SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 4/30 & 5/1

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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mike Fiers returns to face the Orioles today, but it’s a Still ILL as we don’t know if he’s fully capable quite yet. I’ve placed him at the bottom of the third tier for those daring on a Friday.


  • 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.


Today’s Starting Pitchers

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • It’s ace day tomorrow and even with Lance Lynn missing a start, he’s a clear start against the weak Cleveland lineup. Don’t overthink this.
  • 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.


  • I have Blake Snell lower in the ranks than you’d imagine based on the Giants’ ability to demolish southpaws. He’s still a start, but this likely won’t be as smooth of a ride as you’d like
  • Dustin May has earned his keep with his new whiff-friendly curveball and should be able to carve up the Brewers’ bats.


  • It’s a short tier two with Danny Duffy taking a spot despite a difficult Minnesota squad in his way. He’s pitching too well to stop him now.
  • I’m hoping Jameson Taillon can take full advantage of a date with the Tigers after surrounding 4 ER against Cleveland. Look for his breakers to take more of a role in this one down in the zone as a weapon to earn whiffs.


  • In the third tier, it’s hard to argue against Griffin Canning being the streaming pick of the day. His slider struggled last time against the Astros, but the Mariners should give him an opportunity to get comfortable on the bump and find the pitch.
  • Proceed with caution when considering Triston McKenzie against the White Sox. I believe in the long-term success of McKenzie, but he doesn’t quite have his breaking ball command at the moment. Maybe he discovers it here, allowing his four-seamers to flourish, or maybe Chicago has its way.


  • I know, you’ve been burned plenty by Patrick Corbin so far this year, but the Marlins lineup is hurting right now and Corbin is at a place where he’s one tweak away from getting back on track. I’m leaning start here.
  • I want to be more excited about Spencer Turnbull’s return this season, but against the Yankees? He’ll have to be on the top of his game with sliders and four-seamers in order to succeed.


  • I can’t ignore that Trevor Cahill is on a roll right now and the Cardinals are far from the scariest offenses out there. There’s a chance this one works.
  • There’s also a chance for Anthony DeSclafanibut the Padres are no joke and I’d rather favor Cahill’s matchup over Tony Disco’s.


  • It’s weird seeing Matt Harvey near the top of any tier, I know. He did showcase a better slider last time against the Yankees, though, and maybe that holds against the Athletics.
  • I have Paul Campbell above the final spot as I’d prefer to take him as a “mystery box” over the very likely chance of fantasy irrelevance from the three below him.


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.

2 responses to “SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 4/30 & 5/1”

  1. Anon says:

    Isn’t rich hill starting tomorrow?

  2. larry womack says:

    I know Canning is your streamer for tomorrow but I have the chance to pickup Taillon would you stream him as well?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Account / Login