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:
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: 82-64
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Not a whole lot to talk about for Thursday. You have your standard aces + Adam Wainwright and Kyle Gibson at the end of the tier facing two of the weakest offenses around. Let em fly.
- There may be some hesitation surrounding Freddy Peralta as his command has been a bit wonky since his return, though the ceiling is too high & the floor is reasonable enough even with the erratic arsenal.
- In the second tier, it’s just Sonny Gray as he faces the Yankees. I was tempted to slot him in the top tier, though his ceiling feels a bit capped unlike the others there. You’re very likely starting him with the NYY offense laboring tremendously over the past month.
- The third tier begins with Gray’s opponent, Nestor Cortes. He sits in the lower tier as he gets the Still ILL label – I’m not sure if he’ll have some rust and how long he’ll go in this game.
- The Athletics have the reluctant streaming pick of the day in JP Sears. I wouldn’t call myself the largest fan of his repertoire, though he’s been able to toss 5+ competitive frames with regularity. Luis Cessa vs. Adrian Sampson has an interesting case as well (which side would you choose?), though I think Sears has done a bit more as of late.
- The final two options are Jakob Junis and Josiah Gray. Junis has his wicked slider, but not his changeup and a rather weak sinker, making for a low floor and limited ceiling. As for Gray, it’s dangerous against the Cardinals, though if you’re chasing strikeouts, he could tally 7+ here regardless of the ratios.
- Oh, and the Giants are starting Sean Hjelle in game two of the doubleheader…or possibly just a bullpen game. Again. No thanks.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- It’s an abnormally short top tier today, with just a handful of clear plays. After Frankie Montas demolished the Rays last weekend, I don’t see a good reason not to start him here, while Dustin May should get back on the horse in a revenge start against the Padres.
- The second tier is a bit more interesting. We’re leading with David Peterson, who slides back in the rotation with Max Scherzer’s injury and should be picked up everywhere – not just for this start against the Marlins, but indefinitely until he’s removed. His slider is that good.
- Continuing in the second tier, there are question marks with everyone here, but you should still be starting everyone. Nick Lodolo’s stuff is fantastic and will be challenged more than last week as he faces the Brewers, Lance McCullers Jr.’s command is a concern, Drew Rasmussen is returning from Paternity Leave and may be a little rusty and/or limited by the Rays, and so on.
- Ross Stripling, Lucas Giolito, and Noah Syndergaard shouldn’t get you excited for their outings, but face weak enough teams that the wheel is in their favor to land on a favorable outcome.
- Our streaming pick of the day is here in Drew Smyly as he faces the Giants. He just got rocked by the Cardinals, but the stuff was intact – 93 mph heaters, curveballs down, sinkers up – and the Giants are a far easier time.
- The final arm of the tier is Edward Cabrera as he faces the Mets. Cabrera’s breaker is looking wonderful as he’s dipped his fastball usage to sub 30% levels. It’s a risky play, but this could very well play out well for trusting managers.
- The third tier is rough. Austin Voth was limited to just three innings last time out, Roansy Contreras has a great schedule moving forward but has to deal with the Cardinals on Friday, and after that…it’s Daniel Lynch against the Tigers? Yikes.
- Really, these are the desperate plays to consider if you have to start someone on Friday. Maybe Dylan Bundy and Jason Alexander can have a productive five frames or Brayan Bello has his best stuff against the Orioles.
- In the bottom tier, I wouldn’t be touching Mike Clevinger against the Dodgers. His breakers are gone and the Dodgers feasted last time out. I don’t see a reason to expect any difference a second time.
- Michael Lorenzen is returning from the IL and has to instantly deal with the Astros. I may want to target him in two weeks, but leave him on the wire for now.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)