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: 41-26
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s nice to have a top tier where I’m enjoying my confidence in starting every member – I really don’t see how you don’t start any of these pitchers.
- I find it weird that Shohei Ohtani is the definitive bottom rank of the tier as he faces the Mariners, but I’ve checked this list and checked it twice. Yep, he’s #5 and that’s the way it is.
- The second tier is a bit more contentious. Martín Pérez encountered his first bump in the road since April last time out, failing to hit the edges with his cutters and sinkers constantly. Normally, it would be a tough call to decide if his Vargas Rule wall had been hit or not, but this is the Tigers. His changeup was well spotted and you’re better off chasing a rebound than conservatively benching.
- Continuing in the second tier, George Kirby will likely be started everywhere as he faces the Angels. Do I feel great about it? Not necessarily, but his four-seamer gives him ample opportunity to go six strong, especially if his secondaries are earning consistent strikes.
- I’m glad to see the road to recovery continuing for Tylord Megill as he faces the Brewers. I’d normally have him below Kirby, but there’s still a touch of rust let to shake off for Megill as he likely tosses fewer pitches.
- In the third tier, Rich Hill is our streaming pick of the day as he faces the Athletics. He’s only 7% rostered in standard leagues and has displayed the ability to go at least five for a winning ball club. I’m cool rolling him out there for this.
- If you need another streaming, consider Matt Swarmer against the Padres. I know, he just allowed a ton of longballs to the Yankees, but the Padres are far worse against right-handers and Swarmer’s plus slider could catalyze a strong outing.
- It’s hard to decide what to do with Aaron Ashby against the Mets. I believe in the southpaw long-term, but his last start has left us sour as he tossed far too many hittable pitches, even if the defense let him down a bit. It’s a high risk/reward play and up to you to decide.
- I’ve been digging what we see from Triston McKenzie this season, though a date in Coors is rarely a fun experience. I’m generally conservative in Colorado.
- Who knows, Paul Blackburn has been such a stable Toby this year that he could pull it off against the Red Sox. I won’t blame you for taking the shot, especially in QS leagues.
- And don’t ignore Beau Brieske if you’re searching for starts. He’s comfortably gone 5+ multiple times and now gets a middling offense in the Rangers. Sure, the floor is low and I don’t recommend it for standard affairs, but it is an option.
In the bottom tier, I want nothing to do with Drew Rasmussen against the Yankees. He’s been going through a rough stretch, hasn’t been able to earn consistent whiffs with his cutter and slider, and now faces the daunting task of facing the mighty Yankee offense. Nope, not interested.Update: Rasmussen has a hamstring injury, which means Josh Fleming gets the call instead. No thanks.
- There’s slight intrigue still with Chad Kuhl if he has his slider and curve working, but it’s Coors and the Guardians are a volatile offense, presenting more potential danger than I’m comfortable with.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- With his dominant start against the Dodgers, Carlos Rodón is once again the #1 play as he faces the Pirates. Not much contention from the rest of the crew, here.
- That’s a product of the bottom three arms not quite carrying the full confidence we want. Lucas Giolito has earned whiffs but not carried strong ratios lately and faces a tough Astros crew, Pablo López may be affected by his wrist injury, and Framber Valdez has a lower floor than we’d like as a southpaw against the ChiSox.
- The second tier Charlie Morton and Jon Gray have delicious matchups and should be started where you can. Morton’s curveball has come alive lately while Gray had both his slider and 96+ mph velocity in his last outing. These are good things.
- Despite his volatility, Robbie Ray’s adjustment to a sinker-heavy approach may limit the strikeouts, but it returned seven shutout frames. Now against the Angels, he’s worth the start.
- We’ve seen two straight outings of Eric Lauer sitting below 93 mph and losing the command of his breakers, but he does feature a middling Reds lineup as he could break out of his funk. I think it’s worth the gamble.
- Speaking of gambles, Hunter Greene and Shane Baz are also here. Greene has found success as a slider-first starter, saving his four-seamer to carve lineups. Meanwhile, Baz has a chance to go five frames here against the lowly Orioles and while he could be allowed just four frames, I think he’s worth the spot in your lineup if you have him rostered.
- In the third tier, we have a mix of solid starters in poor matchups…and Devin Smeltzer as a wannabe Toby facing the Sneks, making him our streaming pick of the day. He’s been able to go six strong before and could do so here.
- The rest of the tier is a tough call, MacKenzie Gore gets Coors, Adam Wainwright the Sawx, Jordan Montgomery the Jays, and Michael Lorenzen may have the easiest task of facing the Mariners. These all feel like coin flips and go with your gut. Good luck, we’re all counting on you.
- In the bottom tier, I’m still not confident in Michael Wacha surviving the Cardinals. Go with it if you want, I don’t buy his CGSHO against the Angels and think this has too low of a floor without a high enough reward.
- Zack Greinke is returning from the IL and normally he’d be in the third tier, but I’m not sure how rusty he’ll be in this Still ILL. Play it safe as he doesn’t ball out often.
- As for the rest of the crew, I’d avoid Ross Stripling against the Yankees despite his wonderful two-step last week. The Yankees are hot right now and you don’t want to put yourself in harm’s way.
- Maybe Madison Bumgarner can force a solid outing against the Twins, maybe Zach Plesac has his changeup along with the improved slider against the Dodgers, maybe we finally see Ranger Suárez have a full repertoire against the Dodgers, and who knows, the real Zach Thompson could have his cutter and curve work against the Giants.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)