SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 4/16 & 4/17

Nick Pollack ranks every SP matchup for today and tomorrow.

With the 2021 season, I’m changing how I’m doing my starting pitcher streamers and daily matchup rankings

Instead of being featured in the SP Roundup, I’ll be highlighting my SP streamer picks for today and tomorrow inside this article, while also introducing four tiers and adding notes to each table.

The four tiers are as follows:


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 through 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, I have highlighted in Green my streaming pick of the day – Yellow if I wouldn’t actually want to stream them (I have to pick one every day!) . These are 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.


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • Easy choices for auto-start today with a trio of Top 10 arms in Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, and Walker BuehlerI mean, duh.
  • Kicking off Tier 2 is Frankie Montaswho had a successful rebound last time out and gets the Tigers. Yes, I know how the Tigers just embarrassed the Astros rotation but we can’t start treating Detroit like an above-average offense now, can we?


  • Jose Urquidy and Yusei Kikuchi are squaring off and there’s very little discerning the better pick. Urquidy is the safer choice against a meh Mariners squad, though Kikuchi could be facing a depleted Houston squad, allowing his exciting skill set to take over.
  • The streaming pick of the day is Anthony DeSclafaniwho looked fantastic against Rockie Road over the weekend. While Miami is a step up from Colorado, it’s not a large enough difference to give hesitation.


  • Closing out the tier is Steven Matz as he faces the questionable Royals. While I’m not quite sold for the full season, Matz has looked solid in his first two starts and should bring dividends to faithful managers.
  • Zach Eflin was pushed back to today and with the easier Cardinals lineup, he gets a bump into tier two.


  • Tier 3 is filled with options and leads with Andrew Heaney against the Twins. The matchup is rough, but Heaney could make it work if he keeps up his velocity and elevates heaters effectively. It’s as ‘Cherry Bomb” of a start you’ll find.
  • It does feel safe going with JT Brubaker against the Brewers but don’t overestimate Coffee Cakes just yet. There’s still a floor that can turn its ugly head here, even if Milwaukee misses Yelich in the lineup.


  • There could be a sneaky start here with Adrian Houser facing the Pirates. He hasn’t quite showcased the same ability as his late 2019 stretch, but it could come out against Pittsburgh.
  • We just don’t know what we’re going to get from Mike Minor as his velocity has jumped around in April thus far. If he can also get his changeup working again, he’ll succeed against the Jays. If not…you’ll be happy you approached this with caution.


  • Zach Davies‘ success has relied on the feel of his changeup, which wasn’t there in his previous outing. A start against Atlanta is banking on a slow ball rebound and it’s unclear if it will return.
  • Will Carlos Martinez finally put it all together? Here’s to hoping for 94 mph velocity with sliders and changeups that miss bats once again.


  • It looks like Dylan Cease will start against the Red Sox, but sadly, I’m not a fan. His command isn’t fixed and this has massive potential for a blowup.
  • It feels weird to type it out, but I can see a scenario where Jose Urena has success against Oakland. I don’t buy it, but it’s a non-zero chance.


Today’s Starting Pitchers

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • Despite being behind Yu Darvish and Clayton Kershaw on The List, I don’t have a choice but lead with Tyler GlasnowThe main question for the full season is the volume and consistency, but right now he’s pitching as good as anyone in baseball.
  • Here’s to Sandy Alcantara getting back on track and dominating against the Giants.


  • There was a debate in the Twitch chat about Zack Greinke being pushed into Tier 1 or not. I agree – Greinke should be started everywhere where you have him rostered – though I understand those who want to be a little conservative after his recent disappointment against Detroit.
  • In many cases, Sonny Gray would be a Still ILL against Cleveland, but facing such a weak offense has me leaning to letting him fly in his 2021 debut.


  • It may be shocking to see Huascar Ynoa right below a big name like Greinke, but with few pitchers belonging in the second tier, Ynoa gets the push up as he faces the Cubs while in rhythm with his fastball and slider.
  • The streaming pick of the day is Dane Dunningwho has a lovely matchup against the Orioles. I’m not incredibly impressed with Dunning’s repertoire, though I do believe he should be able to take advantage here.


  • There are plenty of questionable choices here in the lands of tier three. I’m leading with Robbie Raywho showed some promise against the Yankees and could build upon it as he enters pitcher-friendly Kauffman to face the Royals. Here’s to hoping he can pepper the zone with fastballs and sliders effectively.
  • Matt Shoemaker has been on a roll with his slider and despite the Angels swinging a big stick, he should be a decent option as he faces his former employer.


  • Tanner Houck has returned! Well, just for a spot start as the Red Sox needed an arm after this week’s double-header. His slider is good enough to return strikeouts, but there is a creaky floor here that you may want to avoid when preserving ratios.
  • Will Luke Weaver continue where he left off last time out? The Nationals aren’t too scary, but Weaver needed his best command in Coors to excel. It’s unclear if he’ll be able to keep the same fastball and changeup blueprint over the weekend.


  • I know it’s shocking to see Trevor Cahill in the third tier, but after dominating the Padres, there’s a chance his magic lasts through Milwaukee. This is a yearly thing. Somehow.
  • Is Aaron Sanchez worth your investment? I’m a bit cautious given the low fastball velocity, but he could steal strikes with his curveball and get outs against a mediocre Marlins squad.


  • After being his best self in his debut outing for the Cubs, Trevor Williams failed to make it work in his last outing. Atlanta is no joke and this looks like more pain than the prize is worth.
  • Hey, maybe Joey Lucchesi can pull it off in his first start for the Mets. But you know, it’s Coors.


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitchers

Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire | Design by Quincey Dong (@threerundong on Twitter)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

One response to “SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 4/16 & 4/17”

  1. Don says:

    Should I be worried about the amount of lefties (switch hitters) goin up against montas? I know it’s detroit but they stacked the left handed bats and hinch knows montas pretty well I would imagine

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