SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 5/22 & 5/23

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


  • So many fun pitchers are going on Saturday, with many obvious names in the first tier, though Sonny Gray hasn’t pitched up to the auto-start standard as of late. However, it is the Brewers and I expect his curveball & slider to return as the season develops. You should see a beneficial start here and hopefully the skills to make us encouraged moving forward.
  • Pablo Lopez squares off against the injury-battered Mets, making for a clear green light across all formats. Let’s hope his curveball continues its ascension as well.


  • Even though he’s starting inside Dunedin, I’m rolling out Robbie Ray across my leagues. The Rays aren’t a team to be afraid of and his WHIP + strikeouts should be at a high level with the main question being his ERA & how many longballs he allows. It’s a risk worth taking.
  • Many have been concerned about Dylan Bundy lately, though I wouldn’t be hesitant after enduring the gauntlet of LAD and BOS in his last two outings. The Athletics should put up less of a fight and give Bundy a good chance at success.


  • In the third tier, Matthew Boyd is the top choice as he’s shown he can perform well even when he’s not getting the slider whiffs. I’m not solid the pitch will return in this one (despite its results, it wasn’t commanded well last time out), though a strong fastball/changeup approach can still nullify the Royals.
  • Kenta Maeda is in the third tier despite getting set up with Cleveland. It’s awkward to see it, but I recognize many want to put him on the bench until he finally puts it together. It makes sense.


  • Despite facing Detroit, Brady Singer lands in the third tier as his sinker/slider combo isn’t overpowering too many squads. There’s a chance this outing falls through as well, though I’m starting where I have him in most cases.
  • Shane McClanahan finally saw the sixth inning last time out, tossing over 80 pitches. Sadly, he heads to Dunedin, making for a high risk/reward evening. Good luck.


  • Dylan Cease gets the Yankees as he’s currently only locked in with his slider and not his four-seamer or changeup. He could pull it off in this one, though, but the floor is mighty low as the Bronx Bombers could punish his mistakes.
  • It’s unclear how much we’ll see of Ryan Weathershowever pitching against the Mariners could return quality innings regardless of the volume.


  • Adbert Alzolay is today’s streamer as he hovers the 20% rostered threshold. I wasn’t too impressed with his start against Cleveland, but he could provide strikeouts to those that need it against a middling St. Louis offense.


  • In the final tier, it’s unclear if we’ll get to see Madison Bumgarner as he heads to Coors. If so, let’s hope he can toss 91+ mph heaters and find a way to evade danger. A bit too risky for me.
  • Bryse Wilson and Bruce Zimmermann could be sneaky deep streams for those that need it. For your standard 12-teamers, though, the ceiling isn’t high enough to take on their potential disasters.


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • There’s a bit more skepticism than usual in the top tier for Sunday, though Yu Darvish should steamroll the Mariners. It’s rough over there, sorry Seattle fans.
  • At the bottom, Zack Wheeler, Freddy Peraltaand Zach Plesac each have difficult situations, though I’m rolling all of them out there on my squads. Wheeler’s fastball is elite, Peralta’s success relies on his own command and less of the circumstance, and Plesac is in a better place than he was in April with a solid curveball added to his mix.


  • In the second tier, Luis Castillo leads off as he gets the weak Brewers lineup. Castillo did just fan eleven and is likely getting the green light from managers everywhere, though I understand if you want a proper strong ratio start before you put your full faith back in Castillo.
  • Patrick Corbin likely needs to grant the same encouragement after taking a step back last time out. I think his repertoire is still looking miles better than it did in the opening month, though, and he should capitalize against the Orioles.


  • It’s a long questionable tier and Andrew Heaney moves to the top as the one with the highest ceiling. The risk is apparent, but the possibility of a dominant ten strikeout game is well in the room.
  • Sean Manaea pitches opposite Heaney and while his velocity was a tick lower last time out, we don’t know if it will stay that low for a second straight outing. The Angels are without Mike Troutmaking this an easier pill to swallow.


  • There are three starters who would normally be in the second tier but bring anxiety with their opponents. Anthony DeSclafani will have to endure the mighty Dodgers and I’m not sure his fastball/slider approach is enough. Yusei Kikuchi has been looking fantastic as he sits 96 mph and has earned strikes with cutters and sliders, though the Padres with a healthy Fernando Tatis Jr. is no joke.
  • Then there’s Jameson Taillon who has struggled to keep his ERA down through the season as he faces the White Sox. I know it bothers many to hear that I’m still in the camp that believes he’ll be developing through the year, and I understand if you’d rather play it safe by benching him here.


  • JT Brubaker (aka Coffee Cakes) was cruising through the season before last week’s stumble and now has a date with Atlanta. Proceed with caution, though know Brubaker, he could soar through the afternoon.
  • I haven’t felt comfortable starting Eduardo Rodriguez as of late as his fastball/changeup/cutter approach hasn’t been in sync. The Phillies are a boom or bust offense and could make this a rough day for Eduardo.


  • Today’s streamer, if you can believe it, is Cody Poteetwho has the luxury of facing the stripped Mets offense. He’s gone five frames in each of his first two starts and has enough in the repertoire to grant a decent ERA and WHIP.
  • Casey Mize is slightly preferred as he gets the Royals, though don’t forget the floor he brings as he doesn’t have a whiff pitch when his splitter isn’t working…which is often.


  • In the final tier, Josh Fleming is a man of intrigue, but he’s heading into deadly Dunedin and should be avoided.
  • J.A. Happ has a great matchup against Cleveland, but his ceiling is too low to justify the lava-filled floor that can demolish your week.


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.

One response to “SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 5/22 & 5/23”

  1. larry womack says:

    Who would you stream Corbin, Taillon, Singer, J. Gray or Poteet/

    Leaning Corbin


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