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SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 5/3 & 5/4

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

 

  • 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 and Tyler Glasnowwith the latter squaring off against Ohtani. You don’t want to miss that outing of power pitchers.

 

  • 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.

 

  • Dinelson Lamet was originally here, but it looks like Miguel Diaz is getting the ball instead. Here’s to hoping Lamet returns soon.
  • It’s Daniel Lynch Day! He’s making his MLB debut and I would recommend picking him up in 12-teamers to give yourself an opportunity to hold past this outing. Despite being the streaming pick of the day, I’d recommend being conservative and not putting yourself in harm’s way, though if you play fantasy baseball for the fun of it, this is certainly one of the fun starts to make.

 

  • 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.

 

Today’s Starting Pitcher


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

 

  • Jacob deGrom is starting on Tuesday so he is the #1 play. Duh.
  • It’s Nola Day as he faces a Brewers offense that could feature Yelich and/or Cain. Still, you should be starting Aaron Nola with plenty of confidence.

 

  • It’s a small second tier and it’s debatable that it should be smaller with Huascar Ynoa hinting at a promotion to “Auto-Start”. Let’s see him dismantle the Nationals first.
  • The Yankee offense is heating up, but I’d still trust Zack Greinke to pick apart the zone with changeups, sliders, fastballs, and endearingly slow curveballs to keep the Pinstripes off balance.

 

  • With the way that Kyle Gibson has been pitching, I was tempted to slot him in the second tier as he’s in the middle of a Vargas RuleStill, it may be wise to sit him in some cases as the Twins offense doesn’t mess around.
  • It’s unclear who will start for the Padres tomorrow but if it’s Ryan Weathers, I’d consider starting him as his quality of inning should be high enough to warrant a green light.

 

  • The streaming pick of the day was a close one, but I’m leaning Justin Dunn against the Orioles. His increased velocity paired with an improving slider should be enough to grant value to those that let him fly against the Orioles.
  • The other option was Shane McClanahanwho I’m still watching before I sleep each night. The main concern is the Angels offense and the small sample we’ve seen of his success. In concert with a possible short leash from the Rays, it seems a touch riskier than Dunn.

 

  • With the way Alex Wood has been pitching (that slider is fantastic!) I can understand those wanting to still roll with him inside Coors. It’s a tough gamble.
  • I surprised myself and picked up Nick Pivetta for his two starts against the Tigers and Orioles this week. His four-seamer has performed well and hopefully this is the week his curveball and slider find their way to the bottom of the zone with any sort of consistency.

 

  • Despite pitching better than I’ve seen him all year in his previous start, I don’t want to trust Dylan Cease against the Reds. We just don’t know if his rhythm will stick and the Reds will punish him.
  • The same goes for Adbert Alzolay who is embracing a breaker heavy approach, tossing 55% sliders last time out. I love the change, hate the matchup against the Dodgers.

 

  • Domingo German shocked me by pushing his velocity up over two ticks last time out and while I’m hoping he can keep that heater alive, it’ll be tough to pull off another successful performance as he faces the healthy Astros.
  • Despite a great matchup for Mike MinorI’m hesitant to let him fly. He hasn’t come through against weak lineups as of late, featuring sub 92 mph velocity. Be careful.

 

  • There are a lot of arms in the bottom tier, though I doubt many will object. Here’s to hoping Michael Fulmer can find that changeup against the Red Sox, and maybe Jeff Hoffman can work some magic hold backing a strong White Sox crew.

 

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitchers


Photo by Tom Hagerty | 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.

2 responses to “SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 5/3 & 5/4”

  1. don says:

    Happ or Dunn for the 2 step this week?

  2. Jonathan says:

    Real desperation play here. But thoughts on Miguel Diaz? Hasn’t pitched in the majors in a couple years but news from camp suggests that he has been throwing 3-4 innings regularly and throwing them well.

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