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Starting Pitcher Streamer Rankings – 5/25 & 5/26

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:

 

Nick’s Loose Team Offense Rankings

 

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: 28-18

 

Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

 

  • Despite back-to-back poor ERA outings, Robbie Ray is my #1 play of the day as he faces the Athletics. His velocity is back up and he’s locating well – get hyped.
  • It’s also a showcase of the lack of defiantly wonderful starts for Thursday. Lucas Giolito is the highest ranked member of The List, but a matchup against Boston isn’t ideal. Meanwhile, I snuck in Drew Rasmussen at the bottom as those who have him rostered are going to ride this one against the Marlins, especially after showing life in his slider and cutter last start.

 

  • In the second tier, Cristian Javier rebounded from a 7 ER outing to dominate the Rangers with high heaters. There’s volatility here – his breakers struggled to earn strikes – and it’s not a lock that he repeats the same success with his four-seamer, but it’s a solid play to make against the Guardians.
  • Charlie Morton feels like he took two steps forward and one step back and now gets the Phillies. I want to believe he’s trending in the right direction, though some may want to be cautious here. I get it.

 

  • The third tier isn’t as enticing as we normally see. There’s the popular early Toby Paul Blackburnthe Cherry Bomb Kyle Hendricksand the most boring of boring Cal Quantrill against a tough squad in Houston. Blegh.
  • The streaming pick of the day falls onto JP Sears as he starts for the Yankees against the mediocre Orioles offense. I generally don’t go for starts like these, though Sears has strikeout ability, fanning 21 batters in his last three minor league games. He’s the pick solely because I don’t trust Aaron Ashby as a southpaw against the Padres + Reid Detmers is shaky without his slider, even if it’s the Rangers. There are better streams than this.

 

  • In the final tier, I wish it was a better situation for Ranger Suárezbut he doesn’t have his changeup and Atlanta crushes lefties. Be careful.
  • I wish I could be higher on Jakob Junisbut his slider has fallen off lately and he hasn’t flexed his filthy changeup since his first outing of the year. The Mets can bring a lot of heat in their bats and I’d sit this one out.

 

  • It’s a lovely matchup for Zach Thompsonbut he hasn’t had his hook all year. I don’t think his cutter/sinker approach is enough to warrant a start, even against Rockie Road.
  • I wouldn’t call myself a fan on relying on Rich Hill moving forward, especially against a White Sox team that performs far better against left-handers.

 

Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

 

  • It’s unusual seeing a third of the starts in the top tier, but here we are. It’s difficult ordering them given none are inside the Top 20 of The List, but you have plenty of reliable arms going against weak teams. Start ’em all.
  • Despite all the bad luck, Aaron Nola is set to face Atlanta as they struggle against right-handed hitters this season. This is the start, I can feel it.

 

  • In the second tier, Martín Pérez secures the top spot as he’s been on arguably the best Vargas Rule of all starters this season. He gets his easiest matchup of the past month in the Athletics and should be able to keep chugging forward. It’s likely not going to last too much longer, but ride it while you can.
  • Our streaming pick of the day is Justin Steele in a great matchup against the Reds. He’s fanned 19 batters across his last two starts and this seems like a safe play with some fun upside.

 

  • You can also consider Hunter Greene opposite Steele after he changed his approach to be slider first, fastball second. Not a bad idea when you can “surprise” batters with a 100 mph heater. As long as he can keep throwing the slider for strikes, he’ll be able to produce against the Cubs.
  • In the third tier, Aaron Civale could continue his heavy cutter/curveball usage and perform against the Tigers. I’m a fan of this one, though I recognize the low floor if he’s not feeling one of the two pitches.

 

  • Dakota Hudson is a coin-flip and if those grounders turn into outs, he can go six frames against the Brewers. Up to you if you want to chase it.
  • To me, Hyun Jin Ryu is a Toby for a winning team. That means you should approach his start against the Angels with caution.

 

  • At the top of the final tier is Michael Wacha who gets a ChiSox team that struggles against right-handers. His changeup is looking great and grants a chance at success on Thursday.
  • I don’t care what the matchup is for Germán MárquezI’m not doing it. Do yourself a favor and ignore it completely.

 

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.

  • Michael says:

    Do you make anything of Ashby’s reverse splits (career .375 wOBA against L, .263 wOBA against R) when evaluating whether the Padres will give him problems? Maybe Ashby doesn’t pitch like a typical lefty, and the Padres’ general success against lefties isn’t necessarily predictive of how they will perform against him.

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