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: 32-20
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- I know, Carlos Rodón hasn’t been great across his last three starts, yet here he is at the #2 spot for Wednesday. I don’t think his stuff has dramatically dipped during his performance valley and considering many in this tier have their own warts/poor matchups, I’m going to still lean on Rodón and his talent.
- This feels like the start that Robbie Ray becomes Robbie, the Detroyer, right?! He’s been at 94 mph and earning all the whiffs, outlining what should be dominance ahead against the Orioles.
- In the second tier, we have four players with good matchups and one without. Michael Kopech has sat for eight days and hopefully brings the velocity from Sunday Night Baseball with him against the Jays. With the Toronto bats tempered a bit this season, I’d throw Kopech out there, though if it comes with 94/95 mph velocity, it may be hard to endure.
- As for the others, I consider them a small step above Kopech as you can shuffle them in any order you like. Here’s to hoping Garrett Whitlock can blossom as a starter in a lovely date with the Reds, for example.
- In the third tier, all of these options are…meh. Hyun Jin Ryu is the best option of the lot, but I can’t say I enjoy throwing a lefty against the White Sox, even if they are missing some of their best players.
- The reluctant streaming pick of the day is Dakota Hudson, who is a coin-flip to me against the Padres. San Diego hasn’t done well against right-handers this year and hopefully Hudson generates enough outs in the field to make this worthwhile.
- In the bottom tier, Trevor Rogers gets a sit from me as he heads to Coors. I was encouraged last start with his 52% changeup usage, but there’s far too much concern dealing with Colorado for me to take the chance. Let’s hope he soars and gives us confidence moving forward.
- You could argue Kyle Hendricks has been a “Cherry Bomb”, warranting a spot in the third tier with his 50/50 tendencies. I have him down here, though, given how poor the bad starts have been, making the damage outweigh the beneficial outings.
- We have a lot of “Toby”s who face tough teams, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t a chance it pans out. Cole Irvin and Madison Bumgarner could each pull these off and have the opportunities for six frames if they are cruising.
- And I know José Quintana has been far better than expected as of late, but do you really want to wager he can excel against the Dodgers a second time? I don’t.
- Tuesday’s Rockies vs. Marlins game postponed, creating a doubleheader today. That means Edward Cabrera and Germán Márquez square off today…and I don’t want to touch either one.
- The Nationals are starting Evan Lee and I have little interest in chasing it. He’s coming from Double-A and struggled in his most recent outing, going mostly fastball/curveball. Far too risky.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Would you look at that, Sandy Alcantara takes the top spot for Thursday’s games. It’s hard to deny the man after tossing three straight games of 8+ inning ball, fresh off a fourteen strikeout game. Sigh. What a dude.
- Rounding out the tier are Alek Manoah and Shohei Ohtani, two more pitchers with the Aces Gonna Ace tag. Spoiler alert: That means you start them and don’t think about it.
- In the second tier, Sean Manaea should be a solid play against the Brewers. He has the ability to go off in a given start and the Brewers, despite being Top 10 in wOBA this season, aren’t scary enough to hold back Manaea.
- I’m letting Alex Wood loose against the Marlins, even if his 2022 has been rough thus far. I dig the fact he’s at 92.8 mph with his sinker and his slider is still a solid offering. This should play out in his favor.
- The final two of the second tier are Tony Gonsolin and Jameson Taillon, and I wrestled with their order. On one hand, Gonsolin has been pitching well and his slider has earned a good amount of strikes lately, but the Mets offense can pack a punch on a given day.
- On the other, Jameson Taillon has found success in his kitchen-sink approach, earning trust of managers everywhere. Still, it’s the Angels and it feels as though there is inevitable regression on the horizon. Hopefully it’s not against the Angels.
- The third tier begins with Chris Flexen and Corey Kluber, each facing decent lineups as a proper “Toby”. I’m fine with starting them, though we all recognize it can go either way.
- The streaming pick of the day is Matthew Liberatore as he faces the Cubs. I’m not a huge fan of this one as Liberatore’s heater still makes me question his ceiling, but the curveball is a strong offering that could return a productive day at the park.
- The bottom two options in the questionable start tier are distant from the other three. Adrian Houser is a pure coin-flip against the Padres and I’m not chasing this on in the slightest.
- Alex Faedo has intrigue with his slider, but it hasn’t shown up across the last two starts. His success relies heavily on that pitch coming through against a dangerous Twins crew and I’m not sure how the cards will land.
- The bottom tier begins with Ian Anderson in Coors as I was already anxious about Anderson. A date in Coors makes this an easy pass for me.
- I can see Jordan Lyles being his best self against the Mariners, but it’s too risky to let it ride on my fantasy teams. Same thing with Taijuan Walker against the Dodgers.
- I have a lot of interest in Graham Ashcraft‘s start against the Nationals. He boasts a 97mph cutter and sinker and if he’s able to find consistent strikes with his slider, there’s a clear path to success here. He hasn’t controlled his breaker yet, though, making me watch from afar instead of picking him up now.
- I know some have adoration for Keegan Thompson, but simply put, I don’t think he offers enough to be of much consideration against a Cardinals offense that can quickly put runs on the board.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)