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: 45-39
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Once again, a pretty straightforward top tier for Sunday. These are your aces + Luis Castillo, who has earned your trust on a Sunday against an Atlanta team that struggles against right-handers.
- The first three of the second tier could earn their way into the top tier moving forward. Lucas Giolito has performed well for one game, but isn’t out of the woods yet. Charlie Morton took a step back last start, and sadly Shane Baz has to deal with the Jays in his fourth outing of the year. They’ll be in the top tier plenty down the road, I’m sure.
- The rest of the second tier has the usual suspects of solid-but-not-elite arms. Framber Valdez, Jordan Montgomery, Adam Wainwright, and Carlos Carrasco all get decent matchups and have a good chance of 6+ frames.
- At the end of the tier carries Jon Gray and Tarik Skubal, two pitches at opposite moments of their seasons. Gray is cruising, but has to deal with the Mets, while Skubal is at his nadir and isn’t a confident play despite facing the Royals.
- Kicking off the third tier is Devin Smeltzer marking our streaming pick of the day as he faces the Orioles. He’s rewarded trusting managers across his last two outings, but the Orioles are capable of ruining days at the park quickly. Let’s hope Smeltzer has it in him.
- Ross Stripling could also be a solid option as he’s rostered in about 30% of leagues. The Rays aren’t as tough as the Yankees, White Sox, or Red Sox, the three teams Stripling just produced against.
- Update: It looks like Brady Singer is going on Sunday, with Kris Bubic going on Saturday. I’ve added Singer to the table, below Smeltzer and Stripling as Singer is a coin flip, even against the Tigers.
- The bottom trio of the tier are sure to make managers sweat. Triston McKenzie is coming off his roughest outing of the year as he faces the Yankees, MacKenzie Gore has lost his footing across the last three weeks and has to deal with the Dodgers, and Zac Gallen just got blown up before this matchup inside Coors. Terrible timing for terrible matchups.
- The final tier hosts many desperate dart throws for your Sunday. José Quintana has had excellent command and survived his last two starts, while Tyler Wells was all the rage in June but may struggle against the mighty Twins offense.
- I know, we Don’t Trust The Feddes, but the one exception over the years has been the Marlins. They are a bit better offensively this year, but there may be something to consider there.
- And hey, Connor Seabold just earned a “Gallows Pole” despite allowing 7 ER against the Jays. Maybe he can keep those whiffs while limiting the Cubs from scoring.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Let me start by saying the last two weeks of streaming have been rough. The exciting options have regressed, I find myself taking the wrong side of the coin flip, or the landscape itself is in a terrible place. Just to be clear, despite the necessity of me needing to select a streamer each day, I typically end the season around 60/40 and this is just one of those rough patches. It affects me (it’s impossible not to!) and I feel for everyone who has leaned on them recently and gotten burned for it. I’m right there with you and here are to better times ahead.
- H’ok, with that aside, our National holiday has just three defacto arms in the top tier and a whole lot of blegh at the end. You can’t ask for much better than Carlos Rodón, Alek Manoah, and Julio Urías facing weak offenses on Monday. What a way to start your week.
- I considered Kyle Wright in the same tier, but he’s not as solid as the other three at the moment and faces a dangerous Cardinals offense. I’d still start him, but it’s not as much of a slam dunk (hey, that’s the wrong sport).
- Joining Wright in the second tier are Sean Manaea and Taijuan Walker. Manaea has been rather consistent but has failed to take the final step with his secondaries to become a Top 25 starter. He should be a safe play against the Mariners.
- As for Taijuan Walker, his arsenal has swung all over the place this season and it’s…worked. It makes me more uneasy than I’d like but hey, you start the man right now.
- The third tier begins with Zach Plesac, who has found his slider across the last month and improved his changeup control. I still have him in the third tier despite facing the Tigers given his low floor, though this may be the most obvious day of success we’ve seen from Plesac for a while.
- Michael Wacha follows after as he’s surprised me lately. Sure, he hasn’t been perfect, but he gets the Rays, who aren’t putting up a major fight. I think you’re okay chasing a Win here.
- I’m pretty dang fed up with Eric Lauer, but I recognize this could work if he’s sitting 94 mph and keeping heaters up. Totally get it if you just want to move on to something else instead.
- I know, I know, Patrick Corbin has dealt a lot of pain this year. However, he just fanned thirteen batters across eight frames and now he gets the Marlins. It’s a dangerous game we play.
- The bottom tier is large. It starts with Dane Dunning and Konnor Pilkington, who get some lovely matchups against the Orioles and the Tigers. I’m not in a position to trust them despite their opponents, but it’s a better situation than the others below. Maybe Dunning has his command and maybe Pilk has his changeup.
- I never know how to feel about Justin Steele, who has days where his fastball earns enough whiffs or balls find gloves to make the day worthwhile. The Brewers have pop in their bats and make it too risky for me.
- Take your pick on the rest of the tier. Do you want to take a shot on Alex Faedo having his slider? What about Dylan Bundy surviving the White Sox? Maybe Johnny Cueto can go six against the Twins? Or do you want the coin flip of Dakota Hudson against Atlanta?
- As for Jake Odorizzi and Luis Patiño, I don’t trust that they’ll be able to go long enough to make those starts worth your time.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)
“Move on to something else”… As in, Lauer is droppable in a points league?