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: 54-45
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- We have most teams resetting their rotations on Friday, which means it’s mostly Ace Day, leading with the veteran studs of Corbin Burnes,
Gerrit Cole,and Max Scherzer. You don’t need me for this tier.
- At the bottom, four strong arms face tough opponents in Kevin Gausman, Yu Darvish, Charlie Morton, and Logan Webb. I can see some managers feeling a little uneasy, but I’m starting them all whereever I have them rostered.
- In the second tier, I’m hoping Lucas Giolito’s 91.8 mph velocity improves as he faces a middling Guardians offense.
- Zac Gallen hasn’t put it all together this season, but he’s still a solid play against the Nationals and could carry 6+ productive frames.
- Update: Many rotation changes have been made as all teams shift their rotations after the break. Jameson Taillon and Tyler Anderson are each in the second tier replacing Gerrit Cole and Julio Urías, with Taillon getting the nod for the slightly easier matchup after performing well against the Red Sox.
- The bottom three of José Urquidy, Drew Rasmussen, and Adam Wainwright aren’t the most exciting of options, but against non-threatening teams, you should feel comfortable starting them in your lineups.
- In the third tier, Braxton Garrett leads the way as my streaming pick of the day. I don’t expect him to replicate his last performance against the Pirates (23 whiffs?! Nine on the sub 91 mph sinker?!) but he should be solid enough to help teams with his current sub 10% rostership.
- I’m not sure what to do with Nathan Eovaldi in his second start back from the IL. He had lowered velocity against the Yankees and while I expect it to be better with each start removed, he gets a major challenge against the Jays. It’s a tough call.
- The other names in this tier are all Toby types facing pedestrian offenses. If you need the innings, take a chance on Kyle Gibson or Cole Irvin, but don’t anticipate an overwhelming outing that will sway your week heavily.
- Update: Zack Greinke is no longer here as he’s been replaced by Brad Keller. I have Keller in the bottom tier as he’s a little more volatile than Greinke.
- In the bottom tier, I wish I had more confidence in José Quintana,
Glenn Otto,and Graham Ashcraft. We don’t have enough of a track record to buy into a promising outing while their floors are too catastrophic to consider. Update: Nope, it’s Spencer Howard for the Rangers, not Glenn Otto. Definitely avoid Howard, even against the Athletics – the chance for 5+ IP production is slim.
- Maybe Patrick Corbin continues to make me raise an eyebrow as he faces his old crew. That would be fun, but you can watch that from afar instead of leaning on it for your fantasy weekend.
- As for the rest in the tier, Justin Steele is the only one of actual consideration, but I don’t like leaning on his four-seamer to get through outings, making his peaks too few and far between.
- Update: No more Kyle Bradish, it’s now Tyler Wells, though I wouldn’t start him either against the mighty Yankees offense.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- The top tier is filled with more aces on Friday, from Gerrit Cole and Zack Wheeler, down to Alek Manoah at the bottom. Feel free to re-arrange all of these names however you like, I’m slotting Manoah at the bottom for getting dealt the toughest hand in Boston, and some of you may want Kyle Wright up a few slots as he faces the floundering Angels. Up to you, start them all.
- In the second tier, we have an AL central flurry with Triston McKenzie leading the way against the White Sox. He trounced the Tigers with 12 strikeouts in eight frames last time out and will hopefully replicate his curveball feel in this outing
- Despite getting the delicious matchup against the Tigers, I still have a touch of caution with Sonny Gray as he’s failed to corral his breakers as we’ve seen in the past.
- Leading the third tier is Patrick Sandoval against Atlanta. His slider and changeup are still returning whiffs, but Atlanta is a fearsome foe for southpaws. This could go either way.
- I imagine many managers are anxious about Lance Lynn, who hasn’t had the smoothest of seasons after his early time on the IL. Still, there is promise in his repertoire and I believe he is wearing a TIARA. I’m starting him where I have him rostered.
- Continuing in the tier is Max Meyer, who gets a much easier second start of his MLB career against the Pirates. With the debut jitters out of the way, you feel fine letting him start.
- Sadly, I had to push down Logan Gilbert, but it’s the Astros and Gilbert still doesn’t have secondaries to properly complement his heater.
- We still haven’t seen Marcus Stroman get settled in for a strong outing, though this game against the Phillies may be the one where we all nod our heads in approval.
- Josiah Gray has flashed legit strikeout upside while Johnny Cueto often finds a way to survive six frames. Both have their risks, but you can start them where they suit your needs.
- If you’re looking for a streamer, Madison Bumgarner against the Nationals could go in your favor as he’s my pick of the day. He’s sitting above 91 mph constantly on his four-seamer and will have full freedom to go 6+ frames against a mediocre offense.
- At the bottom of the tier, Blake Snell and Alex Wood each present exciting upside, but are tasked with dangerous bats ahead of them. It’s a high risk/reward play and it’s up to you if you want to chase it.
- In the final tier, I’m a bit worried about the Rangers offense for James Kaprielian, while Brady Singer is too volatile and JT Brubaker can’t make up his mind if his breakers are actually good or not.
- It’s the first start back from the IL for Steven Matz, who tossed 4.1 innings against 16 batters in his final rehab start. This is a Still ILL where we see if he’s a worthy Toby and go from there.
- I don’t expect much volume from Luis Patiño, even against the Royals and I’d play that one safe.
- I’m a little curious in Taylor Hearn after he boasted increased velocity during his last outing, though that was on fewer pitches as he was gifted an opener. I wonder what we’ll see.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)