SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 5/15 & 5/16

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 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.


Today’s Starting Pitchers

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • If you’re looking for John Means in the first tier, his start was pushed likely to Wednesday as the Orioles are managing his workload – he did toss well over 100 pitches in his no-hitter.
  • It makes for a quiet first tier with Shane Bieber and Lance McCullers relaxing in their VIP armchairs. Hey, they deserve it.


  • I’m leading with Huascar Ynoa in the second tier as the man has been on a roll. Now he gets the beat up Brewers and should be able to rack up the strikeouts with his 97 mph heater and wipeout slider.
  • Freddy Peralta is on the other side and doesn’t have the same luxury as Ynoa as he has to face the strong Atlanta lineup. Still, Peralta has proven that he’s not matchup dependent – he’s “do I have it today?” dependent. Here’s to hoping he’s not his most erratic self.


  • I’m all for trusting Robbie Ray until further notice as he’s now gone four straight starts with four-seamers inside the zone to push his strikeout-to-walk ratio to a ridiculous 33/1 mark. Phillies Schmillies, am I right?
  • Houston is a strong offense, but with the way Kyle Gibson has been pitching this season, you know to stop questioning until he gives you a reason to.


  • After taking down the Dodgers and stuttering against the Pirates, Kyle Hendricks is in purgatory, despite facing the Tigers. I’m leaning that there was some bad luck against the Pirates, though his changeup performed terribly and he’s not out of the woods yet.
  • Pablo Lopez gets the tough Dodgers crew after a terrible start of his own. PabLo is known to bounce back well after a disappointing outing, though the Dodgers will make it difficult to come through on that promise.


  • I can imagine some wanting Dylan Cease to rise into the third tier, though I’m hesitant to ignore his low floor as his fastball and changeup command aren’t quite on the same level as his slider as of late. I’ll be focusing on the two, ideally watching their command improve through the game.
  • It’s becoming judgment day for Kenta Maeda as managers are ready to push him back to the wire, though his splitter and fastball command was much improved in the 5 IP, 3 ER game against the White Sox. I completely understand if you’d rather bench and wait-and-see.


  • Matthew Boyd could be higher on this list, though I am worried that he isn’t getting whiffs on that slider yet. There is more risk facing this volatile Cubs lineup then his ERA would let you know.
  • It’s been a rocky season for Nathan Eovaldiwho has expressed both weak and strong secondary pitches through the year. It’s unclear exactly what will show up against the Angels, but this could still help your squads.


  • With zero 20%> rostered players in the first three tiers, my reluctant streamer of the day is Luke Weaver against the Nationals. He had solid fastball/changeup command last time, but the Marlins aren’t the hardest team to overcome. It’ll be a bit trickier against the Nationals.
  • It’s great to see Ryan Weathers getting a start again, though I don’t anticipate he’s closed to stretched out yet. Once he is, he’ll be on my radar and who knows, maybe he can go a decent amount on Sunday.


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitchers

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.

3 responses to “SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 5/15 & 5/16”

  1. LeftyNation says:

    Who would have the most strikeout/win upside? Kikuchi or German?

  2. LeftyNation says:

    Or Ray haha

  3. Matt says:

    Hey nick,

    First off, love what you put out there dude. It’s the first place I go to for pitching analysis and a good opinion so I just wanted to say thanks.

    Now onto business. I definitely hear you on mcclanahan. He hasn’t gone 5 yet but he did go 83 pitches last time out in oak and im pretty sure last inning was on stressful side and they let him pitch out of it. This could be the time he goes 5 if he’s economical and they pitch him north of 83. It’s the rays so who knows but they have said they want to use him as a traditional starter and the 83 pitches could be the first sign that they are ready to let him go to 90. Haha or not. I do lean towards him going north of 83 today if he’s doing well.

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