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: 33-20
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Would you look at that, Sandy Alcantara takes the top spot for Thursday’s games. It’s hard to deny the man after tossing three straight games of 8+ inning ball, fresh off a fourteen strikeout game. Sigh. What a dude.
- Rounding out the tier are Alek Manoah and Shohei Ohtani, two more pitchers with the Aces Gonna Ace tag. Spoiler alert: That means you start them and don’t think about it.
- In the second tier, Sean Manaea should be a solid play against the Brewers. He has the ability to go off in a given start and the Brewers, despite being Top 10 in wOBA this season, aren’t scary enough to hold back Manaea.
- I’m letting Alex Wood loose against the Marlins, even if his 2022 has been rough thus far. I dig the fact he’s at 92.8 mph with his sinker and his slider is still a solid offering. This should play out in his favor.
- The final two of the second tier are Tony Gonsolin and Jameson Taillon, and I wrestled with their order. On one hand, Gonsolin has been pitching well and his slider has earned a good amount of strikes lately, but the Mets offense can pack a punch on a given day.
- On the other, Jameson Taillon has found success in his kitchen-sink approach, earning trust of managers everywhere. Still, it’s the Angels and it feels as though there is inevitable regression on the horizon. Hopefully it’s not against the Angels.
- The third tier begins with Chris Flexen and Corey Kluber, each facing decent lineups as a proper Toby. I’m fine with starting them, though we all recognize it can go either way.
- The streaming pick of the day is Matthew Liberatore as he faces the Cubs. I’m not a huge fan of this one as Liberatore’s heater still makes me question his ceiling, but the curveball is a strong offering that could return a productive day at the park.
- The bottom two options in the questionable start tier are distant from the other three. Adrian Houser is a pure coin-flip against the Padres and I’m not chasing this on in the slightest.
- Alex Faedo has intrigue with his slider, but it hasn’t shown up across the last two starts. His success relies heavily on that pitch coming through against a dangerous Twins crew and I’m not sure how the cards will land.
- The bottom tier begins with Ian Anderson in Coors as I was already anxious about Anderson. A date in Coors makes this an easy pass for me.
- I can see Jordan Lyles being his best self against the Mariners, but it’s too risky to let it ride on my fantasy teams. Same thing with Taijuan Walker against the Dodgers.
- I have a lot of interest in Graham Ashcraft’s start against the Nationals. He boasts a 97mph cutter and sinker and if he’s able to find consistent strikes with his slider, there’s a clear path to success here. He hasn’t controlled his breaker yet, though, making me watch from afar instead of picking him up now.
- I know some have adoration for Keegan Thompson, but simply put, I don’t think he offers enough to be of much consideration against a Cardinals offense that can quickly put runs on the board.
- Wednesday’s LAA vs NYY game was rained out and will be played early today at 1:05pm ET. Make sure Nestor Cortes and Shohei Ohtani are in your lineups for their starts, while Reid Detmers stays on the wire.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- The top tier is filled with aces on Friday, making for a pretty straightforward top tier once again. You know, it often feels pointless writing about the top tier every day – start those dudes, you know it.
- Okay fine, there’s contention with Max Fried and Logan Gilbert being included. Fried is heading to Coors – Gasp – but I think you’re still starting the man. He should be fine. As for Gilbert, I’m not loving his secondaries, but the Rangers aren’t enough of a threat to keep him on the bench. That seems silly.
- In the second tier, I wish Chris Bassitt was facing an easier offense, but he gets the Dodgers and I can’t ignore his performance across the last few weeks has been lacking. He did well last time out and a strong outing against Los Angeles (hey, they were swept by the Pirates!) would do wonders in our confidence.
- It feels like we have the poor luck days of Alex Cobb behind us and now he gets a cushy date with the Marlins. Let it ride, let it ride.
- With both Miles Mikolas and Merrill Kelly getting comfortable matchups on Friday, they both deserve a spot in the second tier. Who wouldn’t start them against the Cubs and Pirates?
- I can’t say I’m digging what I’ve seen from José Urquidy lately, though he gets the Royals and that should be a safe play.
- The third tier is a bit more interesting than usual. We’re not sure if Joe Ryan will make the trip to Toronto given his recent COVID stint, and even if he does, will he have rust from not pitching during his absence?
- Our streaming pick of the day is a solid one in JT Brubaker against the Diamondbacks. Coffee Cakes thrives with his slider and while the Sneks are more lefty-heavy, I still believe he can pull this off.
- I wouldn’t rule out Bruce Zimmermann pulling it off against the Guardians. Zim has a solid changeup + slider and Cleveland’s offense could roll over on Friday.
- I placed Josiah Gray in the third tier simply because he could rack up 7+ strikeouts in this one. There’s risk in his ratios, but if that’s what you need, I understand letting him fly.
- I’ve been vocal about my distrust of Yusei Kikuchi’s recent surge for the Jays and now facing the Twins gives me a bit of fear. This could be a major trap play – be careful.
- Will Dane Dunning have his command? Will Brady Singer be able to survive with just sliders and sinkers? They both face quality opponents and it’s tough to discern if they’ll be able to pull through.
- In the bottom tier, I don’t want to rely on Zach Eflin’s curveball making a major appearance against the Angels, nor Chase Silseth having his splitter on the other side of the hill.
- I’m curious to watch Elvin Rodriguez against the Yanks as he was pulled early from his last start (where he was performing well!) and the Yankee offenses is a bit more questionable than usual at the moment.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)