SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 5/14 & 5/15

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 wild day with a ton of aces and plenty of…not aces. It’s a large first tier with only a few possible hesitations. Sandy Alcantara gets a true test against the Dodgers and after awarding him the AGA label, I did so as a statement that I’m starting him regardless of the opponent. His skill set is worth your time.
  • Zack Greinke is also someone who may get a bit of resistance after lasting just four innings in each of his last four starts, however he now faces the Rangers and should coast for the evening. His ability to go deep into games with a handful of strikeouts is far from gone.


  • It’s a very small second tier, highlighting the gap of talent going on Friday. It’s a double-header between the ChiSox and Royals, allowing Michael Kopech to get another start. While a five-inning start seems like the ceiling for volume, his quality per inning is high enough that he’s likely not to hurt you for trusting him in your rotation.
  • Frankie Montas also gets the call despite a questionable date with Minnesota. His fastball is looking like 2019, though, and I trust his slider and splitter to do enough to make this outing worthwhile.


  • At the top of Tier 3 is Tarik Skubal, who is the streaming play of the day after much debate and I wonder if that splitter will return to be a legit #2 offering as he faces a volatile Cubs lineup. I’m not a huge fan of jumping at this one, but all of the names here induce sway.
  • Drew Smyly gets a fantastic matchup against the Brewers but his overall inconsistency has me pushing him down the ranks a bit further than I imagine many would want. He could come through here, but he’s displayed a low floor that will repel many.


  • Let’s talk about some of these Tier 3 options. Griffin Canning could be getting that feel for his slider and curveball and endure a start against Boston. Chris Flexen has a great matchup, but is incredibly inconsistent with his cutter. Steven Matz’s had his Vargas Rule come to end a few starts ago and the Phillies are tough. Matt Shoemaker had his slider back last time but it could disappear again.
  • There’s also Johan Oviedo who has solid stuff and I’m waiting for the command to catch up. Against the Padres is normally an auto-bench, but with Tatis, Hosmer, and Myers likely still out on the COVID-IL, this could be a team to stream against.


  • In the bottom tier, it feels weird to see a guy in Tier 4 after just throwing a no-hitter, but Wade Miley is heading to Coors. You know you don’t want that.
  • Jakob Junis gets a start after getting demoted to the bullpen and I’m not interested as he’s likely not stretched out + the White Sox can swing a mean lumber.


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • It’s an obvious #1 play today with Trevor Bauer squaring off against Miami. He’s been exactly as advertised so far this year and not even a hot Carlos Rodón can get in his way.
  • Dylan Bundy stands tall in the first tier as his last start was more a blip and likely not the start of a downward trend. Start him with confidence against the Red Sox.


  • I had no choice but to place Aaron Nola in the second tier as the Jays in Dunedin may be the worst matchup for any starting pitcher. While I don’t believe his struggles against Atlanta in his previous are here to stay, Dunedin should bring some hesitation. That place terrifies me.
  • We’ve been through a lot with Triston McKenzie this season and despite not loving his form against the Royals, a date with Seattle could still be fruitful. If he’s on your roster, he’s worth the gamble.


  • Luis Garcia falls in the second tier as well and becomes Saturday’s streaming pick of the day. His stuff is solid and he’s performed against better lineups than the Rangers – I’d pick him up wherever I could for this outing.
  • It brought me no joy to place Tyler Mahle in the third tier, but an evening in Coors is no joke. I understand if you want to still roll with him, it’s a large range of outcomes here.


  • I had a tough time ranking the arms in Tier 3 and it led to Tyler Anderson falling near the middle of the tier. The Giants have quickly become notorious for taking down southpaws, but hopefully Anderson can defy trends and continue his path of success.
  • Facing a depleted Padres lineup, Adam Wainwright could keep his momentum alive as he heads into PetCo. Don’t stay away simply because you see the Padres label.


  • Can this please be the day that Shane McClanahan gets five frames? Here’s to hoping the quality of inning makes up for what will is likely a capped workload.
  • Jose Ureña has surprised us as of late with multiple starts of seven frames, though I’m still hesitant to believe he can actually repeat his success.


  • Mike Minor can be found in the final tier as he’s failed to get his fastball back up to 92-94 mph. He’s a clear avoid against the White Sox.
  • Jordan Holloway surprised me a bit in his first start against the Diamondbacks, however against the Dodgers it’s not worth the gamble.


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

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 – 5/14 & 5/15”

  1. Jack says:

    I grabbed Garcia for his 2-start week and am going to HODL now that Urquidy is going to be out. Woke up sore, had an MRI? Yeah, that’s not good.

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