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: 41-28
Today’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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Those searching for major swings on Sunday may be a bit disappointed as we only have four in the top tier. Sandy Alcantara and Chris Bassitt are easy selections, though Luis Severino was pushed back from earlier in the week with a non-COVID illness and faces a tough Jays team. Still start him, of course, and good luck.
- It may be a bit tough for Shane Bieber as well as he is dealt his second brutal opponent in a row in the Dodgers. His breakers have been too good for me to slot him in the second tier and we have to hope the floor doesn’t reveal itself here.
- In the second tier, Nick Pivetta has been on such a roll that he claims the top spot. Logan Gilbert has been solid, even if the breakers aren’t fully realized (great outing last time!), and Alex Cobb is returning from a short hiatus to face the Pirates. I’d let them all fly easily.
- Cristian Javier rebounded in a fantastic way earlier this week with his four-seamers and hopefully will carry it into Sunday, while Michael Kopech is on the other side of the bump, hopefully starting after leaving early with a knee injury. He removed fluid and is expected to start on Sunday, hopefully with 96+ mph velocity.
- In the third tier, Corey Kluber gets a bit of respite in Baltimore and could bolster Sunday squads, while Ian Anderson hopes his fastball command is in order for a date in Wrigley.
- Our streaming pick of the day is Dane Dunning as he faces the Tigers. His command has been solid across the last month and the Tigers…have not.
- I hope Zach Eflin‘s knee is alright as he gets the Nationals. The Nats have given a fair amount of pitchers difficulty this year and Eflin is a risky proposition on Sunday.
- I’m excited to see the return of Andrew Heaney on Sunday as he hosts the Guardians. It’s a bit of a “Still ILL”, though his solid rehab across five innings and 19 batters faced outlines 5+ frames for Heaney and I’m cool running him out there.
- In the bottom tier, Mitch Keller and Merrill Kelly give me serious pause. Keller has been erratic this season, but effective as of late and I can see a scenario where a manager desperately tosses him out there on Sunday. For Kelly, he’s a “Toby” facing one of the most potent offenses around. I’d hate to be forced to take the chance.
- If you’re desperate for something consider Chris Archer against the Sneks. It’s rare for Archer to find five frames, but hey, he’s done it before and it could return a Win in Arizona.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)