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: 52-42
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Okay okay okay this is the day that Kevin Gausman starts again…right? He tossed a bullpen on Tuesday and is currently lined up to pitch on Thursday, but who knows at this point. Maybe we’ll get the “you know what, we’re just going to wait until after the break to give him all the rest he needs,” as we throw up our hands in outrage. If he does start in this one, you let him fly, though don’t expect a massive workload of pitches. I imagine they’ll take it easy on him.
- Triston McKenzie enters the top tier for a date with the Tigers as they rank 30th in the majors against right-handers. That’s a clear go go go for Triston.
- In the second tier, I really hope we see the best of Nestor Cortes as he hosts the Reds. The All-Star hasn’t dominated for a good while, but the Reds on the road make for a lovely opportunity.
- Carlos Carrasco and Tyler Anderson are viewed similarly in my mind and both avoid threatening matchups on Thursday. Feel comfortable starting them both.
- In the third tier, it’s unfortunate to see Luis Castillo getting forced to deal with the powerful Yankee offense. It’s a high-risk/reward play and up to you to decide.
- I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the current status of Sonny Gray as his breakers are a far cry from their former selves. The White Sox aren’t the biggest threat against right-handers, though, and Gray could rebound here.
- It’s a duel for the “ages” as Marco Gonzales and Martín Pérez square off in Texas. I’m leaning Marco given how hot the Mariners have been, but this could go either way.
- Do you want to start Blake Snell inside Coors? I can see many managers avoiding this completely, though he has fanned 23 batters across his last two starts…Good luck.
- The streaming pick of the day was a tough call today between Kutter Crawford and Braxton Garrett, though I’m not heavily invested in either arm. I went with Crawford given a higher chance of a Win and more strikeouts as of late, though Garrett has displayed the ability to go deeper into games. Take your pick as both opposing offenses are laboring.
- It’s awfully tough to look at the bottom tier on Thursday. Keegan Thompson, Drew Rasmussen, Johnny Cueto, Dakota Hudson, and Reid Detmers could be interesting options against the right teams, but all of them face the toughest tier offenses and are far too dangerous for a start. It’s rough.
- If you’re wondering about Zach Thompson against the Marlins, he’s failed to go five innings in each of his last three starts. Not great.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- The one major note you should take away from these Friday ranks – Alek Manoah is facing a stripped-down Royals offense in Toronto. This could be the best line he’s had all year facing an even weaker offense.
- At the bottom of the top tier is Shane Baz, fresh off an unfortunate day at the park against the Reds and now facing the incredibly hot Orioles. He had just one poor unlucky inning against Cincinnati and I’m anticipating him to be plenty better.
- The second tier is short and sweet with Taijuan Walker and José Urquidy both facing weak bats. Walker has been a surprisingly consistent strikeout play as of late and the Cubs aren’t one to slow that down.
- As for José Urquidy, his fastball propelled his recent success and the Athletics aren’t a team to wildly punish him for the new approach. You should be safe here.
- I debated slotting Kyle Gibson in the second tier but ultimately left him at the top of the Questionable Start tier because A) Jorge Soler returns to the Marlins offense and B) despite his recent success, Gibson is still a highly volatile arm. Don’t get too comfortable here.
- I’m a bit surprised to see Tyler Wells rostered in over 40% of leagues and after a poor outing and just one game on the season above four strikeouts, he sits in the middle of the pack despite facing a mediocre Rays lineup.
- Don’t ignore Zach Plesac facing the worst lineup and featuring a whiff-heavy slider over the past month. As long as his changeup backs it up with strikes, he should be fine against the Tigers.
- I’m curious what we’ll see from Alex Wood as he dances with the Brewers. His slider command was far better last start and he’s still sitting 92+ mph on his heater. As long as both stick, this should go his way.
- The bottom half of the tier are the names you know in rough matchups (+ the always volatile Ian Anderson). For example, Jordan Montgomery was able to stave off the Red Sox last time, but it’s still a tough bet to make.
- Patrick Sandoval has looked marvelous with his slider and changeup recently, but the Dodgers are a major test and should not be taken lightly.
- The trend continues in the bottom tier with Nathan Eovaldi and Marcus Stroman. Eovaldi is coming off the IL and being thrown right into the fire with the Yankees on the docket. I don’t expect him to go long after facing just 15 batters across three innings in his sole rehab start, and mixed with the dangerous offense, this is a sit.
- As for Marcus Stroman, I’m concerned he won’t go very long in this one after tossing just 59 pitches last time out + the Mets are a worthy challenge. It’s best to sit this one out.
- It’s been a difficult stretch for Michael Kopech and it may likely continue against the Twins, especially with his velocity dipping under 94 mph in his previous outing.
- Our very reluctant streaming pick of the day came down to Devin Smeltzer against the southpaw-crushing White Sox or Madison Bumgarner against the Padres. I ultimately went with Bumgarner as he’s been above 91 mph in his last few outings, but I really would prefer to skip streaming altogether on Friday.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)
Shane Baz was placed on the IL.