Here are today’s daily SP Streamer rankings.
Every day of the 2023 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 Playback.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 Playback 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. 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 that day’s streaming pick in the second tier and I’d roll with them everywhere. Those in Yellow are 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 (in Alphabetical order):
I’m sure it’ll change through the year + there are differences to be made about teams vs. LHP or RHP, but it works as a general table that y’all should keep in mind.
Alright, let’s get to it.
This year, with our new daily fantasy baseball projections powered by PLV, I’ll be competing against PL Bot to pick the best streaming option each day.
To get access to PL Bot’s picks each day, sign up for PL Pro here.
The streaming record is determined by “Was this a productive game for 12-teamers if I started them?” Roughly a PQS with a Win and a strikeout per inning with a sub 1.20 WHIP. Close calls are decided by Playback chat.
Nick’s 2023 Streamer Record: 65-48
My pick yesterday: Matt Manning vs. LAA
PL Bot’s 2023 Streamer Record: 56-57
PL Bot’s Pick yesterday: Matt Manning vs. LAA
Want PL Bot’s pick today? Sign Up for PL Pro here.
With the new formatting for the notes, I’ve made the streaming pick of the day Underlined and Italicized.
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
Gerrit Cole @ BAL – Aces gonna ace.
Shane McClanahan @ HOU – Aces gonna ace. That inning was weird.
Kevin Gausman vs. LAA – Aces gonna ace. He’s not gonna allow four homers again, right? Don’t worry about the velo dip last time out, he ramped it up and has had those days from time to time. The splitter got whiffs again, too, and that’s wonderful.
Max Scherzer vs. WSN – Aces gonna ace and it’s the Nationals.
Zack Wheeler @ PIT – The four-seamer is just so incredible and I really hope the secondaries do what they are supposed to do. I compare him to Alcantara often, but the real difference = Alcantara has the better change/slider, while Wheeler’s four-seamer is truly elite. Sandy’s has its moments and great locations but he does get beat on them more often inside the zone.
Logan Webb vs. BOS – He was shelacked last time out and the Red Sox are super hot lately and…I don’t care? Webb has been too good, this is not in Fenway, and we roll with it.
Sonny Gray @ KCR – It’s the Royals and that makes this a clear start, though I can’t overlook Sonny’s track record of volatility.
Joe Musgrove vs. TEX – The Rangers are still a strong offense against RHP and Musgrove (even with his AGA label) may have recently taken a small step back with his secondaries.
Logan Gilbert @ ARI – WHERE ARE THE FOUR-SEAMER AND SPLITTER WHIFFS. Sorry, please come back. It’s important to remember that pitchers like Gilbert don’t suddenly lose their skills in the middle of the season and never get them back. It’s an ebb-and-flow and you have to have faith that he’ll rebound in due time. Plenty of season left.
Bobby Miller vs. CIN – Miller has seemingly had a larger focus of getting his breakers over the plate at the cost of the perfect whiff pitch and I’m all for it. He could be a Wheeler/Sandy type in 2024, you know.
Jordan Montgomery vs. CHC – He’s not going to 0/16 changeup whiffs again. It’s likely the last outing as a Cardinal, too, and for his sake, let’s hope it’s a great one.
Grayson Rodriguez vs. NYY – HE GOT HIS CHANGEUP AND BREAKERS DOWN. It was awesome and we can’t bank on it repeating yet. It’s the Yankees
Lucas Giolito @ TOR – It’s his first start for the Angels, where I expect a jolt of adrenaline that should benefit your squads. It is the Jays, though, and I completely understand if you’d rather take a pass for a start.
Mitch Keller vs. PHI – Keller has been rough lately as the command-first approach is falling apart. I’m awfully concerned as I wrote about in the roundup and yet…I want to give him another chance? This may be silly and I should have him in the third tier. I just don’t want to quit the run just yet…Nah he belongs in tier 3.
Cristian Javier vs. TBR – The thing is, all of the Tier 3 starts are not great. Of course they aren’t – it’s the tier of guys I’d not start but are better than flat out “clear benches” – and Javier facing the weaker but still good Rays is not ideal. The slider is the major issue and you can even track his dramatic fall in strikeouts directly to his inability to get slider strikes. If that pitch gets back to a 60%+ strike rate, he has the four-seamer to make it work. Just needs that balance.
MacKenzie Gore @ NYM – He’s a Cherry Bomb through and through. Up to you.
Brady Singer vs. MIN – Another Cherry Bomb here, as you already know.
Kutter Crawford @ SFG – The Giants are terrible and if Crawford focuses on the slider/sweeper over the kutter (or maybe spots said kutter well), he could explode for a strong outing against the Giants.
Reese Olson @ MIA – Our streaming pick of the day is Olson as he gets the Marlins, a team that has been surprisingly average, if not better over the last month. I don’t love it, but the slider is great and if the changeup appears + fastballs get armside, he could cruise.
Braxton Garrett vs. DET – Probably the most shocking ranking here, but Braxton hasn’t been himself for four outings now, including starts against poor offenses. The command is gone and I’d rather wait for it to come back before starting him hoping it does.
Do Not Starts
JP Sears @ COL – It’s Coors. Super frustrating given the ease of rostering Sears and his general dependability, but you can’t do it.
Noah Syndergaard @ CHW – The Guardians traded for Thor and I have zero expectations that they can turn him into a stud overnight. I don’t like this.
Adrian Houser @ ATL – He just fanned ten and I don’t buy it for a second. Atlanta will get a second chance and I’m not willing to press my luck.
Tommy Henry vs. SEA – The slider hasn’t returned for whatever reason and without it going 20%+ of the time, Henry turns into a blegh streaming option.
Dane Dunning @ SDP – Dunning has had a ridiculous ERA on the year that we all know wasn’t meant to last.
Yonny Chirinos vs. MIL – He’s on Atlanta on now and I imagine they’ll let him go as long as he produces. Which may not be very long.
Brandon Williamson @ LAD – Williamson has actually looked more promising as of late with increased velocity, but this is the Dodgers and he’ll need his very best command to survive.
Touki Toussaint vs. CLE – I still enjoy seeing Touki appear out of nowhere this season, though he’s far from a fantasy relevant starting option.
Drew Smyly @ STL – Smyly hasn’t been a good play for a long time as his curveball just isn’t what it used to be. That said, his cutter and sinker command are better than the results suggest and if he’s finally able to keep that curve down, there’s hope.
Kyle Freeland vs. OAK – It’s Coors and this is a Still ILL for Freeland. Yup.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
Aaron Nola @ PIT – He’s not an ace yet, but he can go seven frames with his curve and four-seamer, hopefully working in effective glove-side sinkers and low changeups.
James Paxton @ SFG – He’s nearing AGA levels and still on the bump as he faces arguably the worst offense in baseball in a pitcher’s park. It’s wonderful.
Bailey Ober @ KCR – There have been few arms more consistent than Ober this year.
Yu Darvish vs. TEX – His approach went to the wayside last time out and yet, I believe he’ll get back on the horse. HE HAD IT.
Tyler Wells vs. NYY – Wells’ command has been off the last two starts and it’s a bit of a collar-tugging moment as Judge re-enters the Yankee lineup. That said, I’m not willing to give up on Wells yet as the results come when the execution is there. But isn’t that a Vargas Rule? Correct. I guess I believe the command isn’t as fleeting as others are.
Bryan Woo @ ARI – Woo is still here, which means we start him against a middling Arizona crew.
Johnny Cueto vs. DET – Our streaming pick of the day is Cueto, who spotted four-seamers magnificently upstairs for fourteen whiffs in his return to the rotation. If he’s able to replicate that in any fashion, this will massively pay off. And it’s the Tigers, how bad can the floor be? WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT.
Logan Allen @ CHW – I’m a little weirded out by Allen’s velocity drop since returning to the majors, but it’s the White Sox and generally Allen is worthwhile as a Toby at the minimum.
Reid Detmers @ TOR – Detmers has been slightly off with each of his three pitches separately across his last three starts. It’s worth it to chase against the Jays, but if you don’t want the risk, I absolutely understand benching him – the Jays’ 130 wRC+ is sixth in the majors across the last two weeks
Bryce Elder vs. MIL – He’s not someone I suggest holding onto consistently nowadays, but it’s the Brewers, which makes for a start here.
Clarke Schmidt @ BAL – I debated this one and with this game being played in Walltimore, I’m giving the edge to Schmidt for a start.
Taj Bradley @ HOU – Hey look, it’s two young arms with massive potential that can’t be relied upon consistently facing each other’s top tier offenses.
Hunter Brown vs. TBR – I’m taking Bradley above Brown as Bradley will likely carry more strikeouts while both have similar ratio risks.
Do Not Starts
Emmet Sheehan vs. CIN – I was tempted to put him in the third tier, but Sheehan has failed to come through with his slider and changeup. He could put it together for six frames against a middling road Reds team.
Jameson Taillon @ STL – Taillon was an interesting decision as well as he’s been productive in two of his last three, including last week against the very same Cardinals. Sadly, I think the ceiling isn’t worth the risk and I’m not buying that he’s doing anything dramatically different yet. Sure, the sweeper and cutter are performing a bit better, but not in a way that is demanding success.
Brandon Pfaadt vs. SEA – He was cruising last time out in Cincy until back-to-back-to-back HRs ruined everything. Hopefully the slider and change are good again, but without four-seamer dominance, I’m not interested in Pfaadt.
Carlos Carrasco vs. WSN – There’s always a chance Carrasco comes through, but the slider and changeup are not what they used to be. Too much risk here, even against the Nationals.
Alek Manoah vs. LAA – He did earn ten slider whiffs last time, but the pitch held near a 40% strike rate despite it. The whiffs display the potential, while the lack of strikes showcase the volatility. That also ignores the four-seamer, sinker, and changeup, which each have plenty of work left to do.
Mike Clevinger vs. CLE – Hey, he’s back! And it’s a Still ILL against a team that resists strikeouts.
Martín Pérez @ SDP – His command is not in a place where we want to start Pérez, even against the Padres who struggle against LHP.
Julio Teheran @ ATL – It’s Atlanta and yet Teheran has this weird magic. You do you, y’all.
Adam Wainwright vs. CHC – I have a feeling his last start will be the best he’ll have the rest of the way, sadly.
Joey Wentz @ MIA – Wentz is kinda interesting, but this is getting into oh dear land.
Quinn Priester vs. PHI – Quinn hasn’t come through yet and I’m still waiting to find something to latch onto.
Luke Weaver @ LAD – Weaver is showing more velocity but this is the Dodgers.
Patrick Corbin @ NYM – Corbin. Hi.
Jordan Lyles vs. MIN – Lyles is just doing what he can.
Paul Blackburn @ COL – It’s Coors.
Chase Anderson vs. OAK – It’s also Coors.
Anthony DeSclafani vs. BOS – I don’t think he gets a chance to throw five frames.
Featured Image by Kurt Wasemiller (@KUWasemiller on Twitter / @kurt_player02 on Instagram)