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: 38-23
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- We have a lovely slate of games on Friday, though many in tier one are facing some tough matchups. I’m still starting Pablo López, Walker Buehler, Luis Castillo, and Zac Gallen even with the tough offenses in front of them.
- I elected to raise José Berríos above a few of those names given his matchup against the Tigers – it’s the Tigers and Berríos just fanned thirteen. You have to do it.
- In the second tier, I can see some wanting both Triston McKenzie and Aaron Ashby promoted to the top tier. McKenzie is coming off a shaky outing against Detroit, making it slightly riskier than I’d like.
- As for Aaron Ashby, I’m certainly starting him everywhere, though he hasn’t firmly established a high enough floor yet to become a Tier 1 play. I imagine he’ll get there soon enough.
- I can see others as well wanting to push Luis Garcia into the top tier as well as he faces the Marlins. I’m not incredibly confident in Garcia’s approach of 93/94 mph heaters with a decent cutter…and not much else. It’s good, just not “you need to start this guy” good.
- We have a fun matchup in the same tier with Roansy Contreras and Spencer Strider squaring off. I’m starting them both and hoping for the best, favoring Strider a touch more given the lineup and his pitch count rising to 87 in his last start.
- In the third tier, Paul Blackburn and Kyle Gibson are both Tobys facing mediocre opponents. It should go their way, but there’s still a lower floor than I’d like from these guys.
- On the other side of the Toby spectrum are Marco Gonzales and
Michael Lorenzen,who I feel a little more confident in, but have a tougher hill to climb. You do you here. Update: It’s Jhonathan Diaz instead, and that’s a clear sit.
- Our streaming pick of the day is Devin Smeltzer as he faces the Rays. Tampa Bay hasn’t been a force to be reckoned with this season and Smeltzer has shown the ability to go 5+ strong frames.
- I can see some taking a chance on Chad Kuhl as he faces the Padres with their struggles against right-handers. I can see Kuhl’s slider doing damage against San Diego, though if the slider is gone, this could get ugly.
- It looks like Tylor Megill is making his return on Friday (SWEET!) and he tossed 3.2 frames and faced just 14 batters in his minor league rehab start. I wouldn’t anticipate more than five frames here, lowering his ceiling enough to make you wonder if it’s worthwhile in this Still ILL outing.
- At the very bottom of the tier are Glenn Otto and Rich Hill. They are distinctly lower inside this tier than the other two, though they have a decent chance of making it work. I’d generally avoid these starts, though.
- In the bottom tier, there isn’t much to go after. Maybe Davis Martin has his best start as he tries to comfortable in the White Sox rotation, or maybe Bruce Zimmermann actually has his slider and changeup pumping against the Royals.
- I’m a little intrigued by Jonathan Heasley against the shrug-inducing Orioles. He increased his velocity last time to 95 mph and if that sticks a second time, it could propel him to a strong six-inning performance as he tossed 100+ pitches last time out. Easily the best desperate play if you’re searching for one.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Here’s to hoping Kevin Gausman rebounds against a weak Detroit team to make his #1 spot on these rankings fully justified. He should, but hey, you never know.
- With Zack Wheeler coming off the paternity list, I wonder if the extra rest will allow him to pump 97 mph against the Sneks…or if he’ll have a touch of rust. It’s too high of a ceiling to not place him at #2 in the ranks, though.
- Look, we all have our reservations about how long Martín Pérez will perform at this level, but you simply can’t bench him now. Ride it until the wall arrives.
- I had some difficulty figuring out the order of Framber Valdez and Eric Lauer as both face middling NL East offenses. Just start both, K? Cool.
- In the second tier, MacKenzie Gore is being served a lovely dish of Rockie Road, making a strong play for a Saturday, and the same applies to teammate Mike Clevinger as the Padres prepare for a doubleheader.
- It wasn’t a fun start for ratios in Coors last time out, but Charlie Morton had his best curveball and now faces the Pirates. It seems like this is the start you’ve been waiting for all year.
- I’m stoked to watch Shane Baz and potentially Clayton Kershaw (Saturday or Sunday for TATIAGA) return from their IL stints this weekend. For both, I wonder how many innings they’ll pitch (roughly 4+ frames for each in their rehab outing) and given the tough lineups, it’s likely best to hold off for a start. But Baz did have ten strikeouts in his rehab start…
- And because it’s the Questionable Start tier, it means I feel uncomfortable starting George Kirby against the Red Sox. His four-seamer gives him a chance to succeed in any evening, and let’s hope it’s there against Boston’s strong bats.
- I wish I were more confident in Hunter Greene’s fastball command and it feels like a Cherry Bomb outing against the Cardinals. Good luck.
- He’s rostered in more than 40% of leagues to my surprise, though this may be the first start I’d legit consider Zach Plesac as he faces the Athletics. His slider has been plenty better across the last three starts while his changeup has earned a TON of strikes in that time. Seriously, I believe it’s 26/28 strikes in his lat two outings alone. Wild.
- In the bottom tier, we have our super reluctant streaming pick of the day in Ryan Feltner, who has showcased increased velocity, flirting with 95 mph as of late. Now he not only leaves Coors but faces a San Diego team that fails to clobber right-handed pitching. It makes for the best moment to stream Feltner…if you’re ever going to stream Feltner. I’m crossing my fingers.
- Lastly, I can see some going after the likes of Matt Swarmer, Zach Thompson, Tyler Wells, and Daniel Lynch. However, Swarmer is facing a dangerous Yankee crew, Thompson doesn’t have his curveball, and the floors of Wells and Lynch outweigh the potential success even against weak lineups.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)