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: 39-23
Today’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.Update: An early scratch this morning was Mike Clevinger as he came down with an illness. I’d expect Nick Martinez to start instead, who tossed four frames about a week ago. He’s a borderline Questionable/DNS like Feltner.
- 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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- There are few phenomenal plays landing on Sunday, making for a potentially wild final day of H2H matchups. Strap in.
- Take Carlos Rodón and Tarik Skubal, for example. Rodón has been far from his best self lately and now faces the strong Dodgers, while Skubal has looked like an ace and has a real challenge against the Jays. I’m starting both as their ceilings are elite with a low chance of hitting their floors.
- In the second tier, I’m leading with Jameson Taillon despite his rough outing. He’s still crafty with his kitchen sink approach and the Cubs don’t pose a large enough threat.
I’m expecting Mike Clevinger to return from his illness to make his start on Sunday in a prime Rockie Road matchup. He may be a little limited or he may be best with another day of rest. We’ll see.Update: Nope, Clevinger was placed on the COVID IL. Bummer.
- We haven’t fallen for Julio Urías like in 2021, but he’s still a great arm in your lineup the heavy majority of the time. I’d still start him against a Giants team known for performing better against southpaws.
- I can see some contention with Patrick Sandoval’s spot in the second tier against the Mets. He hasn’t had his primo changeup for a good while, though I think he still has enough in his repertoire to give a solid chance of success here. In short, it’s higher than a coin flip that he doesn’t hurt you and I think that’s worth the ceiling he possesses.
- In the third tier, it gave me no pleasure to put Robbie Ray at the top with his start against the Red Sox. After what I thought was an upward trajectory, Ray elected to change his arsenal to focus more on sinkers for whatever reason, resulting in another poor outing. Now against Boston, I have the least amount of faith in his success than ever before (which, of course, will mean this will be an amazing outing). I’d still lean starting, but it’s a tough call on a Sunday.
- Joining Ray is the streaming pick of the day in Cole Irvin, as he faces the Guardians in Cleveland. He’s been a productive Toby and the Guardians are the kind of team you steam against. Pretty straightforward here.
- It gets tough when you look at Edward Cabrera and Graham Ashcraft – two young starters who have turned heads lately. Sadly, they both face strong opponents in the Astros and heating up Cardinals and while they’ve both succeeded lately, their floors should not be ignored. I hope they soar above.
- If you’re looking for other options, Ranger Suárez and Ross Stripling could perform well against the Sneks and Tigers. When in doubt, take a guy who could go 5+ for a winning team against a poor offense.
- Lastly, Jon Gray has been volatile this year, to say the least, and I’m shrugging when asked if his slider or 96 mph velocity will appear against the White Sox. I sure hope at least one does.
- In the bottom tier, Jason Alexander throws a ridiculous sinker that moves a ton across the zone, giving him a chance to luck into outs for five or more frames. I sure don’t want to rely on that and put my WHIP at serious risk.
- If there was a start to believe in Germán Márquez, it’s this one. His slider was pristine last time out and he not only starts on the road, but against a Padres team that hates facing right-handers.
- Keep in mind – Tanner Houck tossed 22 pitches Friday night. If he’s actually starting for the Sawx on Sunday (Garrett Whitlock hit the IL), then it won’t be very long.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)