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Starting Pitcher Streamer Rankings – 5/5 & 5/6

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 – 12am 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: 20-8

 

Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

 

  • Lots of fun arms are going on Thursday, though none of them are the defacto #1 play with most facing tough opponents. These are auto-starts for a reason, though, and don’t overthink it. Start em all.
  • Yes, Jesús Luzardo deserves to be included in this crew today as the Padres aren’t a monstrous lineup to get in the way of a potential double-digit strikeout performance from Luzardo.

 

  • In the second tier, I wish Miles Mikolas were facing a weaker crew, but given how well he’s pitched after his initial stumble, you’d be hard-pressed to find a manager who doesn’t let him fly in San Francisco.
  • Between Tarik Skubal and José Urquidy squaring off, take your pick. I’m leaning on Skubal as he’s showcased a higher ceiling as of late, but Urquidy’s deep arsenal could prevail as he’s facing a weaker offense.

 

  • The third tier isn’t nearly as rough as we normally see. The first three plays are all facing middling teams and could prevail, including Hunter Greene despite his drop in velocity. The Brewers have woken up in the past two weeks though – 103 wRC+ across the last 14 days – so be cautious if you can.
  • Opposite Greene is our streaming pick of the day, Adrian HouserI have little adoration for his approach, but the Reds are the Reds and Houser could go six strong.

 

  • It hasn’t been smooth sailing for Nick Martinezwho has had an even split of helping vs. hurting this season. He gets the Marlins, who like the Brewers have been a little above average recently. Here’s to hoping he brings his best stuff to the table for a smooth time at the park.
  • The final two arms – Cal Quantrill and Taijuan Walker – each have tough squads to endure and could have a rough go of it, even if Walker just survived the Phillies & Quantrill simply “finds a way” often. Update: It’s Aaron Civale today instead of Quantrill and he’s a Do Not Start against the Jays with his lowered velocity.

 

  • In the bottom tier, I have little interest in these pitchers, even in deeper leagues. There’s a chance Spenser Watkins pulls it off, or Chris Archer survives on the other side, but I don’t think it’s worth the risk.
  • I do wonder if Tanner Houck will follow Rich Hill in this outing like we saw last week. It could make a sneaky chance at a Win…if the Red Sox are ahead against Shohei Ohtani.

 

Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

 

  • So many fun pitchers are going on Friday – make sure to tune into Kevin Gausman vs. Shane Bieber as it’s destined to be a fantastic game.
  • You may be shocked at Yu Darvish’s lowish ranking given a date with the Marlins. Opponent rarely matters for Darvish, which means you slot him in your lineup and don’t think twice.

 

  • Some may want Eric Lauer in the second tier as he faces the tough Atlanta lineup, but after two straight double-digit strikeout games, you have no choice.
  • Speaking of the second tier, it’s a small one with Merrill Kelly and Luis Garcia as its sole residents. Kelly is on a roll and gets a lovely date with Rockie Road while Garcia is flirting with his 2021 self and should be fine to start against the Tigers.

 

  • The third tier also has a few names that could be considered for the second tier. Chad Kuhl’s slider has been filthy as of late and after a strong outing inside Coors last week, he’s now not just on the road, but in Arizona. I can’t help but keep anxiety over his middling 93 mph heater and the fact it’s Chad Kuhlthough don’t let that stop you if you have him rostered.
  • The streaming pick of the day Tyler Anderson may be someone consistently started by his managers. He’s proven himself as a Toby for a winning club and a date with the Cubs seems lovely. Still, don’t forget he has a capped ceiling, making for a worse floor than we normally involve ourselves with.

 

  • With Sonny Gray needing another rehab start, it looks like we will, in fact, get another start from Josh Winder against the Athletics. He’s a backup streaming option for the weekend ahead and you could do plenty worse, though there’s a decent chance at a stumble from a young arm.
  • Alex Cobb had a tough return from the IL last weekend, making this a touch more fragile than ideal against the Cardinals. He still had his velocity, though, and it seems like he should be good to go.

 

  • At the bottom of the tier, JT Brubaker and Dane Dunning each have held strong sliders as of late. With Coffee Cakes getting the lowly Reds, he could earn himself a victory with a fair amount of strikeouts along the way.
  • As for Dunning, his slider & overall command were spectacular over the weekend. The Yankees are a tough team to endure, but if the same ability returns, he could come out on top.

 

  • In the bottom tier, Huascar Ynoa may be getting the call back to the majors with an open spot for Atlanta on Friday. I anticipated a better spring for Ynoa over the winter and there’s a chance he’s looking like his best self after a stint in the minors. Far too dangerous to trust right away, of course.
  • Lastly, Jordan Lyles is far from your worst option as he’s earned success when he has his breakers working on a given day. It’s a toss-up if that’ll happen against Kansas City, though, so only roll the dice if you don’t have a whole lot to lose.

 

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.

  • Sweet Chin Music says:

    Hey Nick, I think Aaron Civale is starting today against the Jays. Where would you rank him?

  • Mike Trout - Meteorologist Extraordinaire says:

    As for Tyler Anderson’s start, I’ve heard that the wind will be blowing in hard (16 mph, gusts of 30+) from CF at Wrigley. There will also be a constant drizzle, as well, and a chilly temperature, which batters hate.
    I’d love to hear what you make of this. Did you factor any of this in when making your pick?

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