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: 10-6
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- There isn’t a de facto “stud” play today as the best arms of Frankie Montas and Alek Manoah face tough lineups in the Rangers and Astros. Still start them without fear, though.
- Some may be hesitant to start Tyler Mahle at home against the Cardinals, I say let the man pitch. He still has an excellent fastball and I’m ready for the extreme home/road splits conversation to come to a close.
- Welcome Nestor Cortes Jr. and Matt Brash to the top tier! I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a fantasy manager not slotting them in their lineups after their hot starts to the season.
- Noah Syndergaard has done well in the box score, though I still have some concerns that his breakers are lagging behind as he relies a bit too much on balls in play finding gloves. Still a clear start, but not as defiant as the others.
- And yes, if you have rostered Yu Darvish, you’re going to start to him through thick and thin. Good luck.
- In the second tier, Zack Wheeler is coming off his second straight start of depreciated velocity, with his 94.4 mph last time out nearly three ticks lower than 2021’s mark. I’m a bit scared of what’s to come, but if Wheeler is in fact starting, it means the Phillies believe he can ramp up to his former health to some degree. I’m holding my breath here.
- Joining Wheeler is Ian Anderson, who had the best changeup I’ve ever seen from his in his last outing. It could have been a mirage or it may something legitimate that has sparked his ascension.
- In the third tier, José Urquidy is coming off a wretched day against the Mariners. It doesn’t get easier with the Jays ahead and it’s up to you if you want to force him through the gauntlet. There’s absolutely a chance he bounces back strong, but there’s a lot to think about here.
- Today’s streaming pick of the day is Elieser Hernandez, who just fanned six with one earned run in his previous outing. If he has his slider and changeup working, Atlanta shouldn’t be too much trouble.
- Despite a date with the Pirates, you simply don’t know which side of Kyle Hendricks you’re going to see. We’re all hoping it’s the opening day version.
- In the bottom tier, we don’t have a lot we can cross our fingers for. Tyler Anderson is getting a proper start against the Padres, though I do wonder if we’ll get a taste of Dodgeritis along the way.
- Austin Gomber heads on the road to face the Tigers, which would have been an exciting notion this time last year, but with his struggles out of the gate I’d prefer to take this easy and watch from afar.
- There was also some consideration given to Garrett Whitlock as he makes his first start for the Red Sox. Sadly, I don’t believe he’s stretched out enough to let him go five frames, making the reward too little for the risk.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- I struggled a bit with where I should place Gerrit Cole for Sunday. On one hand, we all expect him to dominate once again this season & he’s had decent excuses as to why he struggled in the other outings. On the other, he’s clearly a bit off at the moment and putting him #2 may feel wrong to some. Does it really matter? Just start the fella against the Guardians.
- The bottom four of the tier are a little shakier. Shane McClanahan looks great at the moment with sub 30% heaters, but the Red Sox aren’t a pushover. Meanwhile, Tylor Megill was throwing softer in his last start, Sean Manaea get the mighty Dodgers, and we have no idea what we’re going to see from Aaron Nola. Just start and hope for the best.
- In the second tier, we want to see the Adam Wainwright that can coast for 6+ frames, but he may have some trouble dealing with Cincinnati’s park.
- It may shock some to see Nick Lodolo in the second tier at home, but I think his strikeout ability and another start in the bigs will allow his best self to come out. This could be the breakout outing we’re waiting for and in leagues where I have him, I’m letting him go, making him the clear streaming pick of the day.
- In the third tier, Eric Lauer has continued to feature increased velocity, but gets a tough draw against the Phillies. I’m generally for it, but there could be some struggles.
- Luis Garcia was a new man last time out as he featured nearly two ticks more velocity…at the cost of worse secondaries. I’m not sure what we’ll see here against Toronto.
- Lucas Giolito is returning from his IL stint and normally he’d be in the top tier. However, I’m concerned he won’t go very long in this one and he may be shaking off a bit of rust. This isn’t a must start.
- I wonder what we’ll see from Aaron Civale. He does get a struggling Yankee offense, but he’s also dealing with his own struggles as his velocity has dramatically dipped recently.
- Normally I write off the final tier, but I understand how Sundays work and many of you will be going through these underwhelming arms hoping for a chance to steal a H2H victory. Nearly all of these names could give you a Win, but I’d avoid the bottom four as it’ll be a tough road for them to provide legit value tomorrow.
- There’s intrigue at the top of the tier, though. Bryce Elder could muscle out a decent game against the Marlins, José Suarez has shown himself a decent streamer in the past, Chris Archer has been shockingly decent and the White Sox are not their best selves, and Justin Steele could find gloves against the Pirates.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)