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: 27-13
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Despite 34 starters going on Tuesday, we only have two in the top tier. Yeah, it’s that kind of day.
- Make sure you’re starting Shane McClanahan and Dylan Cease because duh, of course you are.
- I was tempted to put Mike Clevinger in the top tier, but the Phillies offense is red hot and Clevinger hasn’t had enough starts quite yet to start without fear.
- Jameson Taillon against the Orioles seems like the safest play of the tier as he’s been able to effectively feature his secondaries for strikes through the year, pitching for a winning ball club.
- Some are going to have fear starting José Berríos against the Mariners, but I believe in his skillset and long track record of volatility – he’s The Great Undulater and I’d keep starting him unless there are legitimate problems inside his arsenal.
- Two possible streaming candidates sit at the bottom of the tier:
Josh Winderand Tyler Anderson. Both have cushy matchups and a repertoire that speaks to 5+ frames of beneficial fantasy production. Start em both. Update: With Dylan Bundy returning today, Winder was pushed to Thursday against the Royals. Womp womp.
- The third tier…oh boy this is a tier. If you have some disagreements about these ranks and order, by all
Johnsmeans, do what you want, as long y’all agree it’s the same “near coin-flip” mentality of success or failure.
- Because it’s nigh impossible to accurately rank these 13 players, I decided to make a few groupings. First are the “rostered arms with terrible matchups” with Logan Gilbert, Alex Cobb, José Urquidy, and Merrill Kelly. If you want to bench them because of their opponent, go right ahead.
- Then it’s a whole lot of possible streaming options against middling squads. Reid Detmers is fresh off a no-hitter and gets the weak Rangers…but he’s still struggling to earn whiffs with his slider (he fanned just two in that start!) and we often see a no-hitter hangover as guys are pushed a bit harder to go all nine frames. Still, I don’t love the other options and Detmers is once again my streaming pick of the day.
- I almost stuck JT Brubaker above Detmers as he gets the Cubs. Coffee Cakes has a strong slider and could wield it effectively to produce in Wrigley.
There’s hype around Spencer Strider, but how many innings are we going to get? Is he going to limit the walks? Will it be worth it against a Milwaukee offense that’s been heating up (albeit, now without Willy Adames)? Too many questions and concerns for me to confidently slot Strider into lineups.Update: Nope. Strider was used out of the bullpen yesterday and now it’s unclear if he’ll ever make the rotation. Frustrating, I know.
- It looks like Zach Eflin could be returning from the COVID-IL to pitch against the Padres this week and given San Diego’s struggles at the plate lately, it could return dividends, even if Eflin is slightly rusty.
- The rest of the third tier is a mish-mash of Toby arms and sneaky plays against some poor squads. Connor Overton has been surprisingly decent lately and I see his start against the Guardians closer to a coin-flip than a start you need to avoid, for example.
- And with Zach Plesac finding his slider in his last start and now getting the Reds, he could finally start returning some value this year.
- In the bottom tier, I wonder if Ryan Pepiot can do better than 1/25 changeup whiffs as he gets another start for the Dodgers. It may have been simply jitters in his MLB debut and there is a shot for 5+ innings with a Win against the Sneks.
- Beau Brieske ain’t so bad at all and the Rays aren’t the most dangerous of foes. I wouldn’t do it, but hey, it could happen.
- UPDATE: It looks like Steven Matz is in fact going today, not tomorrow, displacing Johan Oviedo. I’ve returned him to the third tier ahead of Taijuan Walker.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s ace day on Wednesday with all of my Top 4 starting pitchers slated to hit the bump. It’s going to be a fun day.
- I’m not sure there has been a more clear-cut top tier – each one of these pitchers is such an obvious start without a horrid matchup in sight.
- Moving to the second tier, it gets a bit difficult to figure out the correct order. I feel a little dirty slotting Drew Rasmussen at the top, but he gets one of the best matchups of the group and has been a solid five inning arm for weeks now.
- Sonny Gray and Cal Quantrill are the only others with better matchups, but Gray doesn’t have his breakers back and Quantrill simply isn’t as good as Rasmussen.
- I’m not sure what to make of these starts for Eduardo Rodriguez or Luis Garcia, either. Rodriguez has been searching for his changeup for a while and gets the solid Rays crew in St. Petersburg. Garcia pitched his best game of the year with 95 mph fastballs and excellent cutters, but gets a heating up Red Sox lineup and it could spell trouble.
- Oh, and then there’s Tyler Mahle at the bottom, fresh off a great start on the road in Pittsburgh. Fortunately, he’s not at home once again, but it’s hard not to ignore his tough start to the season despite it.
- In the third tier, I’m treating Logan Webb like I have Alex Cobb and Alex Wood – it’s a coin flip if he can pull it off in Colorado.
- I’m excited to see the season debut of Blake Snell, unfortunately it’s against the Phillies. I’m fine with leaving him in your IL spot for this outing in a Still ILL and assessing from there.
Speaking of coin flips, Steven Matz was rocked by the Mets last time out and the dime could land differently this time out.Update: Matz is in fact going on Tuesday, with Jordan Hicks likely going on Wednesday. I’ve placed Hicks in the bottom tier.
- And there’s Zack Greinke going against the White Sox, who have struggled against right-handers. Here’s to hoping a Quality Start is in the cards.
- In the bottom tier, you could argue Marco Gonzales is on a Vargas Rule but do you really want to test that in Toronto?
- There is some strikeout upside for Josiah Gray against the Marlins, but note two things – he struggled against them last time and only has two games this season above five strikeouts. I’d avoid this.
- You may have noticed I haven’t discussed the streaming pick of the day yet. That’s because Vince Velasquez is the highest eligible player on Wednesday. Yeah. I wouldn’t take the chance, even if he’s only stumbled once across his last few weeks. If you must, there’s a chance he pulls it off against a floundering Royals offense.
- Lastly, if you’re in dire need of a stream, consider Daulton Jefferies against the Twins. I see him as a Toby we comfortably stream later in the year, but our confidence in him may grow after this start against Minnesota.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)