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: 2-0
Today’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.Looks like it’s Justin Steele today with Stroman going tomorrow instead.
- 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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- This is a day of some strange rankings and I want to emphasize a major point today – the first week or two of the season will have many starters going fewer innings than normal – guys simply aren’t ramped up enough yet and managers are being cautious with their rotations. Not everyone is Robbie Ray coming out for the seventh.
- That means you have guys like Anthony DeSclafani, Zach Eflin, and Steven Matz getting shoved into the top five plays (Eflin can be streamed!) – all of them have great chances of going at least five frames against weak lineups. It matters a whole lot right now.
- In tier two, you have Hyun Jin Ryu and Cal Quantrill getting decent matchups. Not quite the Marlins, Pirates, A’s of the top tier arms, but I think Ryu can stave off the rangers better than the early blowup of José Berríos on Friday, while Quantrill can be good enough against the Royals.
- Sandwiched between them is Tarik Skubal, who goes against a strong White Sox crew. I think he’s stretched out enough to make this worth your while and if you have him, you’re going to be dreaming of his high four-seamer with strong secondaries down. It’s contentious given the Chicago’s strength against left-handers and I respect anyone who wants to sit him instead.
- In the third tier, we have so many arms who either have a tough matchup – Tanner Houck, Jordan Montgomery, Julio Urías – or can’t be trusted to go very long into the game – Michael Kopech, Ian Anderson, Bailey Ober (maybe…?), Hunter Greene, and Houck + Urías again. It doesn’t make for a confident start among the crew.
- I wonder if Corey Kluber, Marco Gonzales, and Carlos Carrasco have enough in the tank to go through five frames early this year. Or h*ck, are even good enough to produce through them. Not the worst matchups for any of them and they make for curious options if you really want to chase it.
- There’s a ton of hype around Hunter Greene, though I’m personally sitting this out. His 100+ mph velocity comes with an oddly hittable heater and the secondaries aren’t fully developed yet. I don’t see a 5-6 inning guy here, especially in the short term against Atlanta.
- I know it sounds silly, but Caleb Smith looked decent in the spring, earned a rotation spot, and faces a San Diego Padres crew who haven’t done a whole lot to Arizona starters thus far. I can’t shake the idea he does well here.
- In the bottom tier, there isn’t much to look at. I raised Erick Fedde and Anthonio Senzatela to the top of the tier, but you really shouldn’t do this.
- What about the other guys? Please. Don’t.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)