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: 48-41
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- The top tier is split in two or aces and those who could get the label in the near future. Framber Valdez gets the call at #5 as his sinker has been far better in 2022 and gets a cushy date with the Athletics.
- There’s also Robbie Ray at the end, hoping to earn his AGA label as he faces the tough Jays offense. The introduction of his sinker has catalyzed an incredible run and we can only hope it sticks around.
- In the second tier, you’re starting Triston McKenzie as he faces the Royals and recovered after his rough outing against the Royals.
- I can see some wanting to favor Carlos Carrasco over Patrick Sandoval, but the strikeout potential is higher for the latter, with Sandoval’s changeup and slider combining for 15 whiffs in his last start against the Astros. This could be an explosive outing.
- In the third tier, I’d stream Devin Smeltzer where I could (25% rostered) as he faces the Rangers. He’s been able to earn Wins and consistently go six frames, making him a cheap option on Saturday.
- The actual streaming pick of the day was a choice between Johnny Cueto getting a lovely date with the Tigers and banking on Madison Bumgarner carrying 92 mph heaters against Rockie Road. I’m going with Cueto as I believe he holds a higher Win chance, but I’m okay with either here.
- It’s not the easiest choice to start Jordan Montgomery against the Red Sox. If he’s able to steal strikes consistently with his sinker, he should keep his head above water with changeups and curveballs. However, if you need to avoid a clunker badly, The Bear may be best on your bench.
- The same goes for the Cherry Bomb that is Hunter Greene. The Rays aren’t the most intimidating, but if Greene isn’t able to steer with sliders, this could get ugly.
- In the bottom tier, Dean Kremer may be able to bounce back against the laboring Angels offense, while Martín Pérez has had his Vargas Rule come to a halt, especially with the Twins on deck.
- I know we’re all a little intrigued about Patrick Corbin after his last two starts, but Atlanta is awfully good against southpaws and it’s just two outings from Patrick. Play this cautiously.
- It looks like Marcus Stroman is making his return from the IL today against the Dodgers. He tossed just 2.2 frames in his final rehab start and makes for a very clear Still ILL as I question how deep he’ll go in this game against the tough Los Angeles offense.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Two Florida men lead the way on Sunday with Sandy Alcantara and Shane Baz. Baz is working toward his AGA label as Sandy could soar for another 7+ inning start because why not.
- It’s not 100% confirmed that Kevin Gausman is starting Sunday’s game – monitor his status early Sunday before locking in your lineups.
- It’s a small second tier as Taijuan Walker is the clear start given his prolific strikeout ability across the last few weeks. The Marlins don’t give enough hesitation to resist.
- Both Michael Kopech and Eric Lauer have their question marks (will Kopech’s velocity return? Is Lauer’s shift on the rubber the tweak he needed?) but starts against weak foes quells our worries.
- The third tier is…massive. I’m going to tell you right now that this will be a whole lot dice throwing as we hope to find the right starter for Sunday to help win your weekly leagues. For example, in the back-half of the tier are Dylan Bundy, José Suarez, and Jake Odorizzi all facing weak lineups. I can see all three working…or all three failing.
- I favored Dylan Bundy given that he’s allowed just 5 ER across his last four games, though I was impressed with Jake Odorizzi’s fastball command in his previous outing and if it returns, the Athletics should roll over.
- However, I have another option as my streaming pick of the day – José Quintana. His command has been excellent across the last month as he’s entered Vargas Rule territory with a date against the Brewers.
- If Zach Plesac is available, he may provide dividends against the Royals as his slider has earned whiffs while the changeup earns strikes with ease.
- As for some reason I do this in reverse order today, the top of the tier carries a pair of rookies in MacKenzie Gore and Nick Lodolo. Gore hasn’t been as pristine as we’d like lately, but I think I’m still rolling him out there against the Giants.
- Nick Lodolo impressed across his 4.2 frames against the Mets, though we’re not at a place yet to believe his early-season command issues are completely gone from the menu.
- Lastly, there are familiar names in the tier with tough matchups. Logan Gilbert could overpower the Jays with his heater, Nick Pivetta’s rhythm came to a screeching halt last start and now faces the Yankees, and Jameson Taillon struggled against the Athletics and Pirates before this Red Sox matchup.
- And sure, Zack Greinke could survive against the Guardians, and Alex Wood could find his slider and changeup against the Padres.
- In the bottom tier, this could be the first start that I’d actually consider Germán Márquez as he hits the road to face the Sneks. Maybe.
- It’s not the worst idea to flip the coin with Ian Anderson as he faces the Nationals, but I’d rather feature those in tier three instead of praying for Anderson’s command to soar.
- And hey, why not. Maybe Paolo Espino has some of the magic he had in 2021 against Atlanta, or Dane Dunning squirms through the Twins lineup for six frames.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)