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: 25-11
Today’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.Lorenzen is getting pushed to tomorrow with Chase Silseth making his MLB debut today. He’s gone six frames and fanned at least seven in each of his last three Double-A starts, skipping Triple-A entirely. He’s in my final tier because I don’t start MLB debuts but this is awfully intriguing. Curious
- 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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- After ace day on Friday, we have a smaller crew in the top tier for Saturday. The biggest point of contention is likely what you’re doing with Luis Castillo – Are you starting him everywhere after showcased diminished velocity and failed to go five frames in his season debut? For me, absolutely. It was a Still ILL start, he got it out of the way, and now it’s the Pirates in PNC Park. You’re starting the man.
- In the second tier, I was tempted to slot Charlie Morton into the top tier as he had his curveball working last time out and he gets a middling Padres lineup. We’re not completely out of the woods yet with Morton, though, and I understand some will want to be cautious.
- The same certainly applies for Shane Bieber as he was at his nadir last time out against the Jays. Let’s hope the velocity and command returns as he faces a good-but-not-Toronto offense in Minnesota.
- I’m still holding out hope that Trevor Rogers will find his changeup and slider once again as the four-seamer is doing its best to keep him steady. The Brewers have been hot as of late and I have zero issues pushing him further down the ranks if you’d rather not chance it.
- I’m excited to watch George Kirby after his incredible debut and despite facing the Mets and failing to feature a major whiff secondary pitch, his confidence has to be through the roof and could propel another strong outing.
- The final two in the questionable start are interesting. Michael Lorenzen closes the crew as he’s slated to face the lowly Athletics. He may be available in your leagues and I’d take a shot as he has the tools to go 6+ frames for the Angels.
- There’s a good amount of hype surrounding Cristian Javier and a date with the Nationals is far from intimidating, though I’m a little nervous he’ll have a low pitch count and not bring his best stuff. He’s a guy to start, just not as confidently as the others.
- In the third tier, some may want Kyle Hendricks higher, but he’s a Cherry Bomb to me regardless of opponent. We just don’t know if he’ll have the pristine command or not.
- Our reluctant streaming pick of the day is Jakob Junis, who has had the best slider of his career across the last few weeks. He faces the Cardinals and I’m okay with it. He hasn’t gone more than five frames yet and I still question if his sinker can be the high called strike pitch it’s been, but that slider could carry him to the finish line.
- It looks like Hyun Jin Ryu is returning from the IL against the Rays and I’m not sure what we’ll see. It’s a coin flip between him settling right into his roll and debilitating batters with his changeup…or allow far too much hard contact and getting ousted before the fifth.
- I see Michael Pineda as a strange option. The Orioles aren’t a huge threat, though I can’t rid myself of the thought that Pineda is running on fumes – there just doesn’t seem to be a whole lot behind what he’s doing. Careful.
- In the bottom tier, Zach Thompson may get some looks as he faces the Reds. He had his cutter last time out, though the curveball was missing & the Reds are possibly heating up…? I’d avoid.
- If you’re looking for someone who has a decent shot at 5/6 frames, I’d go with Adam Oller as he gets the Angels. Los Angeles is far too menacing for me to chance this, though Oller could make it work if things go his way. Oakland will certainly give him the chance, at least.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)