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: 92-68
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- After just one start back from the IL, Justin Verlander slots at the top of Thursday’s ranks as he faces Baltimore. He’s been such a lock this season and looked like his normal self in his return.
- The end of the tier features Zac Gallen as he faces the Dodgers. Gallen’s second half has been historic and despite the tough matchup, you should trust his skills to come through.
- The second tier is awfully precarious, much moreso than usual. José Berríos is a cherry bomb, Johnny Cueto is a “shrug, it’s magic” pitcher, Jack Flaherty has been erratic lately, Martín Pérez’s command has been here-and-there, and Michael Wacha gets the Yankees. Their ceilings all make me lean starting them, though if your gut says sit, by all
Johnsmeans, sit them.
- I almost put Hayden Wesneski in the second tier as I’m digging this matchup against the Pirates. I pulled it back as rookies are more volatile than we like to think and despite all signs pointing toward an excellent day at the park, we simply don’t have a large enough sample to be that confident in him.
- And yet, I prefer Wesneski over Mitch Keller for the streaming pick of the day. With Keller, I simply don’t like his arsenal, but he’s still the second-best option of the third tier. I’m okay trusting him during his little hot stretch, though I’ll do so putting up a fuss along the way.
- There isn’t much else to get excited about here. Jameson Taillon is a Toby, Michael Lorenzen is doing his best to look like a Toby, and the final two options of Kyle Bradish and Ryan Yarbrough are desperate dart throws.
- In the bottom tier, there’s an outside chance Adrian Martinez or Josh Winder come through for 5+ productive frames if you’re hoping for something.
- Ranger Suárez and José Ureña have a longer history of going deeper into games for those in QS leagues, becoming the meat of this bottom-tier “if you absolutely need to” sandwich.
- Updates: The Reds are flipping Hunter Greene and Mike Minor in their rotation. I’d start Greene, though he’s only one start back and we can’t be certain his former Cherry Bomb tendencies have been fully eradicated.
- The Giants are likely going full bullpen with Sean Hjelle getting demoted. In Coors. Yeah.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- A whole lot of fun starters go on Friday, though there are some tough matchups along the way for Yu Darvish, Aaron Nola, Gerrit Cole, and Jeffrey Springs. I think you start all of them.
- The only reason Carlos Rodón is fourth and not first is due to his cracked nail that pushed this start back a few days. I elected to weigh in the risk he’s either still affected by it or will be limited to some degree.
- In the second tier, Brady Singer is a Cherry Bomb that you’re likely going to start, while Marco Gonzales on the other end is a Toby. You start Tobys against the Royals.
- It has been a grind to watch Lucas Giolito this season but it’s the Tigers. Surely this will work, right?
- In the third tier, Braxton Garrett leads the way as our streaming pick of the day against Natty Lite. The slider wasn’t as elite as we’ve seen in his first start back, but it could come out in a huge way against the weak Nationals lineup.
- There are a few other streamers to consider. Javier Assad didn’t have his cutter over the weekend, but it could return against the Pirates, leading to production from a very low rostered arm.
- Also consider Jake Odorizzi against the Phillies. He nearly pitched five strong last time out against the Phils and I won’t rule out success here as his command is in line with what we expect.
- And then there’s Cody Morris, who has a fastball/cutter/change approach that would allow him to plod through a pedestrian Rangers crew. If you’re searching for starts this weekend, one of these should be highlighted before relying on Sunday.
- I’m still uneasy about where I’ve placed José Quintana and José Urquidy. Quintana has the unenviable task of facing the Dodgers and may be putting managers at too much risk entering the weekend.
- As for José Urquidy, he’s been rough in his last two starts against weak teams, it’s no lock that he’ll make the right adjustment against the Orioles.
- Look, I know we Don’t Trust The Feddes, but the one exception for Erick Fedde over the years has been the Marlins – Fedde demolishes them. It’s something to consider if you’re in dire need of starts.
- In the bottom tier, I really don’t want to rely on Eduardo Rodriguez. His stuff is far from its peak and the ceiling is too low to consider.
- With Ryne Nelson going on the IL, it’s unclear what the Diamondbacks are doing Friday evening. It’ll be someone out of the rotation currently, which makes for an easy bench.
- Updates: It’s possibly Eric Lauer instead of Jason Alexander on Friday as he returns from the IL. I wouldn’t be starting him – Still ILL n all.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)