SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 5/2 & 5/3

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


  • Even being a bit of a disappointment across his last two starts, Lucas Giolito is the lead option today as he faces Cleveland. This is the clear day for a rebound after a hazey morning start + a delay for a small finger injury.
  • It’s weird seeing Trevor Rogers sit at #5, but I’m not afraid of the Nationals offense and I can see some question marks with those behind him. That’s going to be such a fun start against Max Scherzer.


  • I’ve demoted Ian Anderson to Tier 2 not because of his skill set, but because the Jays are a legit Tier 1 offense with George Springer returning to the lineup. Be wary.
  • Sean Manaea is throwing harder and now getting whiffs on his secondaries. Paired with a start against Baltimore, this is a no-brainer, even contending for an Auto-Start.


  • It’s wonderful to see Zach Plesac get back on track but he’s getting tested quickly as he has another chance for redemption against the ChiSox – the team that’s roughed him twice this season already. It’s hard to let Plesac fly but give him a chance. He’s improved.
  • Corey Kluber finally got whiffs on cutters and breakers last time out and he should be able to take advantage of the lowly Tigers.


  • Is Dinelson Lamet actually starting tomorrow? If he is, I’d throw him out there without regarding Still ILL as the Giants are plenty worse against right-handers than southpaws. I just hope he can survive the outing.
  • Zach Eflin is a massive head-scratcher but with the way the Mets are hitting and Eflin’s upside, you’ll be hard-pressed to force yourself to bench him.


  • Garrett Richards is in a groove and now gets the Rangers. This should work but I can’t ignore his history of relapses. I hope he can pull through and not ruin our Sundays as I make him the streaming pick of the day.
  • I haven’t been too thrilled about Carlos Martinez but he does get the Pirates and the rest of the tier either has a poor matchup or a highly questionable skillset.


  • While Merrill Kelly does get Rockie RoadI still wonder if his cutter & curveball can be good enough to let him take full advantage. He’s a deep option for those who need to chase a quality start.
  • Bruce Zimmermann gets the same label as Kelly, with a bit better command but a harder situation against Oakland. It’s a close call and I’d avoid both if I didn’t need to chase low ratios or a quality start.


  • In the bottom tier is the enigmatic Trevor Williams who can whip out a fantastic start in the blink of an eye if he keeps his breaking balls low and flirts with four-seamers up. He gets the Reds, though, and it makes for a very small margin for error.
  • It seems as though Ross Stripling could be returning from the IL to face Atlanta in a very clear Still ILL scenario. Here’s to hoping he pulls it off, though.


Today’s Starting Pitchers

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • Quick note: There are a lot of uncertain names starting on Monday, so double-check that they are starting before making any moves.
  • The top tier holds Walker Buehler, Tyler Glasnow, and Joe Musgrovethree clear plays and I’m excited to watch Musgrove take on his former crew like it’s a 25-year high school reunion. Look how much I’ve prospered since I left!


  • I could have had a larger second tier, but wanted to express a bit of reservation for those starting their weeks. I elected to leave Shohei Ohtani in here despite his control issues thus far. As he gets more routine starts, I imagine the walks will fall and the Rays aren’t putting up a major fight with their bats.
  • Yes, Adam Wainwright is a “Probably Start” as he’s been on fire with his curveball and cutter command + the Mets far from the offense that was promised in the preseason.


  • The first two options in the third tier are normally in the first or second, but have both struggled out of the gate. I initially had Frankie Montas a tier above, but the Jays are an elite offense and warrant hesitation.
  • As for Kenta MaedaI’m personally starting him everywhere I have him rostered, but I fully recognize the anxiety and skepticism that this is the start he turns it around. Given the lack of fear instilled by Texas, it’s an easier decision for me, but I recognize your hesitation.


  • My streamer of the day is Justin Dunnwho wasn’t dazzling with his breakers last time, but is still sitting 93/94 on his heater. I think he can take advantage of the Orioles.
  • I also considered Jakob Junis as the streaming pick who has a solid matchup against Cleveland. I’m a little more inclined to believe the improvements of Dunn over Junis, but you should be okay with either one.


  • German Marquez is also in the third tier as he hosts the Giants inside Coors. It’s a tough call as he didn’t have both his breakers on the road during his last start, but he’s shown the ability to succeed inside Coors in the past and the Giants against a right-hander aren’t the most intimidating, even in Colorado.
  • Yes, Kyle Hendricks has been pushed to the final tier as he faces the Dodgers. If it were an easier opponent, he wouldn’t be down here, but with his command and secondary pitches far from where they should be, there’s a high chance of disaster against LA.


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitchers

Photo by Gregory Fisher/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.

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