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 – 11am 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: 24-11
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- We have only a few games on Thursday with many teams using their matches as a buffer day for their rotations. It means only Dylan Cease sits inside the Top tier, looking around like John Travolta and wondering where everyone went.
- In the second tier, Luis Garcia gets the Twins and should be safe to start. His cutter was incredible last time out and while the heater wasn’t at 95 mph, I’m hoping we see both the velocity and the cutter excel in this one.
- It looks like Zack Wheeler is returning from the COVID-IL to start against the Dodgers on Thursday. I’d be cautious here for two reasons – 1) I’m not sure how long they’ll let Wheeler go after a long period of rest 2) It’s the Dodgers and could make for a tough return. Play it safe if you can.
- In the third tier, Josh Winder is coming off a fantastic outing but gets a proper challenge against the Astros. He’s a 90/91 mph kitchen sink guy who happens to throw 94/95 and it gives him a chance to earn outs without damage against any squad.
- Our streaming pick of the day is a tough choice and I’m leaning toward JT Brubaker as he faces the lowly Reds away from Cincy. Coffee Cakes has his breakers working as of late and this is as much of a gift of a matchup as he could hope for in PNC Park.
- I almost gave the nod to James Kaprielian after fanning seven in his previous outing. I see him in the same mold as Anthony DeSclafani, Cal Quantrill, and Casey Mize, making this a worthy stream if you need the extra start this week.
- With Jordan Hicks sitting under 70 pitches in each of his last two games, I’m a little hesitant to chase a strong outing against the Orioles, despite their unintimidating lineup.
- The Yankees had a doubleheader earlier this week, forcing a sixth starter for this turn of the rotation. They’ve elected to go with Luis Gil for the spot start, who fanned nine and walked none in his last start in the minors. Don’t get too excited – he walked eleven batters in his three previous starts combined. It’s a 50/50 if this works.
- I also don’t love the idea of starting Taijuan Walker against the Nationals. His fastball velocity was down once again last time out and without a strong fastball, Walker becomes a glutton for punishment.
- In the bottom tier, there really isn’t much to chase. Connor Overton has been serviceable as of late and maybe he can make it work for another start against the Pirates.
- Don’t rule out Beau Brieske performing well against the Athletics – I wouldn’t gamble it in my 12-teamers, but those in deeper leagues could find five innings with decent ratios against a mediocre lineup.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Look at all those
chickensaces! It’s a star-studded pack in the top tier today, making it a wonderful Friday to sit down and enjoy some baseball.
- After looking at the top with starry eyes, we fall down to Logan Webb at STL and Yu Darvish at ATL. Webb is more like an SP #2/3 these days and has a bit more volatility due to the heavy grounders he induces. Meanwhile, Darvish is a premium Cherry Bomb and opponent doesn’t matter with him.
- In the second tier, we should all be so happy for Eduardo Rodriguez as he gets his first “easy” matchup of the season, hosting the Orioles. Let’s hope he can capitalize in full.
- A close comp to Eduardo is Framber Valdez and while I don’t anticipate the same strikeout volume, he should be a good play against the Nationals. Grounders, be praised.
- You may be able to stream Michael Lorenzen in this start against Oakland as he’s rostered in roughly 25% of fantasy leagues. His kitchen-sink repertoire has worked a fair amount thus far, the Angels offense is a wonderful thing, and the Athletics are far from intimidating.
- I know, you haven’t been happy with the way Tyler Mahle has performed this season, but he gets the Pirates. On the road. You start the man.
- Our reluctant streaming pick of the day is Dane Dunning who is currently on a Vargas Rule as his command has been as good as I’ve seen. Unfortunately, he gets the Red Sox, who have begun to come alive recently. Be careful.
- Marco Gonzales has showcased himself as a proper Toby but has been on a strong stretch of his own as of late. I wonder if the Mets will be able to tamper it down or not.
- It’s weird seeing any sort of praise thrown toward Zach Davies from me, but I recognize that his changeup has been at its peak lately and now faces a middling Cubs offense. This is a coin flip, alright.
- The same could be said for Aaron Civale, who changed his approach last time out to lean harder on curveballs and cutters. It could work if he continues the shift toward secondaries…or the Twins could have other plans.
- In the bottom tier, Josiah Gray is a Cherry Bomb against a strong team in the Astros. This is far too dangerous for me to chase 5+ strikeouts.
- There’s an outside chance Kyle Freeland survives a date inside Coors and is able to fan seven batters once again. I sure don’t buy it, but hey, it could happen.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)