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: 34-22
Today’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.
- The Marlins have demoted Elieser Hernandez to put Braxton Garrett into the rotation, and I won’t call that start the worst one out there. We’ve seen Garrett have some moments of bliss in the past and it could be a very sneaky play on a desperate Sunday – only try this if there’s nothing else.
- I can see some trying Zach Thompson as a streamer today, but I’m cautious given Thompson’s lack of strong curveball this year. Armed with his cutter and heaters, I don’t think there’s enough there to pull this off the majority of the time.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s a small slate of games on Monday, making Robbie Ray the sole member of the top tier, and even that is slightly debatable. I understand Ray has run into the poor inning constantly as of late and now with the Astros ahead, some managers aren’t feeling great about it. I say throw away those fears, Ray is pitching to the level we want and you best be running him out there. His reward is worth the risk.
- The second tier is the largest as we have some solid plays for the day. Carlos Carrasco hasn’t been the sturdiest as of late, but the Padres are rough against right-handers, making this a simple start for Carrasco.
- Blake Snell is on the other side of it and while I haven’t seen the Snell we’re hoping for yet this year, I see it as an inevitability at this point. The Mets are no pushovers, but Snell is still worth it.
- I wish Cristian Javier was able to land breakers for strikes and keep his four-seamer at the top of the zone last start, but alas, here we are feeling a bit uneasy about this start against the Mariners. Don’t worry about it, that was a bad day and Javier should be able to bounce back.
- You have to love Jon Gray sitting 96 mph in his last start, propelling him to a double-digit strikeout game. Here’s to hoping the velocity is still there as he gets a delicious matchup against the Guardians.
- On the other side of Gray is the Toby of all Tobys, Cal Quantrill, who finds a way to go six frames with 3 ER or fewer nearly every outing. I don’t see why this game against the Rangers would be any different.
- I’m calling him a Cherry Bomb these days and a start against the Diamondback is likely to return more sweet than sour for Hunter Greene.
- In the third tier, it’s hard to figure out what to do with Noah Syndergaard. Two of his last three starts have been flat-out disasters and the Red Sox are no joke. It’s okay to bench him if you don’t want to take the chance to kick off your week.
- I can see Madison Bumgarner pulling off a solid outing against the lowly Reds, though the man is a Toby and still carries a fragile floor across the board.
- In the bottom tier, I’m forced to select Ross Stripling as my streaming pick of the day. I don’t know how long the Jays will let Stripling go for, nor do I feel confident that his stuff will be at a level to make this worthwhile against the Royals. Still, I have to pick someone each day and I like Strip more than the other two.
- Those other two are Michael Wacha and Daniel Lynch, each with tough opponents ahead of them. I don’t trust Wacha’s arsenal and I don’t trust Lynch’s command. Sit these out.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)