SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 5/25 & 5/26

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.


2021 Streamer Record: 34-16


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • Hey look at that, Jacob deGrom is returning and gets a gift in Rockie RoadThe only concern here is the workload – he tossed just three frames in his rehab start and it’s unclear how long he’ll be able to go for. You have to imagine he’ll be able to carve at least five innings here, though.
  • I may be a little aggressive in ranking Corbin Burnes at #3 despite a date with the Padres, but his quality of inning has been stellar through the year, even with his brief hiccup as of late.


  • Yes, I’ve elevated Tyler Mahle into “Auto-Start” territory. His last start was a blip, not the beginning of a trend and the Nationals aren’t a team to fear.
  • Sandy Alcantara came back from his disaster outing to flat-out dominate, giving us little reason to question him against the Phillies.


  • In the second tier, Aaron Civale gets the nod as he squares off against the Tigers – arguably a start that would push him into the top tier. It’s close as Civale hasn’t expressed quite the same ceiling as the top ten options, though this should be a successful outing.
  • Andrew Heaney has made himself known as a Cherry Bombthough this start should be on the sweeter side as he’s been granted the gift of Texas.


  • We’ve been waiting for Jose Berrios to take that next step for ages, and his stuff has been hinting at better days as of late. He has done little to prove that he’s a lock for overwhelming success, but this outing against the Orioles looks to be in his favor.
  • Rich Hill has been performing like the Hill of old and with a start against the Royals, he should be a benefactor for those fortunate to pick him up.


  • In Tier 3, Corey Kluber resides despite tossing a no-hitter last time out. Generally we see a slight no-hitter hangover + the Rangers are far weaker than the Blue Jays inside the Bronx. I imagine most are still starting Kluber, though I recognize the lower floor here.
  • Tarik Skubal is today’s streaming of pick of the day as he’s lucky to face Cleveland without Franmil ReyesWith his slider working wonders recently, I’m hoping he can continue the trend moving forward.


  • After teasing us last week Vince Velasquez is getting another shot against the Marlins, though this time comes with more innings concerns as he missed his previous outing with finger numbness. This is close to Tier 4 despite the matchup.
  • We’ve been waiting for Garrett Richards to get his old slider back after finally displaying the ability to throw fastballs over the plate. Atlanta makes for a small margin of error, though, creating a volatile outing in Boston.


  • A sneaky start for those in deep leagues may be Brad Keller against the Ray, though I understand having caution putting anyone against their win streak at the moment.
  • Some may want to start Kyle Freeland or Jake Arrieta based on their strong matchups and there’s a chance they’re able to succeed because of it. Personally, they don’t have a high enough ceiling for me to spin the wheel and risk disaster.


Today’s Staring Pitcher Rankings

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • It’s half considerable options, have avoids on Wednesday, leading off with an “Auto-Start” nod for Marcus Stroman as he’s fortunate to earn a start against Rockie RoadI’m not sure we’ll see him in the first tier again all season (I hope we do!) and let’s enjoy this moment for Stroman.
  • It may surprise some to see Tyler Glasnow ranked fourth and behind Carlos Rodón despite being placed higher on The List and getting arguably a better matchup. After failing to deceive batters in his last outing, Glasnow is looking a touch rougher in the current moment, while Rodón is as sharp as ever. It’s safer to expect Glasnow to perform through the full year, but as of right now, Rodón is the better play for a single evening.


  • The second is short, leading off with German Marquez against the Mets in New York. It’s the most ideal situation for Marquez – likely the best he’ll get all year – as the Mets are depleted and are outside Coors. Start him with confidence.
  • Chris Paddack isn’t quite the 2019 guy yet, but he should be able to a take advantage of an evening against the Brewers. Look for his fastball up and changeups down.


  • There are some names in the third tier who could make a case to push into the second. Domingo German has certainly proven himself as a reliable starter as of late, displaying a fantastic curveball and even a solid changeup as his #3 pitch. The Jays do warrant hesitation, though, so play this one by team.
  • James Kaprielian is the obvious streaming pick of the day as he gets the Mariners, arguably so comfortable a start that he should be in the second tier. We haven’t seen a lot of Kap so far in the majors, making me a touch hesitant to endorse him so much, but this should be a solid outing for the rookie.


  • Griffin Canning and Dane Dunning are squaring off in Los Angeles and I’m leaning in favor of Canning’s strikeout upside over Dunning’s more proven ability to keep the ratios down. Canning also gets to face the weaker offense, after all.
  • After fanning twelve Dodgers in his previous start, I’m not ruling out Kelly continuing his momentum against the Giants. It’s risky, but this could be a beneficial time in Arizona.


  • Johnny Cueto returns to the third tier as he gets a solid matchup against the Diamondbacks. I’m not expecting a whole lot, but I get that he can pull off this stream.
  • The last option is José Ureña who could feast on a Cleveland offense missing Franmil ReyesHe’s had multiple starts of seven innings already this season, after all.


  • The final tier is a large one, with Alek Manoah leading off. He should be picked up where he’s available as you wait and see how he performs in the Bronx. It’s simply too risky to let him fly in his first outing.
  • Some may want to see Trevor Williams in the third tier, but the ceiling isn’t worth the floor as Williams has failed to come through against weak lineups multiple times already.


Tomorrow’s Staring 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.

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