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.
(Opener) – Outlines that a pitcher is being opened for that day & the pitcher listed will follow the opener.
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: 16-7
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Plenty of great arms are going on Saturday, where I expect y’all to have very few disagreements with those listed in the top tier today.
- Okay fine, Jesús Luzardo and José Berríos have a pair of difficult matchups as the Mariners are #3 in wRC+ and the Astros are never an easy outing. However, Berríos is The Great Undulater where the opponent matters little to his success and Luzardo is performing too well for a manager to consider benching him right now.
- I can see some wanting Miles Mikolas to be pushed into the top tier as he faces the paltry Arizona offense. I have no problems with it, I kept him in the second tier as I recognize Mikolas’ reliance on BABIP to get his outs. It opens the door for a lower floor than the other options.
- Joining Mikolas is Merrill Kelly on the other side of the ball. Kelly has proven himself to be a Toby and could continue his ways on the back of his new changeup.
- The third tier kicks off with Luis Garcia as he’s set for a date in Toronto. Garcia has been throwing harder as of late, reinventing himself as a fastball-first arm who could be his best self if his cutter and slider replicate their 2021 success. That said, it’s the Jays for the second straight start and there’s a whole lot risk there.
- Cole Irvin is our reluctant stream of the day against the Guardians. He’s a Toby and the Guardians are a middling crew. This may be the Quality Start you’re looking for.
- I know, I know, Justin Steele in the third tier is weird. By all means, ignore him if you like, I’m acknowledging that Steele could go 5+ against a poor Milwaukee lineup.
- Kyle Gibson has had some recent success, though he’ll have a challenge ahead as he faces the Mets. Up to you if you want to take a shot on it.
- The bottom tier could be separated in two with the bottom crew (starting around Bryce Elder) being very easy to avoid while the top four have intriguing cases to steal your attention.
- It comes down to soldiers. JT Brubaker, Chad Kuhl, and Dane Dunning each displayed a much better slider recently while leaning on the pitch. Sadly, they are in poor situations for Saturday, with Kuhl in Coors, Dunning against Atlanta, and Coffee Cakes getting the Padres.
- And hey, maybe Chris Archer still has it as he faces his old crew. He’s certainly looking like the best self we’ve seen from him for ages. Am I concerned about his fastball only sitting 93/94 mph? Absolutely. There’s still an outside chance, though.
- Keep in mind, Noah Syndergaard was moved from Friday to Saturday as he was dealing with a non-COVID illness. Make sure he’s in your lineups.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s ace day – who doesn’t love ace day? Start all the studs in tier one, grab some coffee, and enjoy your Sunday.
- If there is one arm here that I am a touch concerned about, it’s Logan Gilbert despite a start against the Marlins. We have yet to see his slider and changeup come through thus far and while his stellar fastball has carried him in April, it’s more fragile than ideal.
- The second tier shouldn’t give much worry, either. As long as Triston McKenzie is finding the zone, he should have few problems with the Oakland offense & Marcus Stroman’s trials of April are essentially over, especially against the Brewers. They should both be fine.
- We should all be thrilled to see Alex Cobb return from the IL on Sunday, though I do wonder if it’ll come at a dip of velocity and/or fewer pitches. Regardless, he shouldn’t be severely detrimental, warranting the spot in your lineup.
- The third tier is often where it gets interesting and Sunday is no exception. There seems to be a large gap in my emotions between Eduardo Rodriguez and Framber Valdez despite each facing difficult lineups, but don’t let their ranking separation fool you – this is an awfully tight tier and I can see y’all shuffling these guys around plenty. They both have the ability to earn a Quality Start if you need it and could pull it off.
- The streaming pick of the day is Michael Lorenzen, who has an uncomfortable matchup with the White Sox. His kitchen sink approach has worked in April and while Chicago presents a challenge, they are worse against right-handers and Lorenzen certainly has the ability to last six frames.
- Other options include Josiah Gray and Chris Paddack. Gray is a solid choice if you’re chasing strikeouts, though the Giants should give you pause if you’re in a close ratio matchup. Paddack has looked much better in his last two starts, featuring effective elevated fastballs, a larger reliance on his curveball, and dominance with the changeup. The Rays are a tough hill to climb and may slow down his ascension.
- There’s also Zach Eflin to consider – he’s a Toby going up against a productive Mets offense, but if you need to take a shot at a decent WHIP and Quality Start, he’s a good play.
- In the final tier, Nick Pivetta against the Orioles seems like it should be in a higher tier, but he’s simply too volatile to trust. I’d only consider it if I were making a sizeable strikeout play.
- Daniel Lynch did well last week with elevated heaters and a strong slider. The Yankees are awfully dangerous, though, and we haven’t seen consistency from Lynch during his career. It’s a wild card.
- I’m well aware that Josh Fleming was a popular two-“start” play this week and while his first appearance came with atrocious luck, there’s a shot at four to five frames against the Twins on Sunday. It’s too low of a ceiling for me to chase given the floor, but I get it if you’re electing to chase it.
- Finally, Jordan Hicks has been granted a lovely date with the Diamondbacks, but he’s not stretched out properly, nor is he flexing elite stuff that would get us excited even for four to five innings.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)