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: 50-42
Today’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.Update: Contreras is confirmed to stay down until past the All-Star Break, making…Jordan Lyles the reluctant streaming pick of the day. Oh dear.
- 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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Look at that top tier. One-third of Wednesday’s arms are considered “must starts” in my book, with Shane McClanahan and Zack Wheeler stealing the top spots despite their difficult matchups. They are studs and we start our studs.
- The back-half has the non-AGA names, but I can’t deny Jon Gray and Cristian Javier their outings against weak opponents. Meanwhile, Charlie Morton and Chris Bassitt square off as both are hoping to get their AGA labels back in the near future and I’d lock both in my lineups if I had both.
- In the second tier, it’s odd seeing a Top 10 starter, but Joe Musgrove has to endure Coors for a night. As a pitcher who leans heavily on breakers, it could spell a rough night at the park. I’m likely still letting him fly, but I need to recognize some managers wanting to take a night off.
- I also want to start Lucas Giolito, but he hasn’t been the Top 15 arm we envisioned in the off-season. I believe in him throughout the second half and hope this is the launching pad toward regaining our confidence.
- With the Phillies missing Bohm and Realmuto on top of an injured Harper, José Berríos becomes a more confident play than you’d expect against the Phils. Let The Great Undulater do his thing after allowing just 3 ER in his last two starts.
- We aren’t in the best places with Joe Ryan and Zac Gallen, though the risk is worth the reward for both on Wednesday, certainly above the third tier options.
- At the top of tier three are (All-Star) Paul Blackburn and Tarik Skubal. Blackburn is a Toby with a solid(?) matchup (are the Rangers getting hot offensively?) and Skubal bounced back last time out, albeit not in a way that alleviates my skepticism of a second-half rebound.
- The streaming pick of the day falls to Brady Singer, who can hopefully replicate Brad Keller’s Monday performance against the Tigers. He allowed 2 ER in 4.2 frames against them just two starts ago, and it wouldn’t be wise to assume success here for Singer.
- Other arms to consider include Keegan Thompson, Josh Winckowski, and Spenser Watkins. Thompson has flexed an improved four-seamer/cutter combo as of late, Winckowski could steal a Win against the Rays, and Watkins has allowed just 2 ER in his last three starts.
- There are also a pair of older arms in Aaron Civale and Adam Wainwright. Civale has looked better lately with his curve and cutter, while Wainwright has the toughest challenge against the Dodgers. Hopefully he can navigate his way through six frames.
- In the bottom tier, Aaron Ashby isn’t polished enough to trust against the Twins, especially after tossing just 72 pitches in his previous outing. His stuff gives him the chance to make it still work, but those rostering him are making a play for August instead of this week.
- JT Brubaker and Chad Kuhl are the final two realistic options to consider as their breakers create opportunities for success on any given night. I don’t like the odds here, but I won’t rule out either producing for bold managers.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)