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:
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: 72-54
Today’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 Gausman, who 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 Singer, who 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 Gonzales, and Martín Pérez. It 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 Ashcraft. The 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 Lyles, and 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
- It’s weird to place Shane Bieber at the top despite multiple arms with higher ranks on The List falling below him, but I love the fact he’s at 93 mph finally and Zach Wheeler and Gerrit Cole don’t instill the confidence they normally do in their matchups.
- There’s also Joe Musgrove against Natty Lite, though he hasn’t been himself across the last month and Bieber seems like the better play for Saturday’s slate.
- Also in the top tier is Reid Detmers as he faces the Tigers with his new velocity and slider. It’s hard not to feel incredibly confident in this outing with the run Detmers has been on.
- Freddy Peralta was rough against the Dodgers, but the Cubs should ease him back into the starting role well, especially now that he’s at 90+ pitches. Start without question.
- In the second tier, the duel of Cristian Javier vs Spencer Strider is going to be a fun one. Take your pick on who will do better, I’m favoring Javier slightly for facing a weaker lineup.
- I wouldn’t worry about Drew Rasmussen enduring fatigue after his perfect-game bid earlier this week – he only tossed 87 pitches and should be fine to go 5+ in this outing against the Royals.
- I feel weird going against the rules of Still ILL, but it’s hard to resist starting Dustin May is his return from TJS against the Marlins. He’ll be going roughly 70 pitches and has been stellar during his rehab, fanning ten in five frames in his final tune-up.
- The streaming pick of the day is David Peterson, who could become an arm to hold after this start against the Phillies with Carlos Carrasco enduring an oblique injury. Peterson’s slider has been legit more than not this season and I’ll take my chances against a volatile Phillies crew.
- It was wonderful to see the likes of Michael Wacha, Josiah Gray, and even Kris Bubic showcase their high-end ability in their recent outings. Wacha’s command was pristine, Josiah fanned ten, and Bubic is flirting with 93+ mph velocity. I’ve ranked them in that order with Wacha and Josiah as decent plays against the Orioles and Padres, Bubic as someone to watch more than run out and stream.
- And sure, Johnny Cueto and James Kaprielian are Toby types who could muster a quality start if you’re into that sort of thing.
- In the bottom tier, you could settle for a coin flip in Dakota Hudson or Madison Bumgarner in their duel, though the ceilings are far too low for me to circle these starts as waiver wire targets.
- Alex Cobb and Braxton Garrett would normally be in the tier above, but heading to Coors and Dodgers Stadium are as terrifying as you’ll see, presenting too much risk to chase. Keep in mind the schedule is rather rough for Cobb moving forward, and if he’s on your roster, you may want to swap him before the gauntlet begins.
- There isn’t much else to chase on Saturday. Tyler Beede vs. Justin Dunn is a fun game from a lottery ticket standpoint, though I have zero expectations of either one showcasing their ultimate ceilings despite the weak lineups.
- I can imagine some seeing a date against the Angels as a lovely time to stream Tyler Alexander. I have my hesitations with his inconsistent pitch counts and generally pedestrian stuff.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)