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: 49-42
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- The NL East carries the top of Monday’s ranks with Max Scherzer, Aaron Nola, and Max Fried exclusively landing in the first tier. All three have AGA labels and should be started without care.
- The second tier is awfully small as well, featuring Miles Mikolas and Lance Lynn. I have some concerns about Lynn, but a start against the Guardians should fare better than the Twins.
- The third tier is the meat of Monday’s ranks, as it often is. Alex Cobb was awfully unlucky last time out (he has been constantly this year) and a repeat matchup against the Sneks should bode well.
Jeffrey Springs has the toughest challenge of all Questionable Starters, but he pitched well last time out against the Sawx and I can see the scales tip in his favor this time around.Update: Springs was placed on the IL by the Rays, pushing Josh Fleming into the rotation for a start you don’t want to make.
- A pair of Tobys follow with Cal Quantrill and Merrill Kelly. I ranked Kelly too low last time out and I recognize his ability to make this work, while Quantrill has stumbled lately but his cutter/fastball are still good enough to go 6+ against the White Sox.
- The bottom half of the third tier is…unnerving, to say the least. My streaming pick of the day is Brad Keller as he faces the Tigers – the worst team in baseball against right-handed pitching. Keller also sat 95 mph on his heater last time out and could go far in this one.
- I considered Daniel Lynch as well, and I’m leaning on the RHP/LHP splits here to favor Keller. Michael Pineda is also of consideration against the Royals, but his ceiling is limited and the floor is…rough.
- There’s also Trevor Rogers and Brayan Bello to consider. Rogers has pitched better over the last few weeks and a date with the Pirates could pull him out of his season-long funk with high heaters and low secondaries.
- As for Brayan Bello, I can’t help but wonder if his MLB debut was a product of jitters as his raw stuff speaks to better days at the park. This could be a strong outing for those willing to take the chance and brush off his first start in the majors.
- In the bottom tier, Mitch Keller,
Glenn Otto,and Alex Faedo seemingly have good enough matchups to stream, but I have little faith in all of them to be their best selves to make it worthwhile. Update: It’s now Spencer Howard with Otto going on Tuesday.
- Sean Manaea has a date in Coors and I think you have more to lose than gain in that matchup.
- Lastly, don’t trust José Ureña after his first start against the Dodgers. Remember, If you start José, Ureña boatload of trouble.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s all aces in the top tier, with none facing an overwhelming opponent. It’ll be fun to watch Dylan Cease and Shane Bieber duel, and if I had them both rostered, don’t hesitate to lock both into your lineups.
- Is this finally the day Kevin Gausman returns to the mound? The Jays seem confident it is, but make sure to monitor his status Tuesday morning.
- The second tier is awfully like the first, but Spencer Strider and Luis Garcia carry slightly lower floors than the top five options. Strider’s ceiling of another double-digit strikeout game is simply too alluring to deny him a start against the Mets.
- While Luis Garcia gets a date with the struggling Angels crew and that’s a pretty easy call to make. Let’s hope he doesn’t allow a longball or two.
- In the third tier, Josiah Gray has shown promise across the last month, recovering from a stumble to fan eleven Phillies hitters, primarily with his heater. If Gray has either that elevated four-seamer or both his breakers working, he could soar again in a date with the Mariners.
- The streaming pick of the day is Roansy Contreras, who we expect to get called back up to start against the Marlins. He just had excellent slider command to carve up the Reds offense and hopefully he can build on that outing to give us 5+ solid frames in Miami.
- He’s not the most exciting name, but Chris Flexen has it in him to be a decent option against the Nationals on Tuesday. It’s close to the bottom tier, but he’s a Toby against a non-elite offense.
- The final two options are Chris Sale and David Peterson. Sale is making his 2022 debut and could be considered a Still ILL against the Rays after walking five in his final rehab start. Peterson has had an excellent slider, but goes against Atlanta and could run into trouble, especially after his rough outing last week.
- The bottom tier is all kinds of interesting for Tuesday and I can see many taking their chances, even if I wouldn’t risk it. You could chase the solid matchups of Jordan Lyles, Beau Brieske, and James Kaprielian, or roll the dice with Corey Kluber, Noah Syndergaard, and Mike Clevinger as they endure some of the toughest lineups around. That’s all up to you, there’s far too much risk for me.
- There are a few low-rostered names that make me lift an eyebrow. Adrian Sampson just looked great and could excel against the Orioles and the same goes for Kris Bubic against the Tigers (will he have the same 92 mph velocity?)
- Some may be enamored by Daniel Castano against the Pirates or Mitch White against the Cardinals, both capable of stealing a win across five frames and not killing your ratios. Their arsenals have legit weaknesses, though, and they may be exposed despite the mediocre bats.
- Lastly, Graham Ashcraft and Matthew Liberatore are unfortunate to face the Yankees and Dodgers, respectively. Ashcraft still may be able to pull it out with his hard cutter and slider, while Liberatore displayed a massive uptick in velocity last week. These are incredibly potent lineups you should avoid, but I’ll be paying close attention, especially to Liberatore and how he leans on his slider.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)