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: 13-7
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Not the largest top tier on Wednesday and per usual, you should feel awfully comfortable with everyone listed here. Shohei Ohtani should be a fun one given his heavy reliance on sliders against the Astros and I’d love to see it repeated against the oddly strong Cleveland offense.
- It hasn’t been a smooth start to the season for Charlie Morton and despite going against the hot Cubs crew, I think it’s in your best interest to trust a rebound. You don’t want to miss the game when Morton kicks it back into gear.
- In the second tier, Jordan Montgomery should be a safe play against the Orioles, regardless of his sub 20% strikeout rate this season.
- The Dodgers are a tough team to face, but Zac Gallen is working the edges well with his heater and his secondaries are showing new life. I’d still roll him out there.
- It may be the last start we see from MacKenzie Gore for a while and despite heading into the hitting paradise that is Great American Ballpark, the Reds are struggling so much that I’d feel fine starting Gore here.
- Give Ranger Suárez some time, he’ll come around proper and Rockie Road (yes, it’s still a thing despite the strong opening weeks from the Colorado offense) should help him get back on track.
- The streaming pick of the day is Aaron Ashby as he squares off against the Pirates. While I don’t anticipate more than five frames from Ashby, he’s boasting a 34% CSW and seems like a safe play for a productive outing against a weak Pirates lineup, even if it’s not plenty of frames. (My apologies for not having a blurb on Ashby yesterday!)
- In the third tier, Steven Matz leads the way as I heavily considered him in the second tier with the St. Louis defense behind him. He doesn’t present the most overwhelming stuff, though, and the Mets could make it a bit more difficult than we’d like to see.
- We’re all excited to see Cristian Javier make his first proper start for the Astros this year, though it comes against the Rangers with a pitch count that shouldn’t eclipse 70 pitches after sitting in the mid-50s in his last two appearances. This may be the start you bench him before he gets a true opportunity for Houston.
- In the final tier, Glenn Otto is turning heads but he’ll likely toss around 80 pitches and he gets a tough draw against the Astros. I’d play it safe for one more outing and go from there.
- Michael Pineda found a way to go five frames last time out and I wouldn’t rely on him to consistently produce for fantasy teams, especially when the slider isn’t what it used to be.
- Jakob Junis did an interesting thing last time he started – he tossed fewer than 20% fastballs, leaning on sliders and changeups instead. It could work against the lowly Athletics, but we all recognize the horrid floor that could show itself instead.
- I can see many trusting Paul Blackburn as a Toby but the Giants offense often finds a way to disrupt opposing starting pitchers. I don’t think he does quite enough on the hill to justify the start in standard situations.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- There’s no defacto #1 play for Thursday with Justin Verlander and Alek Manoah each getting tougher matchups than we’d like to see. You’re still starting them because duh, but it’s not as clear-cut as we normally see.
- I know some are not feeling great about Trevor Rogers and Zack Wheeler, though they get weak lineups and are trending in the right direction. Small steps toward trust.
- The second tier contains an easy play with Jameson Taillon as I don’t expect the greatest outing, yet the Orioles shouldn’t make for a poor day at the park.
- I know, I know. Tyler Mahle has not looked great this year and he’s starting in Cincinnati. I believe in the skills and he should be a strong arm for your team across the season. Power through this.
- The questionable start tier is where things get a bit muddy. I could have gone with four different pitchers as the streaming pick of the day and I’m electing to choose Dakota Hudson as he faces the poor Arizona bats. Hudson has the best defense behind him and has already gone six frames this season. He seems the safest of the lot.
- There are other options if you’re still searching for an arm. Nick Martinez heads to Great American Ballpark and could enjoy some respite after dealing with Atlanta and the Dodgers.
- You could also go with Reid Detmers as he faces the Guardians. I haven’t seen peak Detmers quite yet as he’s failed to induce swings out of the swing (especially with his slider) and I’d like to be a little patient at the moment with Cleveland’s bats coming through lately.
- And finally there’s Bruce Zimmermann, who holds the #2 CSW changeup in the majors at the moment. He was able to survive against the Yankees previously in Baltimore and may do so again.
- I wouldn’t call myself a fan of chasing Garrett Whitlock against the Jays. He only tossed 48 pitches in his last game and the Jays are a dangerous crew to challenge. I dig the ceiling if Whitlock lands himself inside the rotation indefinitely (not sure if that will happen, he gets the start only because Tanner Houck can’t pitch in Toronto due to his unvaccinated status), but for now, I’d hold off.
- Both Brad Keller and Corey Kluber possess the ability to go six frames on Thursday if you’re in dire need of a Quality Start, though it may not be pretty if they do get there as they each face solid opponents.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)