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Starting Pitcher Streamer Rankings – 5/18 & 5/19

Nick Pollack ranks the starting pitcher streamers for today & tomorrow.

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:

 

Swan’s Early-Season Offensive Tiers

 

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: 27-14

 

Today’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 Garciaeither. 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 Snellunfortunately 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.

 

  • We’re not sure if Roansy Contreras is getting the call for the Pirates today, but he’s the super reluctant streaming pick of the day given the lack of options (you want to stream on Friday/Saturday/Sunday this week). Roansy hasn’t been incredibly sharp in the minors this year (all four outings have come with at least two walks and no more than six strikeouts) and I’d be cautious adding him before this outing. That said, he has an electric heater and a solid breaker, which could return a positive outing against the Cubs. I have to pick someone, right?

 

  • 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. Update: Vince has been pushed to Thursday with Lucas Giolito properly returning today. He’s been placed in the bottom of the top tier.
  • 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.

 

Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

 

  • Few games are being played on Thursday this week, making a short top tier as the newly crowned AGA Chris Bassitt gets the coveted #1 ranking against the Cardinals. Zac Gallen isn’t too far behind against the Cubs, but Bassitt has a more polished package at the moment.
  • I believe Yu Darvish’s opponent matters a whole less than other starters – if Darvish has it working, he’ll dominate. If not, he’ll run into trouble. He’s sweet more than sour, making him an auto-start against the Phils.

 

  • In the second tier, The Bear gets another outing against the Orioles that should return dividends for Montgomery’s managers.
  • It appears that Marcus Stroman will be returning from the COVID-IL to face the Diamondbacks on Thursday. There could be some rust here, but a date with the Sneks is too good to pass up.

 

  • The Rangers are far from the strongest team out there at the moment and Framber Valdez could cruise through seven frames on Thursday…or his sinker could allow a lot of hard contact, his curveball disappears, and suddenly his WHIP climbs over 1.50 for the night. Here’s to hoping for the former.

 

  • In the third tier, I’m not sure who is a better play in the Seattle vs. Boston matchup, George Kirby or Rich HillKirby has performed well in his first two outings, though the strikeouts dwindled the set time around as his secondaries don’t speak to high whiff totals.
  • On the other hand, Rich Hill just went six frames and the Mariners are a hot/cold offense. He’s our reluctant stream of the day because of it and I’d focus on a few streams later in the week instead of chasing this one on Thursday.

 

  • There’s also Kyle Gibson as he gets an outing against a mediocre Padres lineup. I’d roll with him in most cases if I had him rostered.
  • Between Bruce Zimmermann and Dakota Hudsonyou have a coin-flip in Hudson’s ability for his batted balls to find gloves, while Zimermmann is reliant on his changeup and slider to carry him through a dangerous Yankee crew. Hudson is a touch safer, but Bruce has a higher ceiling and has silenced the Yanks before.

 

  • In the bottom tier, Vince Velasquez gets pushed to Thursday and squares off against a below-average Royals squad. There’s a chance he can earn double-digit whiffs again and help those in dire need of innings this week.
  • I wouldn’t touch Carlos Hernández against anyone right now, though there is an outside chance Glenn Otto has a good day with his slider against the mighty Astros. Key word being “outside” there.

 

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

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