decent in the spring, earned a rotation spot, and faces a San Diego Padres crew who haven’t done a whole lot to Arizona starters thus far. I can’t shake the idea he does well here.
- In the bottom tier, there isn’t much to look at. I raised Erick Fedde and Antonio Senzatela to the top of the tier, but you really shouldn’t do this.
- What about the other guys? Please. Don’t.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- With all the aces going earlier in the rotation, we have only two auto-starts in Alex Wood and Alek Manoah for Monday – even if they aren’t facing weak opponents. I trust Manoah to provide strikeouts if nothing else, while Wood (even with his rocky final outing of the spring) should be strong against the Padres.
- Generally with few ace plays, it means there are sneaky arms to grab who may not be rostered heavily. Monday is no exception.
- If I felt Ranger Suárez was fully worked up and able to over 75 pitches, I’d likely have him in the top tier against the Mets. For now, he sits in the second as we’ll still likely start him.
- Luis Patiño surprisingly is rostered in just 10% of leagues, allowing him to be our streaming pick of the day. I have some concerns that he’ll be limited by the Rays in this one, but that concern carries across essentially everyone in today’s rankings. That aside, he faces the paltry Athletics offense and could be a great play for a Win.
- I struggled to properly rank Dakota Hudson, Nick Martínez, and Michael Lorenzen, three alternative streaming options. Hudson and Lorenzen could each cruise through pedestrian lineups, while I believe Martínez has the ability to go 5+ frames comfortably through the year. If he were facing the Marlins, he’d be the pick of the day.
- In the third tier, everyone here is worthy of a deep stream if you need it. I wonder how the Taylor Hearn vs. Austin Gomber game will play out – are the Rangers actually a great offense? – as Hearn could benefit from Rockie Road in a pitcher-friendly park.
- I’d also keep an eye on Elieser Hernandez and Carlos Hernández. Elieser was served the tougher draw, but his slider could make for a solid outing against the Angels.
- Meanwhile, if Carlos’ command is in order, he could carve up the Guardians with ease with 96+ mph heaters and two whiff-heavy breakers.
- In the final tier, I’m curious how Jameson Taillon will look with his sldier and curveball, but I don’t want to touch this against the mighty Blue Jays.
- Will Dylan Bundy’s velocity sit above 90? Will he heavily lean on sliders? I’m highly skeptical of both and the Mariners could punish him quickly.
- Lastly, I’m terrified of Taijuan Walker’s diminished velocity paired with a barking knee. I’d avoid him until further notice.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)