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: 64-47
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- With Justin Verlander, Joe Musgrove, and Brandon Woodruff all squaring off against weak lineups, Thursday is a good day to watch some pitching dominance.
- Kyle Wright has the toughest job in the top tier as he faces the Mets and it’s an important step toward a possible AGA label in the near future. If you have him, you haven’t stopped starting him since you picked him up.
- The Tigers and Nationals are two of the weakest offenses around (I updated the offense rankings table at the top of the article after the trade deadline passed), making Jeffrey Springs and Noah Syndergaard clear plays for Thursday.
- Marcus Stroman and Carlos Carrasco don’t have the easiest days at the park against the Cards and Braves, but we’re still letting them fly. Six innings from each is easily attainable.
- In the third tier, I feel fortunate I can select José Quintana as my streaming pick of the day. He’s a Vargas Rule and gets a poor offense in the Cubs and now has a winning club and improved defense behind him. I was tempted to slot him at the end of the second tier, but there is something to be said about jitters in the first start pitching for a new club.
- I had a tough time deciding where to rank Sonny Gray as he’s the only arm facing a strong lineup in the tier. He could escape with a bevy of strikeouts and a Win…or fall flat on his face. Let’s hope the curve and slider are cooking.
- Paul Blackburn and Janson Junk are going head-to-head and both arms came through in their last outings. There’s a chance both provide fantasy value here, though I think Janson’s eight-strikeout game against the Royals was a bit of smoke and mirrors.
- And then there’s Nick Pivetta as he faces the Royals. I’ve been open about my lack of faith in Pivetta…but he gets the Royals who just traded away both Benintendi and Merrifield. There’s a decent chance he comes through and gets a Win in the process.
- In the bottom tier, there’s not a whole lot to look at. Zach Plesac, Kris Bubic, and
Ross Striplinghave a shot of being their best selves and succeeding against stellar lineups, while Glenn Ottomay have the slider and curve missing bats against the White Sox. Far too much risk to let loose in 12-teamers, in my view. Updates: The Jays placed Stripling on the IL and pushed Alek Manoah up a day – start him – while the Rangers are calling up Cole Ragans to make his MLB debut. I didn’t see anything too exciting about Ragans, so let him pitch on the wire and we’ll talk tomorrow.
- It gave me no joy to place Jakob Junis at the very bottom, but he isn’t going too deep into games, the Dodgers are destructive, and Junis isn’t fully locked in at the moment.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- The top tier is short with Dylan Cease leading the way against the Rangers. He’s been so dang good with his slider usage increasing upwards of 60%+ and you can’t deny the man at this point.
- Despite two rugged outings against the Astros, Robbie Ray is the #2 play for Friday as he faces the stumbling Angels offense. Let er ride.
- Note: There’s a chance Pablo López starts on Saturday instead of Friday if the Marlins want to give Jesús Luzardo an extra day of rest and toss him on Sunday instead of Saturday. Whoever would get the start instead likely isn’t of note for your fantasy teams.
- In the second tier, we have Nestor Cortes and Taijuan Walker at the top facing decent offenses. I don’t see much of a reason not to start these guys, but they are a slight dip in quality from those above.
- Corey Kluber also resides here as he gets a chance to wallop the lowly Tigers. It’s hard to expect anything less.
- The Questionable Start tier is a doozy for Friday. The first half are your major names, mostly against tough opponents. Don’t undervalue the revamped Padres offense as Tony Gonsolin hasn’t been as sharp over the last few weeks, for example.
- It’s a super tough call trying to manage the order of Tyler Mahle, Sean Manaea, and José Berríos as they all face threatening offenses. I’m leaning with Mahle in a much better home park, though Manaea just looked phenomenal and Berríos, well, he’s Berríos.
- The bottom half of the tier is difficult to sift through as well but presents some fun opportunities, including our streaming pick of the day Dean Kremer. The Pirates are the perfect team for Kremer to take advantage of and I’d roll him out there if I needed a weekend start.
- Kyle Gibson faces Natty Lite and Justin Steele gets the poor Marlins crew, while Mitch Keller is on a roll and could endure the Orioles. The hardest choice was Madison Bumgarner against Rockie Road as he labored in his last outing. I wonder which is worse: Bumgarner’s heater or the Colorado offense.
- In the bottom tier, it feels as if this Germán Márquez start is the one to consider – FINALLY! – as his curveball has been cooking + he’s on the road + he squares up against the Sneks. And yet, I still have him in the bottom tier. I hope this works.
- Not much else to go for here, but consider Josh Winckowski if you’re in dire need of a cheap win. He tends to go 5+ frames and find himself with the dub often.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)