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: 72-56
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s hard to deny Shohei Ohtani the top spot of Sunday’s rankings with a date against the Tigers. Sorry Sandy Alcantara, but the Dodgers should be a far tougher time.
- Brandon Woodruff, Dylan Cease, and Luis Castillo are easy starts as well, but Alek Manoah against the Yankees is a slightly tougher call. He hasn’t had his slider missing bats as of late…but the Yankees are also in a massive offensive funk. Start the man.
- In the second tier, Merrill Kelly and José Quintana are dueling and have each deserved your trust to gov 5+ frames of production. What wild times we live in.
- Charlie Morton and Nestor Cortes have tougher matchups but have done enough to earn your trust on Sunday.
- It’s a bit tougher with José Urquidy & Joe Ryan and I’m leaning start them both. Urquidy used his full repertoire effectively last time out, while a matchup for Ryan against the Rangers creates a higher floor for his four-seamer to dominate.
- I nearly put Sean Manaea in the second tier as well, but he has been awfully disappointing despite facing poor lineups, especially with his fastball falling as far down to 89 mph. I’m worried he doesn’t have enough to enjoy Natty Lite.
- After showcasing a brilliant hook against the Tigers, you should feel fine starting Aaron Civale against the White Sox. He goes in the same bucket as Zack Greinke against the Rays and even Kyle Gibson against the Mets – Gibson’s slider was ridiculous last time out.
- Our streaming pick of the day is Justin Steele as he faces the Brewers. His slider has been fantastic and while the Brewers are tougher than the Nationals, Steele is my favorite to perform well at low rostership.
- It’s been ages since we’ve seen Eduardo Rodriguez and he’s performed well in his rehab starts in preparation for Sunday’s return to the bigs (including an immaculate inning!). He’s stretched out far enough that I think he can do well against the Angels.
It’s unclear if Taijuan Walker starts on Sunday for the Mets as he’ll only start if he’s “100%” with his back issues. I’d generally avoid this one, leading him off in the Do Not Start tier. If it’s not Walker, we could see a bullpen game from the Mets as their backup starters are tossing in Saturday’s doubleheader.Update: Walker is officially out today and it’s unclear who will go for the Mets. Avoid it.
- Further in the bottom tier, I know JP Sears has done well in his two starts for the Athletics, but I’m heavily concerned that we’ve seen the most his ability can squeeze out. I wouldn’t start him against the Mariners.
- The matchup of Dean Kremer vs. Nick Pivetta is a difficult decision on a desperate Sunday. I’m leaning Kremer and Orioles Magic to carry him, but there’s a chance Pivetta is his best self and soars ahead.
- I wouldn’t touch anything else, sadly. The duel of Zach Thompson vs. Mike Minor is sure to leave a poor taste in any trusting managers’ mouths, and everything else below has little-to-no history of proper success this year.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s a short Monday slate with Max Scherzer and Julio Urías far and away the best plays for Monday’s games as the only two AGA teams.
- Jordan Montgomery and Edward Cabrera slide into the top tier as a pair of pitchers on excellent rolls against poor offenses. It’s hard to deny them both a spot in your Monday lineups against the Cubs and Athletics.
- The top of the second tier goes to Jeffrey Springs against the Angels. I’m liking his changeup as of late and his command is at a place where he should be fruitful for his fantasy managers.
- Michael Kopech was able to survive against the Astros and as long as he’s above 95 mph and pumping strikes, he should be fine against the Royals.
- Closing out the second tier are Sonny Gray and Noah Syndergaard. Gray had his curveballs return last start and I’m crossing my fingers the feel will be there for the foreseeable future, while Syndergaard is a Toby type granted the gift of the Reds on the road.
- Kicking off the third tier is Jake Odorizzi as our streaming pick of the day. He hasn’t been quite as sharp as we’d like over his last two starts, but the Pirates are a welcome respite and make for a solid chance at a Win.
- I almost went with Drew Smyly instead of Odorizzi as he gets a date with the Cardinals. Ultimately, he has a tougher chance at a win with The Bear opposing him & the Cardinals are a tougher crew to deal with. That said, as long as the hook is staying low and he can elevate his heater, Smyly could excel once again.
- There’s also Roansy Contreras to consider after earning double-digit whiffs with his slider in his return from the minors. He’s a riskier play than the other two, though, as he’s a bit of a Cherry Bomb at the moment. It may be wise to sit this out and wait for the next one against the Brewers.
- In the bottom tier, Eric Lauer just had a date with the Dodgers where he barely got out without damage and now is being tasked to do it again. At least he had his 94 mph heater last time and he could build on it, but I wouldn’t take the chance.
- Domingo Germán and Daniel Lynch are both interesting options as well, though Domingo hasn’t found a proper groove yet and now has to face the tough Mets offense. Meanwhile, Lynch hasn’t clicked with his slider and four-seamer yet and the White Sox are a bit better against southpaws.
- I can see some favoring Adam Oller or Tucker Davidson against a pair of paltry offenses on Monday and I’m not fully ruling them out. That said, their ceilings are limited – these are ERA plays across about five frames – and with such low floors, it doesn’t make for a good spin of the wheel.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)