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: 79-60
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- I had to do it. Spencer Strider is the #1 play against Rockie Road as his fastball is one of the best pitches in the majors. Sure, he’s ranked below Brandon Woodruff and Shane Bieber on The List, but that’s because I trust those aces against strong teams. Feasting on the weak? That’s Strider’s wheelhouse.
- Logan Gilbert should have a fun time against the Tigers as well, I just wish there was more in the backend of the repertoire to consider pushing him above the others.
- It wasn’t fun seeing Chris Bassitt struggle against the Rockies last time out, though if you have him, I still would start him against the mighty Dodgers. He’s proven his ability to take down tough lineups many times this year.
- Merrill Kelly is an easy call against the Brewers – he’s been a rock all year and hasn’t let up even in the last few weeks while the Brewers aren’t much of a threat.
- In the second tier, Clayton Kershaw is only here because this is a Still ILL – we don’t know how long he’s going to go for and if there is any rust.
- Johnny Cueto ran into legit trouble last time out, though you have to believe there’s still some magic left on him to take down the Royals.
- Our streaming pick of the day is Rich Hill after fanning eleven and lasting seven frames in his last start. He utilized all seven pitches across his repertoire in the marvelous outing and I have no choice but to spin the wheel against the Rangers.
- In the third tier, I have my doubts about the legitimacy of Eduardo Rodriguez. He’s not getting changeup whiffs, his fastball velocity is down, and the slider + cutter are mediocre. I’m worried this is a trap play.
- It was lovely to see Kyle Bradish toss 50% sliders in his last start, though his four-seamer is still a liability. The Guardians can be dangerous and I want to express caution for those believing he’s polished after his peak.
- In the bottom tier, I’m excited to watch Ken Waldichuk make his MLB debut, though y’all know the rules – don’t start players in their MLB debut. Keep an eye on him and hope he glistens in the nation’s capital.
- Update: The Nationals are starting Paolo Espino today instead of Cory Abbott, and I wouldn’t ignore it, especially in NL-Only leagues. He has the ability to go 5+ frames with a strong set of breakers. Don’t overlook it, even if the ceiling isn’t very high.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Moving past the obvious aces of the top half, it’s a tough call to decide between Yu Darvish and Dustin May for Friday’s games. On one hand, May has the easier matchup against the Padres, though he’s only had to face the Marlins thus far. On the other, Darvish has been as rock solid as any starter out there and his opponent’s lineups seem to carry less weight than other pitchers. Your call, but start them both.
- The final two are Jordan Montgomery and Lance McCullers Jr. Yes, The Bear struggled in his last outing, but the Cubs are a far easier time, while Lance’s command isn’t perfect but still good enough to take on the Angels.
- In the second tier, David Peterson is a clear play with his excellent slider and matchup against Natty Lite. He’s just outside the streaming range per my rules, but he’s still out there for many of you.
- The actual streaming pick of the day is Dean Kremer against the Athletics. He’s been spotting cutters and featuring an improved heater with a fantastic situation against Oakland. It’s good to be a part of Orioles Magic when you can.
- I’m not too worried about Sonny Gray or Jeffrey Springs in their matchups, though I have a little hesitancy for Reid Detmers against the Astros. He improved last time out against the Jays, but it wasn’t a full return to his dominant self. There’s still work to be done and I hope it’s another step forward.
- The final three options are all good plays as well. Kyle Gibson can excel against the mediocre Giants squad, Domingo Germán has featured a solid curve, and Alex Cobb’s splitter earned 12 whiffs last time out. I’m fine starting them all.
- In the third tier, Eric Lauer was a huge disappointment against the Cubs in his last outing with a depressed heater down to 92 mph (not 94!). The Sneks are not a scary team, but this feels awfully blegh to me right now.
- I can’t deny the recent runs of Drew Hutchison and JP Sears, but that doesn’t mean I’m confidently starting them on Friday.
- If you’re looking for something else to chase on Friday, I can see Daniel Lynch doing enough to exploit the Tigers offense, Zach Davies getting enough sinker called strikes to survive the Brewers, or maybe Pivetta’s stuff misses enough bats to take down the Rangers. Very risky, though.
- And if you’re truly desperate, Adrian Sampson and Kyle Freeland are a step below the rest of the bottom tier, with Luis Cessa another step above the bottom three. Avoid Davis Martin, Tyler Beede, and Dallas Keuchel at all costs.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)