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: 27-14
Today’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 Hill. Kirby 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 Hudson, you 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
- It’s an odd top tier on Friday as there is no clear #1 play. I’m incredible excited about Robbie Ray’s recent start (despite the 5 ER) as he featured 94+ mph velocity and excellent north-south command on heaters and sliders…but it’s the Sawx and it’s unclear if those improvements will stick.
- That means Tarik Skubal gets rewarded for his incredible start to 2022 with the #1 spot against the Guardians. You got this Tarik.
- Some may want it to be Nestor Cortes Jr. and while I understand he demolished the White Sox last time out, I won’t ignore their ability to hit left-handers. Here’s to being wrong about this one.
- It’s hard not to feel encouraged by Eric Lauer’s start to the year and even his last start where he sat 94.5 mph on his heater, or Charlie Morton’s most recent outing where he looked like the ace of old. Start them both and expect continued success.
- In the second tier, I understand if some feel Julio Urías is a bit high against the Phillies. Despite the heater not coming in as hot as previous seasons, he still locates well & the curveball is a plus offering he’ll continue to earn his CSW marks with. I don’t have any hesitation here.
- Like Urías, Sean Manaea and Trevor Rogers are solid arms with questionable matchups. I believe the odds are in your favor to let them fly, with strikeout potential even if the ratios aren’t pristine.
- We have a pair of Toby arms in the second tier with excellent matchups. Adam Wainwright is an obvious play against the Pirates, while Hyun Jin Ryu is making his second start back from the IL and gets a cushy date with the Reds.
- Then there’s our streaming pick of the day, Chase Silseth. He packs a punch with a 95+ mph heater and a whiffable splitter that allowed him to cruise through six frames in his debut against Oakland last week. He gets them a second time and I don’t see why it can’t be more of the same. I’d pick him up for this start.
- The backup streamer is Jakob Junis as he leads off the third tier. The Padres have struggled immensely against right-handers this year, while Junis has consistently gone five-strong with the Giants defense behind him, featuring the best slider I’ve seen from him in a long time. He’s a solid play for the weekend.
- After allowing seven runs to the Nationals, Cristian Javier isn’t as much of a lock as you’d want him to be against a Rangers squad who recently swept the Angels. It could absolutely work, I’m simply not as confident as I want to be.
- At the bottom of the tier are a quartet of terrible matchups that could go either way. Paul Blackburn and Martín Pérez are each on a Vargas Rule and could come out on top despite their opponents. Carlos Carrasco is forced to endure Coors, and Luis Castillo gets the Jays in his third outing of the season. I wonder if Castillo’s ability to shake off rust can tip the scales in his favor.
- Also here is Kyle Hendricks, who seems like a great play against the Sneks, but is innately a Cherry Bomb as his command has faltered frequently this season.
- In the bottom tier, you could do worse than Humberto Castellanos against the Cubs as he’s been decent against weak opponents across the last month.
- Ranger Suárez still doesn’t have his changeup despite his recent success and a date with the Dodgers feels like a disaster waiting to happen.
- I’m excited to find out what we see from Daniel Lynch – is he going to keep taking strides with his high heater and whiffable slider or are the dangerous Twins bats going to ruin his day?
- And lastly, Aaron Civale has tinkered with his arsenal to feature more cutters and curveballs. I think the approach works out in the long run and we could see it begin as he faces the lowly Tigers on Friday.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)