SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 5/12 & 5/13

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 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 and Zack Wheeler come through here so I can properly issue them AGA labels. It’s about time, please don’t hold up the coronation, y’all.
  • I know Julio Urias didn’t give you the results you wanted last time out, but he pitched well and should cruise against Seattle.


  • 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.


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • Despite having Corbin Burnes ranked higher than Jack Flaherty on The List, the two are swapped on Thursday as I anticipate Burnes getting a shorter leash after sitting on the COVID-IL. This should be a wonderful game and you should watch it.
  • Here’s to hoping Trevor Rogers continues his breakout tour and earns himself an AGA label as he faces the Diamondbacks.


  • The top three of the second tier are debatable first-tier plays as they all have the ability to take advantage of their weak lineups ahead. Cristian Javier is getting whiffs on his breaker again, Jameson Taillon could even take a step further as his slider develops, and Anthony DeSclafani has proven himself well capable against mediocre lineups.
  • Sean Manaea is displaying increased velocity and effective changeups as of late and while an easier opponent would propel him to a higher rank, I’d still have confidence against the Red Sox.


  • It’s been a lovely run for Michael Pineda since the start of 2020 and even against a strong ChiSox crew, as long as his slider is working, he should be okay.
  • Triston McKenzie wasn’t supposed to get this start against Seattle, but now that the matchup is there, he’s a considerable option. I don’t love his command at the moment but his fastball is still difficult to square up and he could provide dividends.


  • Thursday’s streaming pick of the day is Garrett Richardswho has recently pumped the zone with fastballs as he becomes a more efficient pitcher. Surprisingly, he’s done so without his excellent slider and there’s a decent chance it reappears against Oakland for an overwhelming evening.
  • The more I think about Daniel Lynch starting against Detroit, the more my gut tells me he’ll steal the spotlight. He has yet to showcase the fastball command listed on his scouting report and after a nerve-laden MLB debut and a horrific first frame, we could see a more comfortable Lynch mow down Tigers with his wipeout slider. Don’t overlook this.


  • At the bottom of the third tier is Patrick Corbinwho many will likely do everything they can to avoid. Despite his lack of slider whiffs lately, he’s been shockingly decent and could make out with another Quality Start as he hosts the Phillies.
  • Merrill Kelly is the deep streaming option as the Marlins are looking awfully flummoxed. There’s plenty of risk – it’s Kelly, after all – but there are worse deep options.


  • In the bottom tier, it’s weird to see a guy who just threw a no-hitter get labeled as a “Do Not Start”, but I doubt many will protest sitting Wade MileyHe’s heading to Coors, y’all.
  • It’s sad to see Ross Stripling this far down as he’s finally has a secure rotation spot, but Atlanta is great against right-handers and Stripling hasn’t found his form yet.


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Photo by Cliff Welch/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 – 5/12 & 5/13”

  1. Mike says:

    Where did you see that McKenzie is pitching tomorrow? Can’t find that info anywhere. Would like to pick him up tonight.

  2. BP says:

    I’m gonna start Charlie MortBUM against Toronto and will hold you personally liable if he gives up like 4 or 5 runs.

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