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: 38-22
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Look at those aces at the top of the ranks on Tuesday. Corbin Burnes and Gerrit Cole are obviously #1 and #2, though Max Fried at #3 may be a little jarring. However, Shane McClanahan has a plenty tougher matchup and Fried’s floor against the Pirates earns him the bronze ranking.
- At the bottom of the tier are Shohei Ohtani and Dylan Cease. Ohtani is stuck with another tough matchup after his disaster against the Yankees. I wouldn’t overthink this – he has a poor history against New York – and I’d still start Ohtani against the Sawx.
- There’s a new addition of Logan Webb in the top tier today. He’s hosting “Rockie Road” and should have a lovely time on the bump.
- As for Dylan Cease, I know the Dodgers are scary, but Cease’s ceiling is far too high to consider benching him here. Take the chance, make it happen – h*ck, Michael Kopech soared on Tuesday night, after all.
- I can see some also auto-starting Nick Pivetta against the struggling Angels and I don’t blame you. I think I’m a little tepid on how long this run will last for Pivetta, placing him in the second tier. It seems a touch too fragile to me.
- Also in the second tier is Tyler Anderson, who is on one h*ck of a roll himself. The White Sox are better against left-handers and I’m skeptical his changeup can consistently earn double-digit whiffs, but hey, things are cool.
- The streaming pick of the day can be found in the third tier as we may finally see Konnor Pilkington pitch this week as he now gets the Athletics on Thursday. He looked great last time out against the Royals and that changeup could make it another fun day at the park.
- We have many starts that could go either way in the third tier. Tyler Mahle hosts the Sneks, Zach Eflin could have his curveball once again, Miles Mikolas is a “Toby” facing a struggling Rays crew, and who knows if this is the start Trevor Rogers finally kicks it into gear.
- We also have the return of Stephen Strasburg on Thursday as he faces the Marlins. He faced 20 batters in his final rehab start, meaning he could go 5+ strong here. I’m cautious and am labeling this a “Still ILL”, but there’s a decent chance he pulls through.
- The final two arms of the third tier are decent coin flips if you need some help. James Kaprielian is a certified “Toby” against the mediocre Guardians. Don’t rule it out.
- Then there’s the volatile Coffee Cakes, JT Brubaker. Atlanta is poor against right-handers, making for a start where Brubaker’s breakers (Brubreakers?) excel for a productive stream.
- The bottom tier doesn’t bring a whole lot of intrigue. Despite Zach Davies having his best changeup recently, I still don’t want to take the chance on his floor in HR-heavy Cincinnati.
And lastly, Bruce Zimmermann gets a nice matchup against the Royals, but he hasn’t come through with his changeup or slider as of late. I’d wait until later in the season to be more confident for a start.Update: Nope, it’s Jordan Lyles instead. He’s a coin-flip against the Royals.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- We have a lovely slate of games on Friday, though many in tier one are facing some tough matchups. I’m still starting Pablo López, Walker Buehler, Luis Castillo, and Zac Gallen even with the tough offenses in front of them.
- I elected to raise José Berríos above a few of those names given his matchup against the Tigers – it’s the Tigers and Berríos just fanned thirteen. You have to do it.
- In the second tier, I can see some wanting both Triston McKenzie and Aaron Ashby promoted to the top tier. McKenzie is coming off a shaky outing against Detroit, making it slightly riskier than I’d like.
- As for Aaron Ashby, I’m certainly starting him everywhere, though he hasn’t firmly established a high enough floor yet to become a Tier 1 play. I imagine he’ll get there soon enough.
- I can see others as well wanting to push Luis Garcia into the top tier as well as he faces the Marlins. I’m not incredibly confident in Garcia’s approach of 93/94 mph heaters with a decent cutter…and not much else. It’s good, just not “you need to start this guy” good.
- We have a fun matchup in the same tier with Roansy Contreras and Spencer Strider squaring off. I’m starting them both and hoping for the best, favoring Strider a touch more given the lineup and his pitch count rising to 87 in his last start.
- In the third tier, Paul Blackburn and Kyle Gibson are both “Toby”s facing mediocre opponents. It should go their way, but there’s still a lower floor than I’d like from these guys.
- On the other side of the “Toby” spectrum are Marco Gonzales and Michael Lorenzen, who I feel a little more confident in, but have a tougher hill to climb. You do you here.
- Our streaming pick of the day is Devin Smeltzer as he faces the Rays. Tampa Bay hasn’t been a force to be reckoned with this season and Smeltzer has shown the ability to go 5+ strong frames.
- I can see some taking a chance on Chad Kuhl as he faces the Padres with their struggles against right-handers. I can see Kuhl’s slider doing damage against San Diego, though if the slider is gone, this could get ugly.
- It looks like Tylor Megill is making his return on Friday (SWEET!) and he tossed 3.2 frames and faced just 14 batters in his minor league rehab start. I wouldn’t anticipate more than five frames here, lowering his ceiling enough to make you wonder if it’s worthwhile in this “Still ILL” outing.
- At the very bottom of the tier are Glenn Otto and Rich Hill. They are distinctly lower inside this tier than the other two, though they have a decent chance of making it work. I’d generally avoid these starts, though.
- In the bottom tier, there isn’t much to go after. Maybe Davis Martin has his best start as he tries to comfortable in the White Sox rotation, or maybe Bruce Zimmermann actually has his slider and changeup pumping against the Royals.
- I’m a little intrigued by Jonathan Heasley against the shrug-inducing Orioles. He increased his velocity last time to 95 mph and if that sticks a second time, it could propel him to a strong six-inning performance as he tossed 100+ pitches last time out. Easily the best desperate play if you’re searching for one.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)
McKenzie’s last start was rough with the 3 HR and 5 ER, but he impressed me by coming back from giving up 5 runs in the 1st 4 IP to throw three 1-2-3 innings to close it out and get through 7. I always look for that in pitchers because that is what the best pitchers do after a rough spot – suck it up and go get some more outs.