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 10am – 12pm 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 (Updated 9/10):
Auto-Start – Just do it. Don’t overthink this, start the man. This includes “if I have them rostered, I’m starting them” pitchers.
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-not-elite pitcher or a weak lineup for a volatile arm. These pitchers have a 50% or greater chance of performing well in my view.
Questionable Start – Think of this tier as “I don’t want to start these pitchers in a vacuum, but you could do worse.” Streamers found in this tier are not pitchers I’m targeting and are only if you are in dire need of one. To play it safe with streaming, just start the Probably Start streamers.
Do Not Start – The reward is not worth the risk. Don’t do it. Seriously, these pitchers have a very slim chance of success or sometimes none at all.
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. Those in Yellow in the third tier and should be okay if you’re searching for something on a given day, but I don’t recommend streaming unless you’re in need. 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: 87-66
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s a half slate for Thursday and you don’t need me for the top tier, per usual. You’re starting all of them.
- The second tier is a bit more interesting. I demoted Pablo López a touch with his recent struggles, though I’m letting him fly in most cases. The changeup will be better.
- If you have Noah Syndergaard rostered, he’s a very clear play against the Marlins. Our faith in Thor has dwindled plenty as the year has gone on, but he’s a Toby and you start Tobys against Miami.
- You could arguably place Shane McClanahan ahead of Syndergaard, removing him from the third tier. I have him down here for a few reasons: 1) It’s a Still ILL. 2) The Rays notoriously limit their starters, which caps the ceiling. 3) It’s the Blue Jays. 4) We don’t know how healthy he is (the last rehab start we have was 3.1 IP of 7 ER and 13 baserunners). I’d play it safe where I could.
- The rest is all in the bottom tier, which means Dylan Bundy is our “
streaming pick of the day.”Yes, that gets air quotes because I very clearly do not want to do this. There’s a chance he goes five frames of production against a weak Royals lineup, but still. Don’t.
- The only other of actual consideration would be JT Brubaker after putting up a PQS against the Cardinals. The Mets are too good to do this.
- I want to note Hunter Gaddis for those desperate for some ceiling. Gaddis has an atrocious MLB debut in August, but will get the start for the Guardians on Thursday after tearing it up in Triple-A – three of his last four starts have come with at least seven strikeouts. His changeup has upwards of a 20 mph difference from his 94 mph heater and is destined to miss bats. There could be something here.
- Updates: The Padres are going with Sean Manaea instead of Blake Snell and despite the Sneks being a middling offense, Manaea has been in a rough spot for a month now. Avoid it.
- On the other side of the ball, the Diamondbacks are calling up Drey Jameson to start in the place of Madison Bumgarner, and I’m doing something silly by making him the streaming pick of the day. Is it smart? Nope. Does it matter? Not really as Dylan Bundy was a Do Not Start yesterday, too. Don’t do it, I just wanted to have fun in what I expect to be a streaming loss regardless.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s ace day, which means my streamer gives me pain, but you also have plenty of lovely starts waiting for you on Friday. I struggled with where to place Justin Verlander as I anticipate the Astros will limit him heavily in his return – we may see a piggyback game here. Still, I don’t think he’ll hurt your teams in the innings he pitches, making him an auto-start.
- There are a few arms coming off tough games that I’m still starting everywhere – Jack Flaherty, Jesús Luzardo, Dustin May, and Marcus Stroman. The matchups are too dang good and these pitchers are too talented to pass up.
- In the second tier, it’s hard not to have concern for Logan Webb facing the Dodgers, pushing him into the second tier. I’m going with it in my leagues, but I understand your hesitation if you need to be conservative.
- Frankie Montas is another who is sure to give managers anxiety, though I think his stuff warrants a start against the Brewers.
- The third tier is short and begins with Josiah Gray against the Marlins. Gray hasn’t fared well as of late, but the Marlins are a team that can bring out the best. 7+ strikeouts could be in order.
- My reluctant streaming pick of the day is Michael Lorenzen in his second start back from the IL. No, I don’t enjoy this pick, but I grasp he can go at least five productive frames and look at the other options – not a whole lot else to choose. Yes, I see Mitch Keller against the Mets. Not a chance.
- In the bottom tier, maybe I’m discounting Matt Manning too much, but I don’t think his four-seamer/slider combo is special and it’s far too dangerous to start.
- Germán Márquez is on the road against the Cubs, opening the door for a chance at fantasy relevance. He’s all kinds of volatile, though, and I’d rather find a different option for the weekend.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)