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: 3-2
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- How would you rank the top tier of pitchers today? As far as matchups go, the bottom three arms should all be above the top three, but they have yet to make a start this year, suggesting they’ll be limited moreso than the others.
- On the other side of it, Shane Bieber labored against the Royals with dramatically lower spin rates and velocity and it could carry into Cincinatti. Yu Darvish gets the toughest draw with the Giants and didn’t have his best command despite allowing zero hits against the Sneks.
- That means Tyler Mahle gets the nod against the poor Guardians, despite his atrocious history of home/road splits as he’ll get the pearl in Cincy. Let’s hope he can begin putting his notorious curse behind him.
- At the top of the second tier is Alex Cobb as he faces the Padres. I’m not sure how many pitches he’s set to go, but we’re all excited to see his increased velocity pair with his nasty splitter. Should be fun.
Zac Gallen makes his first start of the year against the tough Astros, but with his increased velocity in his final tuneup, I think he can be beneficial here. Sadly, it’s likely just 65 pitches or so given only 51 thrown a week ago.Nope, he’s been scratched with a cut on his thumb, Madison Bumgarner is starting instead. No thanks.
- It was a fantastic debut of the season for Tylor Megill, but the Phillies are a massive step above the Nationals and could give him some trouble.
- The streaming pick of the day is Eric Lauer as he squares off against Baltimore. Sadly, I don’t think he has much of a chance to go 5+ frames given a small delay to his spring, but he’s reportedly sitting 94+ mph after already gaining velocity last year to 92+. I’m excited to see what he’s capable of.
- Don’t forget about Jesús Luzardo either as he’s now sitting two ticks higher with an emphasis on curveballs. Let’s hope those spring marks carry over against the Angels.
- In the questionable tier, it’s filled with all the fun arms making their first starts. Literally. All three of these are worth a flier in your 12-teamers, but give them a start or two to figure it out first.
- I’d expect Matt Brash to have the highest chance of going more than four frames, but the floor is lower with the White Sox on the other side.
It’s why I prefer Jordan Hicks if I’m going to lean one way. Dakota Hudson is starting instead of Hicks with yesterday’s rainout, but Hick is still a solid play given he’ll follow and could steal the Win. Tommy Romero is an assumption I’m making as he’d slide into Ryan Yarbrough’s rotation spot, but I wouldn’t expect him going deep in this either.
- Then there’s this bottom tier. Oh my is it a lot. It’s the #5 spot for a lot of teams and you really just don’t want to go diving into this.
- If I had to pick someone, I guess it’s Patrick Corbin as he goes against Atlanta, simply because he already has another start behind him and he could go six frames on a great night. Not for me, though.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s ace day and I mean ACE. DAY. That’s 17 auto-starts and if you have any qualms with the order of these fellas, by all
Johnsmeans, change them as you like. Yes, even José Berríos facing the Yankees after his 0.2 inning disaster is worth your time. He’s The Great Undulator, after all.
- Fine, one more note. I have Robbie Ray a bit further down than you’d expect after his seven-inning performance for two reasons. 1) The White Sox are great against lefties. 2) His velocity was down two ticks last time out. Here’s to him overcoming both.
- In the second tier it’s…Eduardo Rodríguez. And just E-Rod, alone. I was even tempted to push him into the third tier as he wasn’t particularly sharp in his first start of the season and the Red Sox are a strong squad. Still, he has potential to go deep in this one and if you’re rostering Rodriguez, you’re likely starting him.
- I almost had both Nick Lodolo and Triston McKenzie in this tier as well, but I felt better pushing them down into tier three. I’m incredibly excited about Lodolo, but I wonder what his pitch count will be (maybe I’m being too harsh with Hunter Greene going over 90 pitches!) + it’s Great American Ballpark. It’s the same situation for McKenzie, who doesn’t get to face his own squad. I’m excited for both this year, but be cautious if you can in their first outings.
- Joining the youngins in the third tier are two vets. Merrill Kelly becomes the streaming pick of the day with Lodolo rostered in 71% of FanTrax leagues and I’d pass for the most part. I enjoyed watching Kelly fan seven Padres, but the Astros are a tough crew and even with Kelly’s potential of going 5-6 frames, I’d not take the risk.
- Zack Greinke did well against the Guardians to kick off the year, but the Cardinals are a bit tougher and I’m not sure Greinke has the stuff to make this worthwhile.
- In the final tier, there are a pair of intriguing options if you can look past their risk. Zach Thompson is making his first start of the season against the questionable Cubs offense and if he’s allowed to flirt with 80 pitches, there could be a Win in store…or his cutter and curve could fail and this disappoints everyone. Don’t risk it.
- I absolutely adore the strikeout potential of Josiah Gray given his filthy curve and slider, but his fastball gets crushed often as he fails to wield it properly, and facing the mighty Atlanta offense is a danger I don’t want to face.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)