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: 33-21
Today’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?Update: No Ryan, it’s Chi Chi González and y’all know you don’t want that.
- 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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Familiar names once again in the top tier with Zack Wheeler, Logan Webb, and Pablo López leading the way. Walker Buehler may be of some contention, but despite his struggles, he’s still very much worth the chance at production, even against the Mets.
- Triston McKenzie gets the bump into the top tier for Saturday as he faces the Orioles – I’m not scared of their offense + Triston has been on an incredible run.
- In the second tier, it’s destined to be a fun duel between MacKenzie Gore and Aaron Ashby, two young southpaws getting their chance to shine. Even if you’re not starting them, watch that game.
- The streaming pick of the day is in tier two as Roansy Contreras is just at the 20% rostered threshold. Let him fly against the Sneks as he should be fine with his 97 mph heater and solid breaker.
- I’m completely fine starting both Marco Gonzales and Nick Pivetta at the moment against poor offenses. Both have been on a solid stretch, with Marco having a higher chance of a deeper start than Pivetta, but Nick coming in with more strikeout potential.
- At the bottom of the tier, José Berríos and Drew Rasmussen haven’t been performing at their peaks as of late, but I’d still wager they are worth the spin of the wheel. I’m starting them where I have them rostered.
- In the third tier, Michael Lorenzen has proven himself as a solid Toby this year and gets a tumultuous Philadelphia crew. I’m leaning start, but I understand avoiding the risk if you need to preserve ratios.
- It’s been one h*ck of a run for Paul Blackburn this year and while I’m not a fan of a start against the Red Sox, I completely understand many still letting him fly. It’s up to you and a near 50/50 chance in my book.
- In the bottom tier, Spencer Strider heads to Coors as all of us let out a massive groan. He’s above 70 pitches now and could hint 80 while his four-seamer continues to collect strikes. He could be lights out despite the pitching environment, but the ceiling is capped with the still limited pitch count + the floor is obviously lower than we’d like.
- I can see some trusting Tyler Wells or Glenn Otto on Saturday and I’d like to avoid them if possible. Wells doesn’t do a whole lot, while the Mariners give me enough pause with Otto that I’m shying away from it. They have a decent chance of working out, though.
- It’s a doubleheader with the Cubs and Cardinals and while the St. Louis starters are easy to ignore, Chicago may have two intriguing arms if you’re searching for something. Matt Swarmer performed well on Monday with a great slider and has a shot at going six frames again, though I don’t feel comfortable relying on it over the weekend.
- We don’t know who the second starter is quite yet, but there are whispers it could be top prospect Caleb Kilian making his MLB debut. I generally don’t chase MLB debuts, but they can work out and he may be worth the spec add if you have a spot on your roster.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)