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SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 4/29 & 4/30

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

 

  • It’s lonesome in the top tiers on Thursday. Trevor Bauer and Aaron Nola are clear aces and should capitalize facing middling lineups.
  • With the doubleheader today, it looks like Carlos Rodon gets added to the top tier. Let’s ride this train until his velocity dips.

 

  • Jordan Montgomery and Chris Bassitt aren’t your prototypical Tier 2 plays, but they are a clear cut above the rest of the options and should not be benched where you roster them.
  • Tier three doesn’t inspire much confidence. Matthew Boyd is a Vargas Rule for me as long as that slider isn’t earning whiffs. His changeup is just so good right now.

 

  • Speaking of Vargas RuleI’m not too confident in Kyle Gibson’s hot streak continuing against Boston, though I understand those who want to keep riding the hot hand.
  • Shane McClanahan is getting the call for the Rays today and while I’m a fan of the stuff we saw in the playoffs last year, we don’t know how long he’ll go. Feel free to make a speculative add.

 

  • Luis Garcia is starting against the Mariners and while they may seem tempting, it could be a short stint with Kent Emanuel following + I’m not enthusiastic about Garcia’s repertoire.
  • The streaming pick today is Kwang Hyun Kim who is fresh off an eight strikeout performance. I’m not in love with a date against Philly, but he’s the clear choice with his ratio and surprising strikeout upside.

 

  • I debated slotting this many arms into tier four, at first listing all through Luke Weaver as a questionable option. It’s a mix of decent arms with poor matchups and questionable talent against weak offenses and in the end, I don’t feel confident with any of them.
  • If you’re looking for strikeout upside, though, Adbert Alzolay is your guy against Atlanta. That slider will earn plenty of whiffs, but his fastball command is dangerous and he’ll likely get the hook before six full frames.

 

Today’s Starting Pitchers


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

 

  • After the obvious pair of plays in Gerrit Cole, Shane Bieberand Yu Darvishwe have a quartet of budding aces who are hoping to get their AGA label later this year. Lance McCullers is now fully removed from his COVID vaccine and should capitalize against a struggling Rays lineup.
  • Despite his struggles this season, Jesus Luzardo should be trusted against the Orioles. His stuff has always been good and we saw an improvement last time out. Starts like this one against Baltimore could be steps on the journey toward earning your trust.

 

  • In the second tier, I have no qualms if you’d like to shift the order of the first four. Marcus Stroman hasn’t locked in quite yet and does get the Phillies, though it’s still in your best interest to rely on his skillset.
  • Andrew Heaney has made himself a name as a Cherry Bombbut he’s in the perfect situation – fresh off a 10 strikeout start and facing a poor Mariners lineup. Let him fly.

 

  • Don’t forget that Michael Pineda struggled last time out as he had zero feel for his slider. We’re hoping it’s just a bad day and could pick up where he left off against the Royals.
  • There are many fans of what JT Brubaker is doing with his slider and it should warrant confidence for a start against the Cardinals after he pitched comfortably against Minnesota.

 

  • The third tier for Friday has many strong plays that could turn your weekly matchup around. Jon Gray heads out of Coors and pairs with a mediocre Arizona lineup, opposite Madison Bumgarner who gets Rockie Roada game after sitting 91 mph on his heater as he gets the streamer label. This could be a pitcher’s duel.
  • Yes, I’m hesitant to start Freddy Peralta against the Dodgers. He’s volatile and the Dodgers have the patience to push up the pitch count quickly.

 

  • Robbie Ray found his groove last time out with four-seamers inside the zone, leading to nine strikeouts and zero walks. It’ll be tougher to survive with the same approach against Atlanta, but don’t rule this out, especially if you need the punchouts.
  • Don’t overlook Wade Miley as he’s settled in as a proper Toby this season. The Cubs offense has seen better days and could flounder against Miley’s cutter.

 

  • In the bottom tier, I won’t ignore how Chris Flexen’s cutter propelled him to success last time out. Still, we don’t know if he can command it that well consistently and the Angels can be quick for punishment.
  • Jake Arrieta has performed well as of late, but I don’t trust his heavy called strike rates to keep him afloat against a powerful Reds squad.

 

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitchers


Photo by Samuel Stringer/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.

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