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 about 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: 45-35
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- The top tier is filled with the fun guys you want to see. It feels weird to have Justin Verlander at #3, but Sandy Alcantara is the clear #1, while Shohei Ohtani has the better matchup against the White Sox. Just how it is.
- It’s also strange seeing Alek Manoah at #10, but he gets the toughest lineup of the lot in the Red Sox. He’s still a clear start, of course – always bet with aces.
- In the second tier, Kyle Wright gets to face the Harper-less Phillies, easing the blow of his recently shaky command.
- Despite a date in Coors, I’m still rolling out Julio Urías as he’s stepped up his whiff game massively as of late and is nearing his AGA label.
- The rest of the tier is pretty straight forward. Jeffrey Springs has been cruising with high heaters, sliders for strikes, and fantastic changeups, while Jameson Taillon gets the Athletics in a clear start if not just for the high Win probability.
- It’s not the most comfortable time to roster Michael Kopech, but it’s still in your best interest to start him against a middling Angels offense.
- The third tier is a large one, and essentially comes in two parts, with the dividing line living between Nick Pivetta‘s “Vargas Rule” as he faces the Jays, and the boring ole faithful Zack Greinke slotted for a start against the Rangers.
- But to kick it off is Alex Wood against the Tigers. He just struggled against Atlanta, but Detroit should be a much easier time at the park and in many situations, I’d let him fly.
- It wasn’t fun watching Mike Clevinger in his last outing, boasting just three whiffs on the day. I’m optimistic Clevinger will benefit from more time on the bump and hint at his former excellence, and a start against the Diamondbacks should ease him into his vintage self.
- Simply put, Hunter Greene is a “Cherry Bomb”. If he’s able to comfortably toss 50% sliders without falling behind in counts frequently, he’ll thrive against the Cubs.
- We saw a promising light from Eric Lauer with his fastball sitting 94 mph last time out instead of 92.5 mph. It’s unclear if that velocity will stick around for another outing, but if he maintains it with better four-seamer locations, he’ll look like his astounding April self.
- In the bottom half of the third tier, you have our…reluctant streaming pick of the day in Mitch Keller. He’s adapted a sinker into the mix and surprisingly been productive across his last four outings. It’s a rough day for streaming, but this could work out.
- In the bottom tier, Justin Steele simply doesn’t do enough for me to risk this outing against the Reds. I understand if people want to chase it, but I need a higher ceiling to take on the risk.
- I can see some taking a shot at Paolo Espino as he faces the Pirates, but it’s the same case as Steele – the reward isn’t worth the floor.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- I can see Aaron Nola now, looking at his fellow aces in Tier 2 and asking how the weather is down there. Let’s all be thankful one of them doesn’t get a horrendous matchup on Thursday.
- It means Logan Gilbert slides into the #2 spot as he’s been given the gift of the Athletics offense. Here’s to 6+ innings of bliss.
- The second tier contains all the guys you’d normally throw out there without fear, but boy do their matchups intimidate. I’m digging Luis Severino and Shane Bieber plenty these days, but the Astros and Twins? That creates a lot more stress than I’d like.
- I’d normally still put Joe Musgrove into the top tier, but you may want to be conservative after his first start back from the COVID-IL was a bit underwhelming & now he’s tasked with taking down the Dodgers. Caution is acceptable, y’all.
- In the third tier, we’re not sure if the Rays are starting Jeffrey Springs or Corey Kluber on Thursday. Either way, they slot at 8th in the ranking facing the Jays, though I have a bit more confidence in Springs than Kluber at the moment.
- Our streaming pick of the day is Graham Ashcraft as he heads to Wrigley. Ashcraft is fresh off eight frames with a strikeout per inning and could carry that ridiculous cutter once again.
- It’s a tough call to start Ian Anderson, even with the weaker Phillies lineup. He’s been a “Cherry Bomb” as he’s yet to get locked in with his command, making this a tough spin of the wheel.
- Do you feel comfortable starting Luis Garcia against the Yankees? It’s unfair he’s getting served a difficult matchup as he’s begun to show legit promise this season and I’m hoping for the best.
- In the bottom tier, Mitch White, JT Brubaker, and Adrian Houser could bring temptation to managers searching for an arm to stream. White has a filthy breaker but a susceptible heater, Coffee Cakes’ breaking balls could take down the Brewers, while Houser on the other side may be able to keep his head above water for 5+ frames.
- Chris Archer has been able to go five frames lately, but the ceiling is too capped for me to risk a destructive outing.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)