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: 96-70
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- The top tier is straightforward per usual, though it may be strange to see Gerrit Cole down at #6. It’s the homerun threat + the Jays being the Jays. Still start him, obviously.
- I know George Kirby just messed things up, but you have to give him a break for one bad start across a sea of success.
- In the second tier, José Quintana just took down the Dodgers, why would you be scared of some birds now? On the real, Quintana looks back to normal now, I’d start him everywhere.
- Jesús Luzardo has transitioned back to the man we saw pre-injury – 96 mph four-seamers + a lovely breaker – and it’s good enough for me to take him in a bout with a tough Mets offense.
- I’ve elected to move Joe Musgrove down from the second tier to the third as he faces the Dodgers. I’m a touch worried about the shoulder fatigue he’s endured over the last two weeks and the Dodgers are…the Dodgers. I’m not sure I want to take the chance.
- Our streaming pick of the day is Michael Lorenzen as Dean Kremer is juuust over the 20% threshold. Lorenzen isn’t an exciting option, but he could give you a solid six frames, while Kremer looked phenomenal last time out with a CGSHO and reducing his four-seamer usage. Both are considerable options.
- I think you’re okay with Jake Odorizzi against the Nationals. He just got pummeled by the Phillies, but the stuff is still intact and Natty Lite doesn’t put up much of a fight.
- Maybe Johnny Cueto magic is still sparkling in the air? Maybe?
- I really don’t want to go for Rich Hill and Luis Cessa, and I’m also heavily reluctant to chase Matt Manning against the Royals. I get it if you need innings this late in the season, but those in standard leagues should look at the full week and chase others.
- Lastly, I’ll mention Hayden Wesneski as I’m sure he’s earned the adoration of many of you with his curveball and heater. The Phillies are dangerous, though, and be careful. Don’t start this unless you need to something to tip the scales in your favor.
- The bottom tier is…the bottom tier. Daniel Lynch gets the Tigers but has already failed at that task this year, Adrian Martinez hasn’t squeezed everything out of his arsenal yet and I wouldn’t bank on that happening against the Angels, and Josiah Gray isn’t getting the whiffs he used to.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s a smaller slate but even smaller top tier for Thursday with Shohei Ohtani and Carlos Rodón at the top. Rodón was obviously impacted last start by either his cracked nail or extra rest and we have to hope he’s past the bump in the road by now.
- Andrew Heaney is expected to have an opener on Thursday, which makes him more appealing than usual.
- Between Jeffrey Springs and Jon Gray, take your pick. I’m leaning Springs as the changeup has been that good and the Guardians aren’t as frightening as the Jays.
- Jon Gray also had a bit of a stumble with his stuff last time out, featuring fewer slider whiffs and a tick down in velocity. He’s still a clear start and I’m hoping it was just a blip.
- I made one swap from Monday’s list – I swapped Braxton Garrett and Lucas Giolito as I’m feeling a touch more confident in our streaming pick of the day having his slider vs. the wonky velocity and changeup of Giolito against a tough Twins offense.
- Ending the second tier are a pair of Toby arms in Marco Gonzales and Cal Quantrill. I don’t love em, but it’s in your best interest to start em.
- With Eric Lauer tossing 66 pitches last time out, he could flirt with 80 against the Marlins and produce for your fantasy squads. That said, he’s been inconsistent through the year and even getting enough volume doesn’t guarantee success for Lauer – even against Miami.
- The trio of Eduardo Rodriguez, Ranger Suárez, and Cole Irvin do not give me any excitement, though against pedestrian offenses, I wager at least one of them will come through for trusting managers. Good luck picking the right one.
- The final name of the tier is Javier Assad as he faces the Phils. I don’t love this play and I have him here as a recognition that if his cutter comes through, he could coast through six frames. It’s a big IF, though, and even if he gets the cutter working, the Phils are capable of taking advantage of his mistakes.
- The bottom tier begins with the return of Nathan Eovaldi in a clear Still ILL scenario. I have no idea what we’ll see or how long he’ll go (3.0 IP and 57 pitches in his last rehab start) and you’re better off waiting to make a better decision next week.
- As for the rest of them, I refuse to start Jonathan Heasley after he was trounced by the Tigers the last time he faced them. It’s a decent dart throw, but that floor has me just avoiding it all together.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)
Nick, thanks for your great work all season long. Help me finish off my championship. If you could only choose one, do you prefer Braxton Garret Thursday @ MIL or Alex Cobb vs the Sneks on Friday this week?