Starting Pitcher Streamer Rankings – 8/17 & 8/18

Nick Pollack ranks the starting pitcher streamers for today & tomorrow.

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:

Nick’s Loose Team Offense Rankings (Updated 8/16)

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: 71-53

 

Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

 

  • There are only two “defacto” plays for Wednesday with Max Scherzer and Carlos Rodón sitting at the top. You don’t need me here.
  • We could have more names inside the auto-start tier, but I elected to only add Jordan Montgomery as he’s been as comfortable as can be as part of his new team in St. Louis. He’s been given another gift in Rockie Road and I don’t see a reason not to start him.

 

  • In the second tier, all four of these names have an argument to be in Tier 1. George Kirby has dominated the Angels, the Marlins aren’t much of an offense for Mike Clevinger to deal with (I’m worried about Clev’s underwhelming secondaries), Tyler Mahle gets a favorable matchups against the Royals, and Cal Quantrill squares off against the Tigers on the road. This should be a lovely stroll in the park for Cal.

 

  • The third tier begins with our streaming pick of the day in Drew SmylyHis curveball has been fantastic over the past few weeks and an evening with Natty Lite could return another high strikeout total with the hook consistently earning whiffs.
  • Both Smyly and Domingo Germán are a step above the rest of the options inside this tier. Germán gets a mediocre Rays offense and has been competitive with his entire arsenal in his limited time in the rotation. There’s a solid Win chance present as well (despite the struggles of the Yankee offense) and I’d feel fine letting him get the pearl.

 

  • As for the rest of the tier, it’s hard to feel comfortable. Nick Lodolo hasn’t had his command and can be labeled as a Cherry Bomb as he faces the Phillies – his stuff is great and could lead to him soaring, or he could allow multiple longballs inside Cincinnati’s home park.
  • Rich Hill looks tempting against the Pirates, but we never know how long he’ll go for and if he has enough in the tank to make it worthwhile.

 

  • The final two are Corey Kluber and Michael Kopech facing two strong lineups. Kluber faces his former team in New York and may come out ahead with their bats failing to come through recently. Still risky, but you may be okay here.
  • As for Michael Kopechhis velocity was up last time out, though we’ve seen it fall back down constantly, and without his best stuff, the Astros could have their way with him. Be careful here.

 

  • The bottom tier has more intrigue than usual on Wednesday. Ranger Suárez is hoping to replicate the late-season magic of 2021 and may survive an evening in Cincinnati. Eric Lauer + Jake Odorizzi each have difficult lineups ahead as well, though they each have the ability to go 5+ strong and could pull it out.
  • I have a soft spot for Cole Ragans as he faces the Athletics. His performances haven’t been worthwhile so far, though his stuff speaks to nibbler along the edges who could thrive against a weak offense like Oakland. I wouldn’t chase it, but something to keep an eye out for.

 

  • It’s not fair Daniel Lynch and Austin Voth have to deal with the Twins and Jays, respectively, as my adoration is growing for each of them. It’s far too risky on Wednesday, but I may be leaning on them later on in the year.
  • And then there’s Touki Toussaintwho I can see managers favoring more than I am against the Mariners. I don’t believe his command is as good as we saw last time out and the Mariners are a dangerous squad. I’m avoiding this.

 

  • Update: The Pirates are bringing Roansy Contreras back from the minors and will start Wednesday against the Red Sox. I’m hesitant to trust him out of the gate, but he’s worth the spec add in your leagues.

 

Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

 

  • Hey, it’s Jacob deGrom day! I hope you’re able to celebrate, sorry Atlanta fans.
  • The rest of the top tier is straightforward, even Adam Wainwright against Rockie Road – try to find a league where managers are not starting him here.
  • For those wondering how Shane McClanahan could be the #2 play despite his recent struggles, don’t forget he had 20 whiffs last start and is facing the Royals.

 

  • The second tier is short and sweet. Nathan Eovaldi has made it work with 94 mph on his heater and now gets some respite with the Pirates. I have my concerns across the final weeks of the year, but it’s the Pirates. Let’s talk about those concerns later.
  • As for Max Friedhe’ll be returning from the concussion IL and I’m worried he’ll be a bit rusty and limited. Not to mention, it’s a tough offense with the Mets. All of these reasons are why this AGA isn’t in the top tier, and I think I’m starting him anyway.

 

  • The third tier begins with the struggling Luis Garcia against the White Sox. Normally, this would be in the second tier, but Garcia has fared poorly over his last four (including a pair fo 4 ER games against Oakland) and it may be a product of fatigue – we saw it happen to him last year.
  • With Andrew Heaney restricted to ~75-80 pitches and coming off a start shortened by a comebacker, I have my hesitations relying on Heaney in leagues that limit your maximum starts per week. That said, I don’t think he’ll hurt you for those wondering if you’re putting yourself in harm’s way. His fastball command has been phenomenal.

 

  • We have a trio of pitchers originally inside the Top 30 all hoping for better days and facing tough opponents. Frankie Montas is trying to get back to ~90 pitches and has to endure the Jays, Lucas Giolito has yet to find a rhythm with his four-seamer and changeup as he faces the mighty Astros, and José Berríos‘ horrific season continues in a date against the ice col Yankee offense. Start them at your own risk.
  • The streaming pick of the day is Spenser Watkinswho arguably could be placed in the bottom tier. I’m hoping Orioles magic survives another day against the Cubs, giving Watkins a decent chance for a Win as he can go 80+ pitches and produce for five frames.

 

  • The other two considerable options for a stream would be Dane Dunning against Oakland and Brad Keller against the Rays. Dunning has just one start since the beginning of June with a WHIP below 1.33, while Keller’s volatility is as chaotic as they come. Their ceilings aren’t worth it in my view.
  • And hey, JT Brubaker has a chance to survive against the Red Sox if his breakers are working. I would hate to rely on Coffee Cakes coming through, though.

 

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

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