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: 27-16
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Look at that large top tier for Saturday, hopefully with many arms to guide you to a H2H victory. Despite the Padres performing better against left-handed pitching and Rodón’s blowup last weekend, I’m still leading with him as the #1 play. His velocity is still intact and given health, he’s a Top 5 SP in fantasy.
- He’s a bit of a Cherry Bomb, but Frankie Montas settled down last weekend against the Angels to fan twelves across six innings. He can do it again.
- At the bottom of the tier, Aaron Nola and
Luis Severinowere tough decisions to place in the top tier. I adore Nola and while he survived against the Dodgers last start, it’s another roll of the die I’m not looking forward to. As for Luis Severino, I believe in his breakers to come alive and the White Sox are poor against right-handers. You should be fine here.Update: It’s Nestor Cortes after yesterday’s postponement. Start the fella.
- The second tier is a short one, though you may be able to snag both for a weekend stream. Michael Lorenzen has displayed the ability to go 6+ frames this year and gets a cushy matchup against the Athletics. Sign me up.
- You can also find the streaming pick of the day here in Alex Faedo, whose slider has returned a 27% Swinging Strike rate this year. I’d let him roll with it against the lowly Guardians lineup (and possibly a second time next week).
- In the third tier, Garrett Whitlock is a solid play against the Mariners. I’ve wanted to see him perform at a high level for a bit longer before confidently starting him + the Mariners are a dangerous lineup. Still, I can see more than most slotting him in their lineups.
- Kyle Bradish is armed with a fantastic slider and a fastball I’m worried has a bit too much cut action (it’s reminding me of Corbin Burnes‘ 2019 fastball). It’s a bit of a coin flip with a matchup against the Rays, though dangling his eleven strikeout game in front of our eyes is awfully seducing.
- Don’t overlook Madison Bumgarner as a streaming option against the Cubs – he’s a Toby with a decent matchup. It’s what they do.
- I’m excited to watch Matthew Liberatore’s MLB debut on Saturday night and while I normally say to avoid debuts, it’s the Pirates. I’m okay picking him up and letting him roll and taking it from there.
- How willing are you to ride José Quintana’s Vargas Rule? What about Justin Steele’s high whiff night last time out? These are tough calls and I’m leaning bench here, but I can grasp that some will want to take the chance.
- There’s also Jon Gray as he faces the mighty Astros. The results haven’t been great, but he just featured the best slider we’ve seen from him in ages, resulting in a CSW above 50% and 11 whiffs on the night from the sweeper. It could propel him to another 8+ strikeout game.
- In the bottom tier, it’s a whole lot of decent arms with terrible matchups, leading with Chris Flexen. He’s a Toby who just hit a wall and the Red Sox feel a bit too risky for my blood.
- There’s some intrigue in Mitch White, but he’s not stretched out as a starter and I imagine this being a bullpen game for the Dodgers.
- With the Mets and Rockies game postponed yesterday, they’ve pushed both of yesterday’s starters into a doubleheader today. That means Germán Márquez and Carlos Carrasco are going today and…I wouldn’t start either one.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Sunday is always a major streaming day and while there aren’t a ton of locked plays, they should all help you out. Like Luis Severino was before the rainout on Friday, he’s still a top tier play against a White Sox team that struggles against right-handed pitching.
- Merrill Kelly also gets love in the top tier despite his recent struggles against top teams. He’s rostered across leagues and now faces the Cubs. You’re starting him.
- Despite allowing 5 HR in one inning, Nathan Eovaldi is still a good play against the Mariners. He had a start where things didn’t go his way, don’t overthink it.
- Like Severino, Jameson Taillon throws pearls with his right arm. Start him against the ChiSox.
- The second half of the probable start tier is filled with Tobys facing poor lineups. Yusei Kikuchi is on a fantastic three-start run now and gets the lowly Reds in Toronto. You have to let him roll there.
- Steven Matz has had his fair share of bumps in the road, but the Pirates make way for what should be a smooth Sunday afternoon.
- It’s wild to see such a string of Tier 2 streamers and Wade Miley is the latest as he faces the Diamondbacks. He dominated against the Pirates with cutters inside to right-handers, changeups away, and good fastballs. The Sneks aren’t much different, making for what I expect to be a very popular pickup for tomorrow.
- I know it’s been a tough road for Alex Wood thus far, though I very much believe in the skill set with a harder fastball from last year and a slider that looks to match its dominant self from last year. Sadly, he gets the Padres, who can make southpaws struggle on the bump. I think he can still pull it off, but it could be tricky.
- The Red Sox are heating up thanks to Trevor Story, and it forced me to move Logan Gilbert to the top of the third tier, as I did with his rookie teammate George Kirby. He can still make it work, it’s close to a coin-flip, though.
- It hasn’t been a fun season rostering José Urquidy, and even against the Rangers, I’m not sure his repertoire is at the place it needs to be to take advantage.
- I’m excited to see Bailey Ober return from the IL, who fanned seven without a walk in his 5.0 IP rehab start. I generally follow the rules of Still ILL for a guy like Ober, but I recognize that he may be ready against a weak Royals offense.
- Tony Gonsolin isn’t impressing me enough with his sldier to warrant a second tier spot against the Phillies, though he could go five and earn a Win on the back on his splitter.
- It was a turbulent outing last time for Michael Kopech against the Yankees – he tossed 41 pitches in the second frame before he cruised toward six full frames – and with his questionable breakers I’m skeptical he can make this outing worth the roster spot for fantasy managers.
- In the bottom tier, Chad Kuhl has featured a better slider as of late, but it’s the Mets and Coors. No thanks.
- Zach Eflin is a Toby facing the Dodgers. This is when you don’t start Eflin.
- I recognize Connor Overton and Johnny Cueto have each performed well lately, but their matchups are rough. Don’t do this.
- Lastly, there’s Cole Irvin returning from the IL in an incredibly obvious Still ILL against the Angels. It’s a tough matchup and rust to brush off and he’s a Toby at best. Absolutely not worth the risk.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)