SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 5/18 & 5/19

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 have a good amount of aces all capable of going seven frames at the top of the pack. There was a solid discussion if Julio Urias should get more love for his excellent start of the year, but don’t overlook that the Diamondbacks perform better against left-handers. Regardless, all should be strong plays today.
  • Blake Snell has been struggling this year as he hasn’t been comfortable landing his slider and curveball in the zone. However, he gets the coveted Rockie Road and should enjoy the evening.


  • Hyun Jin Ryu slides to the second tier only because he has to face the Red Sox in the horrible Dunedin park – it’s the new Coors. I’d still trust him to work his magic and do a decent job of avoiding the longball, but there’s more risk here than I’d like.
  • After a fantastic start with slider whiffs and a fastball sitting 92/93, Patrick Corbin becomes a solid play against the Cubs. There’s still a chance his last outing was a blip and not a proper turn of the corner, though I’m confident it is the latter.


  • Andrew Heaney had a rough go of it against the Astros, but he should be able to take advantage of a mediocre Cleveland lineup. This could be yet another double-digit strikeout game.
  • Jameson Taillon wasn’t at his best in his last outing against the Orioles, though I still believe he’s a pitcher who will be constantly improving through the season. A date with the Rangers is an easy call.


  • Cristian Javier gets the start against the Athletics and while it’s unclear if he’ll be able to get consistent whiffs with his breaker, he’s in a good enough place to warrant a start for your squads.
  • And hey, why wouldn’t you start JT Brubaker right now?


  • In the third tier, I’m leading off with Luis Castillo who, well, hasn’t been great. After a massive blowup in Coors, the Giants should be a welcome presence, though we’re still waiting for Castillo to get his groove back.
  • Sean Manaea was a tough call here as he faces a strong Houston squad and fresh off a disappointing outing. I still liked his velocity (91+ mph) and how his changeup & curveball performed, making me lean favorably in this one.


  • There’s a balancing act here with Michael Pineda and Anthony DeSclafani getting tougher matchups than Spencer Turnbull, Justin Dunn, John Gant, and Zach Daviesbut I trust their ability more as pitchers. Feel free to move these around as you’d like.
  • At the very least, I trust Spencer Turnbull more than the other streaming options against weak lineups, making him the streaming pick of the day. His breaker was fantastic last time out and I hope it’s here to stay.


  • In the bottom tier, it may be a shock to see Eduardo Rodriguez here but heading into Dunedin is terrible. Think of it like him heading to Coors – I don’t like it at all.
  • Matt Harvey has been oddly decent this year and maybe he can survive 5+ frames against the Rays. Maybe.


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • It’s another day of aces with Corbin Burnes leading the way. I’m sure some would want Max Scherzer or Jack Flaherty in that spot instead, though it’s hard to argue against the quality of inning Burnes has put up this year.
  • Here’s to Joe Musgrove getting his groove back in the delicious Rockie Road matchup. Focus on his curveball and changeup CSWs as his slider has been carrying the burden across the past few weeks.


  • It’s a close call in Tier 2 with Corey Kluber and Zach Eflin each facing a weak squad and deserving for the top play of the group. Kluber didn’t capitalize in a start against the Orioles where his changeup earned just one whiff in seventeen thrown. Still, his breaker and cutter performed well and I think he should be able to rebound against Texas.
  • Meanwhile, Eflin should perform well against the Marlins, though I wish his curveball was a larger focus inside his arsenal these days.


  • Shohei Ohtani is fresh off a ten strikeout game against Houston and gets some well-deserved respite against Cleveland. He could be in a rhythm now and churn another fantastic outing, though the floor of 5+ walks is still present.
  • Is this the day that Charlie Morton turns it around? The Mets certainly give him ample opportunity as they’re banged up with injuries.


  • In Tier 3, Ryan Yarbrough may not be the starter as some places are suggesting Rich Hill will get the ball – he’d be slotted at the end of Tier 2. If it is Yarbrough, he could be opened for and provide decent ratios against a meh Orioles crew.
  • Even though he throws 95 mph and gets the Tigers, Logan Gilbert is still not a lock for success. His breakers were a bit erratic and he only tossed 71 pitches in his MLB debut last week. This start should help, but the floor is low, especially with a capped innings ceiling.


  • The streaming pick of the day is shockingly Brad Kellerwho gets a lovely date with the Brewers and is throwing his fastball around 94 mph. If he can keep that up, his slider may earn more whiffs at the bottom of the zone, possibly returning a handful of strikeouts with a quality start. Not my favorite stream, though.
  • Some may be more inclined to go with Tarik Skubal instead, but I worry that his splitter isn’t refined and he’ll rely a bit too much on fastballs to get the job done. It’s close, though, and I’d prefer to take my streaming shots with other guys this week.


  • In the final tier, we have Wade Miley squaring off against the Giants. While he should be better than his previous evening in Coors, the Giants are great against lefties and will make it difficult for Miley to come close to replicating his no-hitter performance.
  • I’m encouraged by Garrett Richards‘ recent adjustment to throw more four-seamers for strikes, but we haven’t seen the slider return to its previous form yet. It could appear on Wednesday, however the odds are stacked against him as he’s set to pitch in terrifying Dunedin. You don’t want to start pitchers going against that offense in Florida.


Tomorrow’s Starting 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.

4 responses to “SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 5/18 & 5/19”

  1. DB says:

    I believe Ohtani’s pushed back to sometime between Wed & Fri due to fatigue.

  2. Scotty says:

    Appreciate ya, bud!

  3. TOBY says:

    Spencer Turnbull! GOAT!

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