SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 5/31 & 6/1

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: 39-19


Note: We went back and realized I had missed calculating one streaming win and one loss across the season.


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • Monitor these expected starters for Memorial Day as many could be changing last minute.
  • With the way that Carlos Rodon has pitched lately, he’s earned the #3 spot of the day. That heater just keeps adding velocity as he sat over 96 mph with his four-seamer last start. Unreal.


  • It’s a small tier two with the hot Rich Hill leading the way. He’s earning a remarkable amount of whiffs with his sub 90 mph four-seamer and took down the Yankees recently. He can do the same again.
  • James Kapriellian has upgraded from streamer status after his date with the Mariners last week and he gets to do so again. I’m starting him and figuring out what to do with him after.


  • The streaming pick of the day falls to Merrill Kelly as he gets the replaceMets. He’s been on a roll against the Dodgers and Giants and now gets his most favorable matchup.
  • Jameson Taillon gets a solid matchup, though he hasn’t had his curveball and slider as of late. Here’s to hoping he gets back on track against the volatile Rays squad.


  • It’s a Cherry Bomb situation for both Dylan Bundy and Mike Minor, with the former getting a solid matchup against the Giants (he’s not a lefty!). Minor has a solid matchup, though he’s still missing his spring velocity. There’s a reason he’s still in the third tier.
  • Wade Miley isn’t going to make many bump their fist in the air, but he’s displayed an ability to provide value and can do so against a middling Phillies offense.


  • There are so many arms getting poor matchups or are simply not worth your time. The closest to the third tier is Johnny Cuetowho has produced as a Toby at times throughout the year. It’s unclear if he’ll be able to show up against the Angels, though, making the ceiling not worth risking the floor.
  • Triston McKenzie returned and excelled against the Tigers, but the White Sox are plenty tougher and will likely give McKenzie trouble.


  • Jose Urquidy is returning from his IL stint and is being served a dish of Red Sox sluggers. I’d avoid this.
  • I wonder if this is the start that Logan Gilbert begins to figure out his secondary stuff and blossom in the arm we envisioned before his MLB debut. It’s best for us to watch from afar until he reaches that point.


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • I’m considering shifting my philosophy for these four tiers moving forward. If I can say “if he’s on my team, I’m definitely starting him”, then they are in Tier #1. That’s why you’re seeing Robbie Ray, Chris Bassitt, and Dylan Cease in the top tier.
  • For the second tier, I’m asking “Do I want to start them but they come with a touch of hesitation?” – that leads to Sandy Alcantara moving to Tier 2 as the Jays are no joke, as Buffalo is still a hitter’s park, even if it’s not Dunedin.


  • Domingo German is a solid start against the Rays, but Tampa Bay has shown some life and Domingo doesn’t always have his curveball and changeup working.
  • Meanwhile, I love the matchup for Michael Pinedabut there is a sense that his ability to generate outs with just his fastball and slider will inevitably fade.


  • Brady Singer and Matthew Boyd close out the second tier as they’ve both been given great opportunities to succeed as they face the Tigers and Brewers. I don’t love either long term – Singer doesn’t have quite enough in his repertoire outside of a sinker + slider, while Boyd is still struggling to get slider whiffs – but they should help on Tuesday.
  • I considered Andrew Heaney for the second tier, but the Giants offense is plenty better against left-handers, making this a volatile play – that’s what the third tier has become “the volatility tier”. I can imagine situations where I’d take the chance with guys here, but it’s more nuanced league-by-league.


  • With that in mind, it’s unclear if you’re safe to start German Marquez as he hosts the Rangers in Coors. On one hand, German has displayed a good slider and curveball throughout the season + Texas is far from a strong offense. On the other, it’s Coors, where nightmares can become reality.
  • Stephen Strasburg is in a tough spot as he’s sitting just 91.8 mph on his four-seamer. If he had an easy matchup, I’d feel a bit better he can rely on his curveball and hope his changeup takes shape, but against Atlanta? I’d be cautious if I could.


  • I know Luis Garcia has been performing well, but the Red Sox are swatting pitches with ease and make for a difficult time at the park.
  • It’s no fun to type this, but it looks like Adrian Houser is the streaming pick of the day as he faces the Tigers. I wouldn’t take this chance, especially early in the week. There will be better options.


  • In the final tier, Marco Gonzales is returning from the IL in a clear Still ILL situation. There’s a chance is does work, but you’re better off playing it safe.
  • David Peterson nearly escapes the bottom tier, but the Diamondbacks roughed him up last time and could do so again as they perform better against southpaws.


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

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.

One response to “SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 5/31 & 6/1”

  1. Donk says:

    I’m seeing Lauer as the Brewers’ probable pitcher for Tuesday. Does he get a bump up the tier at all?

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