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: 33-22
Today’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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- We don’t have clear-cut amazing matchups at the top of Sunday’s ranks, but Kevin Gausman has certainly earned the crown given his 2022 season thus far, even with a bit of a hiccup last time out.
- Zac Gallen gets the third spot after his worst start of the season simply because it’s the Pirates. He’s still the same guy and expect a strong outing.
- At the bottom of the tier, Martín Pérez can’t be denied at this point. If you have him on your roster, you better start him.
- It was a tough call between Framber Valdez and Eric Lauer, and I went with the former given he’s fresh off a complete game and gets the better matchup, while Lauer hasn’t been at his peak in his last few starts.
- In the second tier, Jordan Montgomery and George Kirby are the clear leaders. The Bear has been a steady arm and finally earned his first Win last time out, while Kirby quelled concerns after his dominance over the Orioles.
- The bottom two are a bit hazier. Mike Clevinger is returning from another IL stint and may be a bit limited. Patrick Sandoval hasn’t had the feel of his elite changeup lately and the Phils could make it a difficult Sunday.
- In the third tier, the clear option is Jakob Junis against the Marlins, making him the streaming pick of the day. If he doesn’t have his changeup and the slider isn’t elite, it could be a rough five frames, though I’d take the chance in many situations.
- Rich Hill is another option, though he’s been a bit volatile and his pitch counts have been all over the place this season. It’s not a lock, even if he is facing the Athletics.
- In the bottom tier, you don’t have many desperate options to chase. Devin Smeltzer has been a Toby for a pair of starts, but a lefty facing the Jays spells trouble.
- There’s a chance Zach Plesac has his changeup and slider and can return value against a middling Orioles offense…or it could be more disappointment.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)