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: 55-45
Today’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 Grayas he’s failed to corral his breakers as we’ve seen in the past .Update: It’s Joe Ryan now, but the words are the same. Let’s hope Ryan has his slider.
- 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 Grayhas 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. Update: The Nationals pushed back Josiah Gray and have elected to start Aníbal Sánchez instead. A pity, really.
- 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 about 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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s a busy top tier once again with Sandy Alcantara and Clayton Kershaw leading the way. Hard to argue against their dominance at the top.
- Unfortunately for Robbie Ray, he has the toughest matchup of the day, forcing me to place him under Dylan Cease, Shane Bieber, and Framber Valdez. Doesn’t matter, he’s been on such a good run that you can’t bench Ray.
- The second tier is bloated as well with Nestor Cortes, Miles Mikolas, and Sonny Gray at the top. All have favorable matchups, even if Mikolas has limited his groundball rate to just 45% in a HR-heavy park.
- The final trio of the tier is a set of Toby types – Martín Pérez, Carlos Carrasco, and Merrill Kelly. I’m still favoring Carrasco over Kelly, but if you need a better ERA instead of more strikeouts, Kelly is likely the better play.
- In the third tier, Ian Anderson has been volatile but gets the benefit of facing the Angels, making me put him above the likes of Paul Blackburn and Zack Greinke.
- Tyler Mahle is coming off the IL and pitching at home after not starting a game since July 2nd (he didn’t have a rehab start). I’d be cautious here as I don’t expect many innings and he’s pitching at home, though I see some managers chasing strikeouts on a desperate Sunday.
- Even though he’s performed well against tough teams recently and harnesses a plus changeup, I still have my concerns with Ross Stripling facing off against the Red Sox. Be careful.
- In the bottom tier, Reid Detmers has to be my streaming pick of the day. He survived the Astros last time out and has improved his slider since returning from the minors. It’s not quite where I want it to be and I’d rather not start him against Atlanta as a southpaw, but I still like his odds more than the others below.
- Mitch Keller was the other consideration – I know, it’s rough down here – as he just performed well in Coors. Somehow. I’ll believe in Detmers’ growth over Keller’s…magic.
- We’ve spilled a lot of ink on Alex Cobb this year and while he’s coming off a great start against Arizona, the Dodgers are far different and are likely to make this another tough day at the park for Cobb.
- The days of starting Nick Pivetta are over, especially against the mighty Jays offense. Give it a rest.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)