Starting Pitcher Streamer Rankings – 8/18 & 8/19

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: 72-53

 

Today’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. Update: The Rays are calling up Luis Patiño and pushing McShane to Friday. I wouldn’t start Patiño in the heavy majority of cases, but he’s a better option than most in the bottom tier.

 

  • 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.

 

  • Update: The Red Sox are skipping Eovaldi this week due to shoulder soreness (aka the reason he’s throwing 94 mph), which means Josh Winckowski is getting the start against the Pirates. Not a terrible option, and it makes him the streaming pick of the day as he could escape with a cheap Win.

 

  • 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. Update: With Winckowski now pitching, he is the streaming pick of the day, not Watkins.

 

  • 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.

 

Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

 

  • I had a tough time ranking the top tier for Friday as Shane McClanahan claims the top spot despite his recent stumbles. At the same time, he earned 20 whiffs last start even with his lower velocity and the Royals aren’t much of a threat.
  • Am I putting too much faith into Blake Snell’s resurgence? Maybe? It’s hard to deny the ceiling against a team like Natty Lite, though, while Aaron Nola has to deal with the Mets and we all know the annoyance that is the Phillies defense.

 

  • In the second tier, Triston McKenzie has a case to be placed in the tier above. I think he’s a little more volatile than I’d like, but you’re very likely to start him. Let’s just hope the heaters find the zone without demolition.
  • What a tumultuous season it has been for Kevin Gausmanwho had another BABIP frenzy last time out. The Yankee offense has been searching for answers (maybe Wednesday evening’s theatrics will be the catalyst?) and could continue their struggles on Friday, helping pull Gausman out of the bottom of the WHIP well.

 

  • The inverse of Gausman is Brady Singerwho has turned many heads across the last month. His two-pitch mix has carved up lineups with sinker called strikes and slider whiffs, and the Rays shouldn’t hold you back from jumping on this train.
  • After a successful return from the IL, Lance McCullers Jr. seems safe to start against Atlanta. Seems. He has a history of inconsistent command and I wonder if I’m being a little too aggressive with his ranking, but at the same time, I’m excited to start McCullers Jr. where I have him and I imagine you are too.

 

  • I debated placing the next two arms where they landed as they could fit inside the Probably Start tier. Patrick Sandoval and Aaron Ashby are both Cherry Bomb arms with the scales seemingly tipped in their favor as they matchup against the Tigers and Cubs. There’s a chance for a legit outing here from both…or it could be walk central and our disappointment will be immeasurable.
  • Following the men with high ceilings is a slew of Toby types with Cole Irvin, Marco Gonzalesand Martín PérezIt feels odd to rank Pérez at the bottom of the trio, but his changeup feel was a touch worse last time out, the first sign of its ability fading, and now he gets the Twins. As for the Irvin vs. Gonzales matchup, I wouldn’t be shocked if they both go six strong and neither gets a Win. That’s baseball, Suzyn.

 

  • Our streaming pick of the day comes next in Graham AshcraftThe cutter was wonderful last time out and the Pirates are a weak enough offense to let us say “sure, why not” and hope the BABIP gods are on our side.
  • I’m worried about starting both Kyle Wright and Jesús Luzardo in their tough matchups on Friday. Wright is dealing with “dead arm” and has to endure the Astros, while Luzardo is sitting 1.5 ticks down without his elite curve (though he is armed with a new and improved changeup). I’m playing it safe where I can.

 

  • In the bottom tier, Kutter Crawford leads as someone who has a chance for a PQS without a whole lot else against the Orioles. I wouldn’t chase it, but I can see some thinking they need decent volume and pulling the trigger.
  • The likes of Jameson Taillon, Jordan Lylesand Alex Wood all could be considered, but I’d avoid them for their matchups. Taillon may squeeze 5+ productive frames against the Jays, Lyles may have some Orioles magic behind him, and Wood could soar with his improved stuff despite Coors, but it’s far too risky.

 

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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