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: 31-19
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Only three sit atop the top tier for Monday, leading with Walker Buehler against the Pirates. Sure, he hasn’t been what we’ve wanted him to be this season, but it’s the Pirates and you should anticipate a great outing in Los Angeles.
- Zac Gallen is coming off a rough outing, but I expect him to bounce back against an Atlanta squad that’s struggled against right-handers.
- The second tier begins with Drew Rasmussen, who has gone two straight starts of earning whiffs on his slider and cutter. It could be a step forward in the strikeout department, though his ratios did rise as well. A date with Texas should side with the sweet more than the sour.
- Aaron Ashby is making his second start as a locked member of the Brewers rotation and I like his chances of success against a middling Cubs offense.
- The second tier ends with Pablo López as he faces a date in Coors. I imagine myself still starting him in most cases, but I have to recognize the risk of dealing with Coors. It’s no fun.
Charlie Morton joins Pablo at the bottom of the tier as he heads to Arizona. His recent struggles have given us caution and the Diamondbacks should ease most of our fears.Update: Atlanta has finally elected to place Spencer Strider into the rotation and I’d be a bit cautious letting him fly today – his pitch count should be limited around 65-70 pitches, making a small window for success.
- We have our streaming pick of the day leading off the third tier in David Peterson as he faces the Nationals. I know, they just roughed up fellow southpaw Austin Gomber, but I’m digging the shape of Peterson’s slider and I can see this one playing out well.
- It’s not a pretty tier one Monday, elevating Nick Martinez to the #10 spot even if I’m not very confident in this outing. I think his stuff is generally solid while the results haven’t quite panned out for him so far. I’d generally avoid the third tier and lower to start your week.
- Yes, that includes Tobys who reside at the bottom of Tier 3 – Paul Blackburn and Kyle Gibson – as they face some difficult bats. I would prefer not to risk it.
- And Rich Hill is getting the Orioles, but doesn’t go long in games and has a lower floor than I’d like.
- In the bottom tier, there’s a chance that Dylan Bundy can pull off a start against the Tigers. He tossed his elite slider 30% of the time in his last start and if he keeps leaning in heavily into the breaker, there’s a window for success.
- The same goes with Zach Plesac, who finally had his excellent slider last outing. He’s still missing his changeup, though, and if he can find that secondary too, then he could cruise against the Royals.
- Lastly, the Brewers need an extra arm for today’s doubleheader, leading to Ethan Small getting called up. He’s walked a number of batters across his last four starts, sporting a low-90s heater and wicked changeup. I think it’s too risky to start him, but there are worse options.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- We have aces in the top tier on Tuesday…and Martín Pérez at the bottom as he faces the Rays. Insane, isn’t it? Pérez has been that good and you simply can’t deny starting him at this point. Just let it fly and we’ll talk later.
- I also elevated Cristian Javier to the top tier as he faces the Athletics. His four-seamer has dominated the top of the zone and as long as he keeps getting strikes with breakers, he’ll coast to another solid game.
- I was tempted to put George Kirby in the top tier as well, though I settled on the second tier as he gets the Orioles. Kirby should be started in your leagues, I simply needed to knock him down a peg for not being that overwhelming starter thus far.
- Blake Snell and Charlie Morton are considered a small step above the bottom four of the tier as well, with Snell possibly getting into his groove with his fastball & Morton getting a cushy matchup against the Sneks that should get him back on track.
- The bottom four of the tier are a bit shakier than I’d like, but you’re still starting them. Luis Castillo looked plenty better against the Jays last week and if he has that changeup working, he’ll survive a start against the strong Red Sox lineup.
- The duel between Jordan Montgomery and Noah Syndergaard will be a fun one to watch. Both arms aren’t performing like Tier 1 plays and get a tough matchup…but I’d still take the chance and play them in my lineups.
- Oh, and then there’s Cal Quantrill, who has been a steady Toby through the year and now gets the Royals. You gotta roll with that.
- In the third tier, there’s another Toby in Adam Wainwright as he faces the Padres. Waino isn’t cruising like last year, but the Padres are a bit questionable against right-handers and this is decent enough to start him. Most of the time.
- The other three options aren’t as enticing, though it contains our streaming pick of the day in Devin Smeltzer. Deven is fresh off a strong seven-inning performance and the Tigers are a solid team to stream against. Don’t expect much for the long haul from Devin, but this could work.
- I wouldn’t be chasing Jakob Junis or Ryan Yarbrough for the most part, though. Junis did have a better slider last time, but the changeup (despite its increased usage) wasn’t incredible, while the Rays aren’t letting The Fratty Pirate go too long into starts.
- In the bottom tier, I can see worlds where Michael Wacha and Daniel Lynch come through against their opponents. There’s even a part of me that believes Lynch will earn a ton of whiffs on his slider against him and suddenly jump onto the stage of the fantasy world after this game. That doesn’t mean you should grab him now, though.
- As for the rest of the names…I wouldn’t touch this. Edward Cabrera gets a rough introduction to the 2022 season with a start in Coors (followed by the Giants) and I’d avoid him until next week at the earliest.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)