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: 42-31
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- At the top are four studs with mostly great matchups. The comfort of getting them in your lineup is a lovely thing.
- Look at Jordan Montgomery earn a spot in the top tier on Wednesday. He doesn’t come with the same ceiling as the other four, but the Rays aren’t intimidating and “The Bear” is on a roll. You’re starting him with ease.
- The probably start tier is a loooong one today as we have plenty of early rotation arms going on Wednesday. In fact, it was even longer, but I elected to move a few more to the third tier. We’ll get to that.
- I began the tier with a quartet of arms in good matchups. George Kirby, Charlie Morton, Mike Clevinger, and Tyler Anderson can be placed inside lineups as they have a low chance of making you regret it.
- Then I shoved all the “would be considered for the top tier if they had a good matchup” arms next, beginning with Luis Garcia against the Mets. I have less fear of the Mets than the Yanks/Dodgers/Sawx and Garcia has been solid through the season.
- I want to be higher on Shane Baz, but he gets the Yankees and is just two starts removed from the IL. I’m still starting him, but it’ll be a real challenge for him.
- I took no joy placing Luis Castillo and Tarik Skubal at #12/#13, but the Dodgers and Red Sox can ruin plans quickly. I’m still taking the chance on both, but it’s not as clean as you’d want.
- Triston McKenzie against the Twins is a bit risky, too, but he’s been far more sweet than sour this year and has taken on tough offenses before. He’s worth the gamble.
- In the third tier, I originally had the first four in the second tier. Lucas Giolito is currently in a valley with his changeup and slider, though, and a date with the Jays may have managers leaving on the bench for a night. I get it, despite believing in Giolito long-term.
- The Grays are back-to-back on Wednesday with Jon Gray looking strong in his last two starts but carrying the possibility of a disaster against a strong Phillies offense. Meanwhile, Sonny Gray only tossed 65 pitches in his first start back from the IL, making the ceiling capped in this one.
- I wish I felt better about Eric Lauer, but it’s three starts now of 92.5 mph velocity while his cutter/slider/curve have not done enough to nullify the dip in velocity. I hope he begins the upswing against the Cardinals.
- We’ve felt better than I expected about Carlos Carrasco this season, but a date with the Astros brings all the anxiety. Please survive, Cookie.
- Our streaming pick of the day is Keegan Thompson after he earned 17 whiffs on four-seamers + cutters in his last outing. Now against the Pirates, he could continue his path of redemption after his short start against the Yanks.
- Another streamer to consider is Daniel Lynch if you’re searching for something. He’s fresh off a 23 whiff game where he executed the “BSB” with perfection, though there’s a heavy chance it was a “Dennis” and not a sign of sustainable growth.
- In the bottom tier, Chad Kuhl, Ross Stripling, and Tyler Wells each have cases to be made to be a part of the third tier. For each, though, their floors outweigh the potential ceiling…unless you’re in dire need of strikeouts with Kuhl, chasing a Win in Stripling, or need a potential QS with Wells.
- The final three carry no interest from me, though Madison Bumgarner is sure to look at Patrick Corbin and Bryse Wilson and question why he’s being grouped with them. It’s because the Padres are far better against southpaws than right-handers, Mason.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- The top tier is clear as day on Thursday, with Joe Musgrove returning from COVID, Clayton Kershaw going in Cincy, and Robbie Ray fresh off two stellar outings and ready to sport his sinker against a poor Oakland lineup.
- Both Frankie Montas and Kyle Wright have shown some signs of volatility, but it’s pretty clear that you’re starting them indefinitely at this point.
- The second tier is…a little shaky. I can see some wanting to place this matchup of Framber Valdez vs. Jameson Taillon in the Questionable Start tier, though both have showcased the ability to survive against strong opponents. You don’t want to give up on the chance on a Win, either, making them likely starts in my book.
- There’s also a touch of temptation to slot Johnny Cueto into the second tier as he faces the Orioles. He’s our streaming pick of the day (PLEASE, LET ME HAVE ONE) given his shocking consistency to go deep into games, though I won’t ignore his cataclysmic floor that could rear its ugly head, even against Baltimore.
- Further in the third tier is Devin Smeltzer, who let us down as a stream last time out but could rebound against Cleveland. He’s trying to be a “Toby” and may pull through here.
- We have a pair of “Cherry Bomb” pitchers in Hunter Greene and Dakota Hudson in the Questionable Start tier. Don’t forget, Greene was able to soar against the Dodgers earlier this year and I won’t rule out the possibility of a repeat in Cincinnati. Hudson…well he’s always been a coin flip. Your call.
- The final two arms of the third tier are interesting but not something I’d normally chase. Alex Wood struggled against the Pirates and now gets a tougher matchup against an Atlanta team that performs well against southpaws. He has the ability to succeed, but is it ultimately worth it?
- And then there’s Justin Steele, whose fastball/breaker combo is overwhelming…maybe once or twice this year. Even against the Pirates, there’s considerable risk I’d rather avoid.
- In the bottom tier, José Quintana has commanded his pitches well and yet still carried poor ratios in his starts. Stuff is super important, y’all.
- There’s a “Rockie Road” vs. Marlins matchup that could return dividends for either side in Braxton Garrett or Kyle Freeland, and it’s incredibly difficult to discern who will come out on top – if either one will. There are better plays to make, but I understand those in NL-Only leagues taking the dive.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)