SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 5/11 & 5/12

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


  • We’re a start removed from John Means‘ no-hitter and here’s to hoping he can keep the momentum for a start against a tougher opponent in the Mets. It should work well, but the question pulls him under other proven starters in better matchups.
  • It’s not the best matchup for Lance McCullers, but he should be able to produce against the Angels – let’s hope that slider returns as well.


  • It’s a massive second tier with a large range. We have arms like Marcus Stroman getting a clear start as he faces a questionable Orioles lineup, exciting pitchers like Robbie Ray enduring a tough Atlanta team, and middling pitchers like Adbert Alzolay and Brady Singer getting a bump due to their fantastic matchup.
  • The middle section can be a tough choice to make. Will Shohei Ohtani get into a rhythm to improve his walk rate, even against Houston? Is this the start of Kenta Maeda’s redemption tour? Can Chris Bassitt keep up his hot streak? I’m leaning yes to all but I understand if you want to push them to the next tier.


  • Staying with the second tier, Adbert Alzolay is the streaming pick of the day as he faces Cleveland. His slider-heavy approach has returned results and he should be able to help teams as he faces the mediocre Cleveland bats.
  • I’m really hoping we see Dylan Cease fine-tune his heater and changeup in this outing. His start against the Reds came with a wonderful slider, but the rest of his repertoire got away with plenty. Here’s to a game that inspires confidence.


  • In the third tier, it’s been a tough stretch for Nathan Eovaldi as of late, failing to come through against the Tigers and Mariners as his secondary stuff hasn’t been as sharp. He gets the Athletics now and there’s a sizeable risk there.
  • Jeff Hoffman is another streaming option to consider and I can see him slotting above Yusei KikuchiI trust Kikuchi’s stuff more, but it’s the classic pitcher vs. opponent balance that may side against the weak Pirates lineup. I still don’t love the repertoire of Hoffman, though.


  • In the final tier, there’s a chance that Logan Webb can come through against the Rangers, but he’s far from locked in with his stuff.
  • It’s unclear if it’s Bryse Wilson for Atlanta, but it’s not Max Fried any longer. I wouldn’t start whoever opens this game.


Today’s Streaming Pitcher Rankings

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • It’s a large Tier 1 as it stretches all the way down to Danny Duffy against Detroit. If you’re rostering Duffy, there’s no way you’re not starting him for this one.
  • If Yu Darvish is part of your rotation, you may have a brief moment of hesitation when you see @COL next to his name. Push it out of your mind and let the man fly. There’s a reason he’s currently #3 on The List.


  • Here’s to hoping the likes of Sonny Gray, Zack Wheelerand Trevor Rogers all come through here so I can properly issue them AGA labels. It’s about time, please don’t hold up the coronation, y’all.
  • Speaking of Rogers, him vs. Zac Gallen is going to be so. Much. Fun.


  • The second tier is short – Taijuan Walker leads the way against Baltimore as some may even want him in the first tier. I’m a little worried that all he has is his heater and if it’s not there, it can be a questionable performance.
  • Jose Urquidy belongs here as well as his fastball & changeup have worked well as of late. If he gets back into the groove with both his breakers, the Angels won’t put up much of a fight.


  • The third tier has a trio of arms who normally would be higher, but have a tough evening ahead of them. Andrew Heaney has shown he can succeed against the Astros before, but his Cherry Bomb nature is still present. Max Fried gets the Jays soon after returning from the IL and it’s unclear if he’s locked in enough to endure the strong offense. And then there’s Blake Snell who has struggled to get his breakers over the plate and now has to face the Rockies in dangerous Coors.
  • Meanwhile, Eduardo Rodriguez has carried poor fastball command across each of his last two starts and it’s no guarantee he’ll get it back against Oakland. They know how to punish poor fastballs.


  • It pains me to have the streaming pick of the day in the final tier, but here we are with Casey Mize against the Royals. It’s clear that wouldn’t do this, but I have to select someone each day. Good luck.
  • I’m a bit intrigued about Sam Hentges as he faces the hot-and-cold Cubs. There’s some upside there but it’s way too early to take the dive.


Tomorrow’s Streaming Pitcher Rankings

Photo by Andy Lewis/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 – 5/11 & 5/12”

  1. Steve says:

    Hey Nick! Love your stuff and trust it everyday. I’m kinda new to fantasy ball and have a question and a possible request. What’s your threshold for Streamer Pick of the Day? A certain Yahoo % ownership? Plus, would it be possible to include the team the pitcher plays for in your info? I know 85% of the players but some I have to look up which is a pain. Thanks!

    • Nick Pollack says:

      Hey Steve!

      Welcome to fantasy baseball! It’s a wonderful game and the community is all here to help out when you have questions.

      The streaming pick is Rostered% of 20% or less, according to Fantasy Pros’ ADP, which averages out between ESPN, Yahoo, and CBS leagues.

      As for the team names, I’ll look into that, but for now, you can click on the player names to head to their player page, which has their team name.

      (Sorry about Sam Hengtes, he’s new and pitches for Cleveland!)

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