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: 40-24
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Look at that trio at the top of Monday’s rankings. Sandy Alcantara, Alek Manoah, and Aaron Nola. Sigh…
- The second tier is where the actual rankings begin. Alex Wood leads the way after taking care of business last time out against Rockie Road and gets another great matchup against the Royals. I’d roll him out everywhere.
I want to believe Blake Snell still has it in him and a date with the Cubs should spell success. I understand the trepidation as given his early struggles, but this seems relatively safe with a high ceiling.Update: Nope, it’s Yu Darvish instead with Snell starting later in the week. Get Darvish inside your lineups.
- I have faith Cristian Javier is far better than we’ve seen as of late. As long as he has either breaker control in the zone or elevated fastball command, he should excel against Texas.
- I’m loving the look of Ian Anderson’s changeup at the moment and if it sticks for the Nationals, it’ll return dividends for trusting managers.
- In the third tier, Merrill Kelly seems like a safe bet in a repeat matchup against the Reds. Don’t expect the world, but this should help.
The streaming pick of the day is oddly Johnny Cueto as he faces the Tigers. He’s been able to go six frames with ease and the Tigers aren’t ones to bring concern.Update: With Cueto tossing over 70 pitches in relief on Sunday, Lance Lynn is now starting for the White Sox in his return from the IL. I see it as a Still ILL against the Tigers, even if they are one of the weakest offenses in baseball – he was lit up in his last rehab start and only faced 20 batters in that outing.
- I’m considering Brady Singer a coin flip moving forward as he’s a Cherry Bomb. I wouldn’t consider the Giants an elite offense at the moment, making this is a decent play if you want to take an early week gamble. Update: He’s now the streaming pick of the day with Lynn replacing Cueto.
- Speaking of gambles, Mike Minor has not been productive across his first two starts of the season. However, we expect the rust to fully shake off at some point and now getting the Sneks a second time with more innings under his belt could return a positive evening.
- In the bottom tier, if you need to chase strikeouts, by all
Johnsmeans go for Josiah Gray or Mitch Keller. I think the floor is too risky to chase the reward, but hey, go for it. Also, Mitch, can you please have the same slider that you had last time? K thx.
- The only other arm of actual consideration is Chris Flexen as he faces the Twins. The man has been able to go 6+ innings for a winning team before, but this is the Twins and he’s in a rough stretch. I wouldn’t do this.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s a short top tier on Tuesday with Gerrit Cole, Max Fried, Dylan Cease, and Logan Webb all clearly leading the way. Don’t think twice, just do the dang thing.
- Some may not feel as though Chris Bassitt deserves a spot in the top tier given his recent struggles. It’s absolutely fair and I don’t have an issue dropping him into the second tier. Personally, I think his skill set is still intact and he’s worth the gamble against the Brewers. If you have him, you’re starting him.
- In the second tier, Sean Manaea, Miles Mikolas, and Nick Pivetta are all clear starts with their great matchups. Yes, I know how weird it is that we feel confident in Pivetta, but hey, it’s the world we live in right now.
- It looks as though Joe Ryan will be toeing the slab for the Twins on Tuesday as he returns from his COVID-IL stint. There’s a feeling it could be a Still ILL outing, but I generally believe in Ryan’s ability and think his floor isn’t too low here.
- Should Logan Gilbert be in the third tier? I think his heater is still excellent and while the secondaries haven’t taken the leap we hoped to see this season, he’s still a strong play each outing. The Twins are a mighty team, though, and I don’t blame you if you want to be a little conservative here.
- The streaming pick of the day is Zach Eflin as he’s rostered in just 19% of leagues. Shocking, I know. He’s utilized his curveball plenty more over the last two weeks and it could be a major factor in this start against the Marlins…or it could fail to do enough and the floor shows itself once again. It’s not a lock, but I’d go after it if I could.
- In the third tier, I feel incredibly weird placing Shane Bieber at the top of the Questionable options, but he heads to Coors in what may be his worst possible scenario. Bieber’s fastball is his biggest liability at sub 91 mph levels, leaning heavily on his slider to carve lineups. However, Coors’ biggest impact is reducing movement on breakers, which may mean Shane can’t get by like he normally does. I’m worried.
- It’s really hard to place Noah Syndergaard these days as he’s shown the ability to cruise through 6+ frames, but has a propensity for disaster outings. Now it’s the Dodgers and it induces far more anxiety than I’d like.
- The rest of the third tier isn’t pretty, either. José Urquidy isn’t carrying the repertoire depth we envisioned in the off-season, Yusei Kikuchi doesn’t appear to be the breakout arm we hoped he was, and we’re not in a place with Matthew Liberatore where we’re confident he can take advantage of a date with the Pirates.
- Our backup streamer would be Zach Davies against the Cincinnati Reds as his vintage changeup has appeared across his last few outings. Hosting the Reds does make for a possible celebration in Arizona.
- I wish Trevor Rogers didn’t have to face the Phillies on Tuesday as he featured an excellent heater and changeup in his last outing. All that’s missing is his slider at this point and he could survive this outing as he takes more steps forward toward redemption. It may be a bit too risky, though, so you do you.
- In the bottom tier, Corey Kluber has a date with the mighty Yankees and despite some success against them, that’s far too dangerous for me.
- Despite Kyle Hendricks facing the right-handed weak Padres, the floor is simply too low to chase at this point. I wouldn’t be rostering Hendricks at all right now.
- The rest of the bottom tier is mostly poor matchups for middling arms. I wouldn’t take chances on JT Brubaker or Dane Dunning, nor would I expect Stephen Strasburg to suddenly throw 93 mph after sitting sub 91 in his first start back. There are better streams to chase later in the week.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)