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: 0-0
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- WE’RE BACK BABY
- Today is opening day and obviously ace day as well (same with tomorrow!), which means you throw your studs out there and you’re gonna like it.
- I will mention that the Shohei Ohtani vs. Framber Valdez matchup is a little questionable on both sides. Ohtani is a fantastic pitcher (and hitter, duh), but the Astros are no joke of an offense. Meanwhile, Valdez isn’t a slam dunk every time he starts and the Angels have quality bats at the top of their lineup. If you can be conservative, it’s not the worst idea.
- Oh, and Adam Wainwright absolutely deserves to be ranked above them. He has the #1 team defense behind him and it’s the Pirates. The Pirates.
- It’s rare to have a comfortable streamer on opening day (and for the first week, for that matter), but Tylor Megill fits the bill nicely as he faces the pedestrian Washington offense & has been sitting 95-97 mph through the spring. Here’s to a successful start to our streaming journey.
- Tyler Mahle is pitching on the road (sweet!) but he gets the strong Atlanta offense (no!). They are without Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuña Jr., but still grant pause before you slot him in your lineup.
- Yes, ole Zack Greinke is worth your time today. He gets the weak Guardians lineup known as José Ramírez and Friends, while the Royals are sure to let him pitch to his heart’s content.
- In the questionable tier is Kyle Hendricks, who is coming off a rugged 2021 season. It’s hard to tell if he can return to his former dependable self this early and you should have major hesitations before letting him fly.
- In the final tier, as much as I want to start Patrick Corbin, we just don’t know if he’s capable of a proper bounceback quite yet. Sit this one out until we get more insight to his 2022 ability.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- So. Many. Aces. Let them fly and seriously, don’t worry about the ranking – it’s all relative and not an indication of the pitcher at hand. Aaron Nola against the weak Oakland offense should be grand, for example, don’t let a #9 rank change that.
- One arm of contention may be Frankie Montas opposite Nola in Philly, but if you have Montas, you’re starting him. His splitter has looked strong in the spring and he could come out firing. I’m not sitting him.
- In the second tier, I had to place a question mark on Walker Buehler for a trio of reasons. 1) Dodgers pitchers will be limited to roughly 75 pitches in their first turn. 2) Buehler has slightly depressed velocity this spring after losing velocity last year. 3) It’s Coors. Despite all of this, I’m likely starting him but you should be aware of the caution.
- Nathan Eovaldi and Eduardo Rodríguez don’t have the prettiest matchups, but I think you’re still worthwhile letting both get the pearl. Erod won’t have to deal with Tim Anderson with his early two-game suspension, while Eovaldi has been able to carve up the Yankee offense in the past.
- I’m a huge fan of Patrick Sandoval for this year and he’s steamrolled Houston in the past, but I won’t ignore the concern of a possible crooked number to start his season hosting the Astros.
- I had to sadly demote Jon Gray to the third tier as he heads to Toronto for his season debut. I absolutely dig his move to Texas with his velocity and a new slider, but the Jays are among the strongest – if not the strongest – offenses around. This is tricky.
- Joining Gray in the third tier is…Josiah Gray who makes his season debut against the Mets. It’s a volatile play where he could put up lovely strikeout numbers, but his fastball allows far too many longballs as his command hasn’t quite come together yet. Be careful.
- The streaming pick of the day is surprisingly someone not currently on The List – Merrill Kelly. Reports are he’s flashing improved velocity and a new pitch and I’m excited to see what he’s got against the Tatis-less Padres. That said, it’s a very risky play and one I wouldn’t make unless I needed frames this weekend.
- In the bottom tier, some may be surprised to see Jake Odorizzi as he gets the start against the Angels. I personally don’t believe the Astros will allow him to go a full five frames, instead piggy-backing him with Cristian Javier, who may be a sneaky vulture win play for those in need.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)
Mixed thoughts on trotting out Means against dangerous TB lineup. Curious on ‘Probably Start’ confidence?
I’m here for the Merrill Kelly hype!! Step 1. Dominate tomorrow. Lets go!
As I try to stay ahead of the streamers – what do you think of Jordan Hicks as a starter? Obviously he needs to get stretched out, but is he strictly streamer material for 2022 post getting stretched out?
Where’s Mitch Keller??
Opps…he’s got a 4/9 start…
Would you start Detmers vs. HOU today?