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: 4-6
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- The top tier is pretty clear on Sunday, though some may not want to start Yu Darvish after this horrendous outing last time out + Atlanta is a dangerous opponent. If you roster Darvish, you knew the terms of your agreement – he’ll have days when his command is off and disaster follows, but you have to keep starting him. It’s in your best interest.
- Tyler Mahle is also handed a tough matchup against the Dodgers, but he’s on the road and has the skills to succeed. If you have him on your team, you’re starting him.
- In the second tier, we don’t have as many solid plays per usual. My favorite is Nestor Cortes as he could go 5/6 frames against the middling Orioles and put himself in a good position for a Win.
- Andrew Heaney came out firing last time out with the best command I’ve seen from him in ages. His new breaker was all kinds of filthy and now that he’s stretched out a bit more against a weak Reds team, he’s worth the gamble. I’m still holding my breath to see if the command repeats after just one outing, FWIW.
- Matt Brash lit up the baseball community with his debut against the White Sox and despite facing another tough lineup, I don’t think you can bench him. Let’s see some more wicked breakers and high heaters against the Astros.
- It’s the first start of the year from Aaron Ashby, who went 3.1 frames in his last relief appearance. He still may not be able to go a full five frames, but I’d still roll him out there with his phenomenal stuff.
- In the third tier, we’re living up to the questionable tag. Aaron Civale presents the best chance of a quality start, though the Giants offense could make it difficult, especially if Civale doesn’t have his curveball working.
- The streaming pick of the day is David Peterson, who should be allowed to go at least five frames against the Diamondbacks. I wouldn’t call myself a fan of Peterson, but the Sneks don’t scare me and this could work in your favor.
- In the bottom tier, there are some desperate Sunday options I’d love to not rely on. I’m leading with Bryce Elder as he’s fresh off a strong debut and the Padres aren’t as threatening without Tatis in their lineup. It’s the bottom tier – don’t forget that – but hey, maybe the magic repeats.
- The other options all bring heavy concern as well. Austin Gomber is pitching in Coors, Michael Wacha is all kinds of volatile, Tyler Alexander can pull something off from time-to-time, and Elieser Hernandez’s slider may drag your team to the finish line.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- The top tier seems pretty secure today. I love all these starts, from Clayton Kershaw continuing his goal of a perfect season, to Shane McClanahan against the middling Cubs. And then there’s Alex Cobb and Tylor Megill squaring off and that’s all kinds of fun.
- Seriously, just roll those guys out there with confidence to start your week.
- In the second tier, Luis Garcia is the normal “Probably start”. He wasn’t flashy in his first outing as we didn’t see a premier cutter, nor did his slider show up in a significant way. I’m hoping we see him expand on his four inning start against a good Angels offense.
- The hardest one to rank here was Triston McKenzie after he dominated last week, boasting a fastball at 93/94 mph. I love where he’s at and if I have him rostered, I’d be hard-pressed not to start him, even against the White Sox.
- This is getting really difficult now. Aaron Nola hasn’t impressed early on and now he gets Coors. COORS. I believe in Nola long term, of course, and he could still bounce back in a major way tomorrow regardless of his mediocre lines so far. Up to you here.
- The streaming pick of the day could have gone to Eric Lauer or Josiah Gray and I’m still debating in my head which I prefer. In the end, Lauer’s increased velocity against the Pirates seems like a safer play, even if Gray gets the Diamondbacks – I don’t trust the latter’s command quite yet. If you’re chasing strikeouts, though, Gray may be the better call.
- I shouldn’t have been so foolish to forget the “Kyle Hendricks rule” last week as he dominated on opening day only to blow up against the Pirates. Good luck guessing if he’ll be there for the Rays or not.
- I liked what we saw from Michael Lorenzen as he faced the Marlins, but the Astros provide a bigger challenge that could disrupt his early groove.
- Despite featuring horrendous command in his MLB debut, I believe Nick Lodolo has a lot to offer as a starter this season. He may need another start to get into rhythm, but don’t rule out the chance he locks in with his nasty slider against the Padres.
- And no, I won’t rule out Rich Hill stealing a Win against the Twins. I don’t like it, but I recognize how this could work.
- In the final tier, Madison Bumgarner could survive the Nationals, but I don’t think he offers a whole lot here for me to stick him into the the third tier.
- I really wish I could get amped for Huascar Ynoa again, but his slider was far from its 2021 self last time out and he gets the Dodgers. Sit this one out for now.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)