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: 64-48
Today’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.
- Update: Yep, it’s Edward Cabrera, who went five frames in his final rehab start and fanned 14 across his last eight innings. Against the Cubs, it feels like he could go five frames and produce. Consider it, and at the very least speculatively add him.
- 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.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- We have plenty of starters across 17 games on Saturday and just five in the top tier. I don’t think you’ll see much contention with these plays – just make sure you get a chance to watch Shane McClanahan and Carlos Rodón carve up their weak opponents.
- And hey, I’m going to dream we get a Max Scherzer vs. Max Fried matchup during the Mets-Braves doubleheader.
- I’m loving so many in the second tier. Luis Garcia and Merrill Kelly have been stalwarts for your rotations, Reid Detmers, Nick Lodolo, and Aaron Ashby have been a trio of young lefties getting their chance to soar on the bump, and George Kirby returns to get a cushy matchup against the Angels.
- We’ve seen steps forward with Ranger Suárez over the last few weeks and he’s likely to continue his forward momentum with a start against Natty Lite.
- There’s a good discussion to be had about Michael Kopech heading into this start against the Rangers. He featured 96+ mph velocity last time out and looks to be returning to form, though it’s possible he takes a step back and struggles against a middling Texas lineup. If you want to put him in the third tier, I understand.
- Speaking of which, Andrew Heaney leads things off in said third tier as he’ll continuously be limited to roughly 75 pitches and has to deal with the Padres. No fun.
- I like Chris Flexen going against a poor Angels offense, but he’s not such a slam dunk for a dominant evening. He’s…fine.
- Nathan Eovaldi sat just 94 mph in his successful start against the Astros and I’d be careful in this outing against the Royals.
- Lastly, it looks like the Mets are starting David Peterson against Atlanta in their doubleheader, and I’ve made him my streaming pick of the day. It’s awfully risky, but his slider has been fantastic and he could take down Atlanta while racking up the strikeouts.
- I see Domingo Germán or even Jake Odorizzi as other options for the stream, but I’m not sure I trust Domingo’s ability to put away batters, while Odorizzi has a tougher challenge against the Mets.
- Joining them in the bottom tier is Jordan Montgomery, who now faces his old team after being dealt just days before. There’s so much at play here against the #1 offense in the league that I’m just sitting this out.
- As for Mike Clevinger, I’m terrified to start him against the Dodgers. He’s had good results lately, but they’ve been earned by his heaters, not his breakers – that’s not the Clevinger way. Without an elite breaker, I see a rough evening against a premier offense.
- There are so many other names here in the final tier and you should ignore most of them. Maybe Daniel Lynch has excellent four-seamer and slider separation against Boston, Austin Voth could thrive against the Pirates, JT Brubaker may have his best slider and curve, and Drew Smyly has hinted at success lately with his curveball command, but all of it comes with a horrendous floor you should avoid wherever possible.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)