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: 57-45
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- After the bountiful number of top tier options over the weekend, only two remain on Monday with Max Fried and Tony Gonsolin sitting atop the ranks. YOu don’t need me to tell you to start them, while I have Fried above Tony for his track record…even if Gonsolin has the better ERA.
- The second tier is pretty simple as well, leading off with Sean Manaea against the Tigers. Sure, Detroit is better against right-handers, but Manaea should still have his way if either of his secondaries show up or he sits above 92 mph on his heater.
- The remaining trio in tier two are your Toby types against middling offenses. I’m favoring Merrill Kelly above Noah Syndergaard as Kelly is a bit more stable start to start, but there isn’t much of a difference to me.
- Corey Kluber lands above both of them as he’s been surprisingly steady over the last month or two. Orioles magic could get in the way of a strong Kluber performance, though you’re going to take that chance.
- In the third tier, Jake Odorizzi leads as he’s been gifted a third straight start against the Athletics. I adore Aaron Ashby and Nick Lodolo, but Odorizzi is a safer play here.
- Speaking of Aaron Ashby, he’s my streaming pick of the day as he faces Rockie Road. His time as a starter hasn’t been as smooth as we’ve liked, but against a weak opponent and he’s stretched out to take full advantage (ignore the Sunday “start” – it was a bullpen session that happened to be in-game).
- I considered slotting Nick Lodolo ahead of Ashby, but I think there’s a touch more risk in a tougher matchup. Both arms could very well break out in this second half, though, and with their sub 20% rostership rates, now may be the time to jump in.
- At the end of the tier is Zack Greinke, who could be just fine against the Angels. The limited ceiling has him below Lodolo and Ashby, but you need volume, Greinke is your guy.
- I wrestled with the top of the final tier as
Keegan Thompsonand JT Brubaker could arguably be in the Questionable Start group as they face off against each other. Ultimately, I believe they’re both too volatile without a high enough realistic ceiling to chase, even if they each face a paltry offense. Update: Thompson goes on Tuesday, and Adrian Sampson gets the ball on Monday. It’s a step down from Keegan, but Sampson has an outside chance to excel.
- Sure, Trevor Rogers could take a step forward in this one, but why put yourself in harm’s way?
- With Anthony DeSclafani out for the year, we may see Jakob Junis slotting back into the rotation and a start against the Diamondbacks could get us excited again. I want to see him lock back into his groove first before trusting it, though.
- I’m completely over starting Nick Pivetta at this point, and the same goes for Chris Flexen against the improving Rangers offense.
There’s a chance Josiah Gray is able to conjure plenty of strikeouts and avoid the longball against the Dodgers, but it’s far too dangerous to kick off your week.Update: Gray goes on Tuesday, and Paolo Espino slots in for Monday. It’s definitely a step down from Josiah, though I won’t rule out the slim possibility Espino survives for five frames
- And while I’m digging Zach Plesac’s slider and changeup, I don’t believe a start against the Red Sox is worth the gamble.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- The top tier starts off with a bang and slows down by the bottom three. Pablo López has a challenge ahead as he aims to avoid the longball in Cincinnati and is coming off a rough performance. He should rebound, but there is a touch more risk than usual here.
- I debated with Twitch about the placement of Spencer Strider in the top or second tier, and ultimately landed among the other auto-starts despite his tumble last time out. If you have Strider rostered, you’re starting him against the middling Phillies offense as he could explode for another ten strikeout game.
- The second tier kicks off with a pair I feel are ahead of the others below them in José Berríos and Mike Clevinger. Berríos will not have to face Paul Goldschmidt or Nolan Arenado in Toronto (not vaccinated) and Clevinger gets a chance to feast on the Tigers. Both of these starts should get you salivating.
- The final four were tough to rank.
Frankie Montas can simply dominate over seven frames, but the Astros could be a major hindrance.Jordan Montgomery has cruised despite tough opponents before, though I don’t want to underrate Mets crew. And George Kirby may stumble a little coming back from the minors and facing a heating-up Rangers offense. Update: I realized after publishing that Montas will likely still be limited with his pitch count after tossing just 53 pitches last time out. It moves him down to Do Not Start given the capped ceiling and low floor against Houston.
- The third tier is awfully tiny on Tuesday. Hunter Greene hasn’t pitched since the 15th and I hope it doesn’t bring out of the wrong side of his Cherry Bomb nature against the Marlins. It’s incredibly difficult to predict what we’ll see from Greene.
- Taijuan Walker has absolutely shocked me in the first half this year and he’d normally be in the second tier if not for a matchup against the #1 offense in baseball. The talent is still there for him to succeed despite the circumstances, but consider if you need to take the risk or not.
- The top three options of the bottom tier (after Montas) were all in consideration for my reluctant streaming pitch of the day as I ultimately landed on Spenser Watkins, who has produced consistently across the last few weeks. Pair that with a floundering Rays offense and he rises above the other two.
- Those two are Mitch White and Keegan Thompson. White has the better offense supporting him and the Nationals aren’t a major threat, while Thompson gets the lowly Pirates but didn’t last five innings in two of his last three starts.
- There’s a chance Josiah Gray is able to conjure plenty of strikeouts and avoid the longball against the Dodgers, but it’s far too dangerous to kick off your week.
- I slotted Gray just above Michael Kopech as I feel Josiah has a higher chance of hitting his ceiling than Kopech inside Coors, especially when it seems his knee injury is still affecting him. It’s rough rostering Kopech at the moment.
- There isn’t much else to go for on Tuesday. Josh Winckowski is coming back from a COVID stint, making him unlikely to go 5/6 frames as we saw before, José Suarez may have a shot to make it work against the Royals, but it’s a highly questionable spin of the wheel, and I’d hate trusting Dylan Bundy or Dane Dunning at this stage of the year.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)