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: 59-46
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Look at those two lovely gents at the top of the rankings for Wednesday. If we get fewer than seven frames from Zack Wheeler against the Pirates, I will legitimately be disappointed.
- The same almost applies for Shohei Ohtani as long as he leans heavily on the slider again. I don’t see a world where you don’t start Ohtani, even if you’re a touch worried about the foul ball to the thigh from Monday.
- In the second tier, Triston McKenzie has been a bit inconsistent with his command, but the Red Sox are not in a great place at the moment. I’d feel comfortable starting him in Boston.
- Alex Wood has held his velocity while the slider has been legit, even if the Dodgers didn’t let him succeed over the weekend. A date with the Cubs should be far better.
- And we’re still rolling with José Urquidy as he’s improved his four-seamer over the last month and change. The Mariners aren’t a large enough threat to reconsider.
- I considered Jameson Taillon in the second tier as well, but he’s been a bust in four of his last five outings, including starts against the Athletics, Pirates, and Orioles. Facing the Royals isn’t as clean as I’d want it to be.
- Back in February, I was hoping that by the end of July we’d see Logan Gilbert find something in his secondaries to latch onto, and we may have gotten that last start as he tossed more curveballs than we’d seen all season to resounding applause. I hope it sticks, but the Astros are going to be a hard hurdle to overcome.
- I know it’s been the year of Tyler Anderson, but it’s still Coors, y’all. At least his previous start’s turbulence can be explained by a bit of sign stealing and Anderson may survive the mile-high gauntlet.
- Our streaming pick of the day is Kutter Crawford, though I wouldn’t say this is a targetted start for me. Crawford’s stuff isn’t exceptional, but it’s good enough to stave off the Guardians, while we can only hope the Red Sox have enough left in the tank to help secure a Win. Not a great streaming day.
- Others I considered were Graham Ashcraft against the Marlins, Jordan Lyles against the Rays, and Justin Steele facing the Giants. Among all four, I can see 1-2 working out, and I still favor the floor of Crawford above the volatility of the others (Ashcraft’s command is wonky, I feel like we’re playing with fire with Lyles, and Steele’s stuff is incredibly underwhelming).
- But Nick! Yusei Kikuchi is returning for the Jays and gets the Tigers! He hasn’t pitched since July 5th (zero rehab starts in the minors) due to a neck injury and his command was all over the place before he stepped off the bump. I’m not expecting a high pitch count and that’s ignoring the innate volatility of Kikuchi & his questionable stuff.
- I can see a world where Brady Singer has his best sinker and slider against the Yankees, though it’s a minefield for him to navigate, especially with the patience of that lineup mixing with Singer’s erratic nature. I’d avoid it everywhere.
- If you need something, there’s a shot Ryan Yarbrough goes 5+ against the Orioles and provides some production here. I don’t think there’s enough to chase in standard leagues, though.
- And hey, Zach Thompson could have his cutter and curve against a middling Phillies lineup. I won’t rule it out, just don’t go after the bottom arms listed from Spencer Howard to José Ureña. Those are going to be rough.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s ace day and I have Sandy Alcantara under Gerrit Cole simply because of the matchups. I could have egg on my face at the end of the day (how could I ever doubt Sandy?!) but it’s a little safer with Cole.
- The bottom half of the top tier isn’t as safe. Brandon Woodruff is facing what we think is a banged-up Red Sox team, but they’ve been able to score a bit more than I expected as of late. Robbie Ray is coming off an outing without a single slider whiff and now has to endure the Astros. Still start them, but I feel your anxiety.
- The second tier leads with Lance Lynn and his depressed velocity facing the pedestrian Athletics lineup. This should work, but he’s not an auto-start given the volatility across the last month.
- Miles Mikolas, Marcus Stroman, and Martín Pérez are all Toby types who all carry heavy quality start potential against middling squads.
- Yes, we’re starting Alex Cobb wherever we can against the Cubs. It’s been a bit of chaos this year, but he should excel here and who knows, maybe Chicago has dealt away some key players by then.
- It’s Coors, but Julio Urías just sat 94.6 mph on his four-seamer and that’s AMAZING. I really hope that sticks in Colorado and pushes him to yet another productive pitcher.
- The third tier kicks off with Patrick Sandoval against the Rangers. He’s hurt managers in three of his last four outings and the Rangers can pack a punch. That WHIP is still elevated and despite the strikeout ceiling, I understand managers who want to look elsewhere.
- Are we okay with Jeffrey Springs? He hasn’t been locked in for a bit now and the second half woes could be hitting him as he faces the Guardians. I think this will be a telling start either way.
- The ceiling of Blake Snell forces me to place him higher than the bottom three of the tier as they all share a similar floor, even if Snell is getting the Twins.
- Speaking of which, I’m favoring Dean Kremer above José Quintana and Madison Bumgarner as my streaming pick of the day. Kremer’s heater and cutter have performed well and despite the potential of the longball, it still makes for an easier matchup that the Phils or Atlanta for the other two.
- In the bottom tier, I hope James Kaprielian can take another step to earn our trust against the White Sox, but I’m not interested in testing it on Friday.
- There isn’t much else to chase here, with Kris Bubic facing the mighty Yankees, Mike Minor struggling all season, and Bailey Falter + Aníbal Sánchez instilling minimal adoration.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)