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: 1-0
Today’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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- We still have some fun pitchers going today despite a ton of aces going on Friday. Carlos Rodón gets the top spot for me as he gets the lowly Marlins and has held his velocity in the spring. Let’s hold our breath he stays on the mound through the year and enjoy the highs when they arrive.
- There is a drop-off in the middle of the first tier around Dylan Cease/Pablo López, but I’m still starting all of these arms where I have them rostered. I initially had Chris Bassitt in the second tier as I’m terrified of his velocity drop from his final spring training game, but I’d still lean on him to perform well against the Nationals – especially if he keeps up his 20%+ slider usage from the spring.
- At the bottom of the first tier, Sonny Gray and Logan Gilbert square off and I still have a tough deciding which I prefer. The Mariners & Twins offenses are relatively even in strength and while I want to believe Gilbert has his secondaries fully developed by now, he gets pushed below Gray given the spring struggles. Either way, enjoy this fun matchup.
- Marcus Stroman sits above the two aforementioned starts in Minnesota with a start slated against the Brewers. I see a high floor against the Brew Crew and a solid debut pushing past five frames from Stroman.
- In the second tier, Luis Severino leads the way as he’s dealt a tough matchup against the Red Sox. I’m loving Severino’s 96/97 mph velocity from the spring and I’d imagine it to stick with his slider continuing to be a major focus. It’s riskier than I’d like, but you still need to start him.
- I’m excited to watch Drew Rasmussen against the Orioles as he’s tweaked his repertoire to steer away from his four-seamer heavy approach. If he’s able to get into a groove with secondaries, you could be hearing about Rasmussen all next week.
- The streaming pick of the day is Miles Mikolas, who gets the perfect situation of pitching in front of the #1 team defense against the underwhelming Pittsburgh offense. Mikolas went six frames in his final spring tuneup across 66 pitches and could cruise to another quality start.
- Also consider Kyle Gibson where you can, though he’s currently rostered in about 40% of leagues. Gibson isn’t my favorite arm for the season, but the Athletics lineup is as thin as it gets and you could find an easy Win over the weekend.
- The third tier is short today with just two arms. First is Noah Syndergaard, who I’m a bit skeptical can return consistent 12-teamer value this season. He’s sitting a few ticks below his pre-TJS self, armed with a slider that represents little of the dangerous offering of years past. Yes, he did well against the Dodgers in spring training, but I think it was more of a fluke and the Astros can make him pay.
- Don’t overlook Zach Plesac against the Royals if you’re in a points league and are searching for starts. Plesac had a rough 2021, but any gains in his slider or changeup this year will allow him to produce against a middling Royals lineup (sidenote: the Royals could be sneaky good with Bobby Witt Jr. arriving and a few former studs). This could turn into a sneaky Saturday stream.
- You’re going to find Germán Márquez constantly in the bottom tier this year from me as he’s simply too risky to start on a given night. If you’re willing to gambit and start him every time out, good luck – he was worse on the road than at home last year. I personally just avoid it and call it a day.
- I feel the same way about Nick Pivetta, though if he were facing a weaker club than the Yankees, I’d have him in the third tier. There has been a bit of hype around a small mechanical tweak from Pivetta this spring and we could see it come to fruition in April. Just don’t put yourself in harm’s way before we see it.
- Finally, there are a few intriguing options to be aware of deep in the ranks. Mitch Keller has new velocity, but I’m out until the secondaries begin to get consistent whiffs. Brad Keller has a chance for a decent stream against the Guardians, but it’s not enough of a reward for the risk. There’s also Cole Irvin who was apparently throwing harder with a new pitch mix in the spring and I’m curious to see what he brings to the table.
- And then there’s Kyle Wright, who shockingly gets the third start for Atlanta this year. Wright’s issue has been command through the years and paired with my skepticism that he’s properly stretched out, I’d much prefer to watch from afar. But hey, maybe this is finally the right Wright.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)