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: 41-27
Today’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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- We have a clear-cut top tier on Saturday, even with Alek Manoah facing the tough Yankee offense. There’s also Julio Urías fresh off a 20-whiff start that could carry over against the Guardians.
- I really hope we see the best command of Kyle Wright against the Cubs. I just want to be incredibly excited for him again and don’t want the pendulum to swing in the wrong direction.
- It’s the third stop of the Alex Wood redemption tour as he faces the Pirates on Saturday with another excellent matchup on the horizon. Keep starting the man.
- Jeffrey Springs gets a cushy outing as well against the Orioles, placing him above his elite-changeup peer Patrick Sandoval, who has a tougher task against the Mariners. That said, it’s the same team The Irish Panda faced last year when he earned 32 whiffs and if his changeup is back for a second start, this could be a massive boost to your week.
- The third tier is a bit tricky. Taijuan Walker is the clear leader of the tier as he faces the Miami Marlins, but are you starting Jameson Taillon against the Jays? Chris Flexen against the Angels? How much faith do you have in Cal Quantrill’s run of 6+ inning games against the mighty Dodgers? These are tough calls warranting their place in the Questionable tier.
- Our streaming pick of the day is Cole Irvin as he faces the Royals. I don’t feel great about it after he almost pulled off the PQS against the Guardians, but there’s a decent chance he can be his best against the Royals.
- The do not start tier is…long. This is a mess and I honestly suggest you avoid all of it. Seriously, all of it. Obviously some of these arms will do well – it’s a game of probabilities! – but I would hate to place my chips across this board.
- I have a small temptation to start Braxton Garrett, though. He could earn grounders galore against the Mets and find himself holding a solid ERA through 5+ frames…or completely fall apart and ruin your week. Seriously, don’t start these.
- I’m tempted to write more, but what more do you need? Dakota Hudson is a coin flip that gets weighted poorly against the Sawx, José Quintana’s pitch separation has been great, but the stuff is too poor to preach consistency, Daniel Lynch is a massive shrug even against Oakland, sporting a terrible floor, and I can’t trust Taylor Hearn, even against the Tigers.
- Quick Sidenote: There’s a chance Zack Greinke doesn’t actually start on Friday, which would mean Daniel Lynch would start Friday instead of Saturday. It shouldn’t really matter – don’t start either one – but just a note.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)