SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 5/7 & 5/8

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


  • It’s always great seeing a party in Tier 1 and Jack Flaherty hosting Rockie Road spells for a lovely start to the weekend. His slider was back last time out and it’s hard to imagine this not working out.
  • There isn’t a clear #2 play with Zac Gallen taking the spot as I think he’s the best overall arm. Julio Urías and Trevor Rogers have certainly made their case, though, and I have no problem ranking them above Gallen facing the improving Mets lineup.


  • The second tier kicks off with Eduardo Rodriguez as he faces the Orioles. He’s not an auto-start start as 1) The Orioles are above-average against left-handers and 2) Eduardo didn’t have his fastball command last time out. This should still work in your favor, though.
  • Jameson Taillon fell into his groove with his curveball last time out and this start against Washington could be where he takes his next step with his slider.


  • I debated slotting Jose Urquidy in the second or third tier as the Jays are a dangerous offense, but on the road and without George Springer makes this an easier pill to swallow. I’d let him fly.
  • Speaking of the third tier, David Peterson appears as the streaming pick of the day. Arizona instills little hesitation and there’s a chance Peterson can rack up the strikeouts once again.


  • Rich Hill has performed well as of late, but after a short outing rooted in starting fresh of his COVID vaccine, it’s unclear how long he’ll be able to go. Will the quality of his innings be worth it?
  • It’s been a fun ride with Anthony DeSclafani to kick of 2021, but his numbers have been sugar-coated with a pair of Rockie Road outings in Oracle Park. Now facing the Padres, proceed with caution.


  • There could be a sneaky start here with Austin Gomber on the road against the Cardinals. While a Win isn’t likely, his ratios are inflated from a start against the lefty-mashing Giants + starts inside Coors. This is a very sneaky opportunity.
  • I could also understand managers wanting to start Zach Davies against the Pirates instead of Gomber, who may be on the road to recovery. Or it could be a repeat of his previous start against Pittsburgh that went south quickly.


  • I’m hoping for Patrick Corbin to turn it around soon this year, but let’s not be hasty. Bench him against the ferocious Yankee bats.
  • Lastly, Matt Harvey has raised some eyebrows with his sliders as of late. Nothing extreme, but I can see a world where Harvey wriggles out success against Boston.



Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • It’s ace day and Lance Lynn takes the top spot as he should cruise through the Royals’ lineup – yes, even after he wasn’t at his very best last time out.
  • Max Scherzer gets the silver medal despite heading to the Bronx. His high expected volume and clear ace-ability puts him ahead of Tyler Glasnow and Joe Musgrove facing weaker opponents.


  • Yes, I think it’s worthwhile for you to start Luis Castillo as he faces Cleveland. He has the TIARA and while the temperature will likely sit in the low 50s in Cleveland (Castillo generally performs better in warmer weather), this could easily be the outing where it comes together.
  • The Dodgers and Padres are strong offenses, but with the way Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman are pitching, it’s time for you to ignore the matchup. Save for Coors. Maybe not even Coors.


  • I nearly had Corey Kluber in the top tier, but Twitch chat was right and reminded me of my sentiment after his last performance – we need to see more before crowning him “back”. Let’s hope that changeup sticks and his breaker can take full shape.
  • Aaron Civale will also give some hesitation against the Reds, though I think he has enough in his repertoire to grant a good enough floor for you to still let him fly.


  • There was a fun discussion about Cristian Javier vs. Carlos Martinez and it’s a classic case of “do we believe in the pitcher or the matchup?” In this case, I think CarMart’s volatility is the tie-breaker, even against Rockie RoadI understand caution against the Jays with Javier, though.
  • Garrett Richards is the streaming pick of the day after a pair of outings where he pummeled the zone with four-seamers, fueling success. His slider benefits from the relentless assault of heaters and he should be able to capitalize against the Orioles.


  • It’s shocking, I know, but José Ureña is in the third tier and leading the way as he’s currently a Vargas RuleCould this easily come to end against Minnesota? Absolutely, but the man has been churning seven-inning games like it’s his J-O-B. Let’s ignore the fact that it actually is his job, for a moment.
  • I’m not much of a fan of the other options inside the tier, but the trio that follows Ureña all have blissful matchups and could serve as a streamer. Yes, that’s Adrian Houser, Trevor Williamsand Kohei AriharaWill they come through? Maybe…? I don’t love these options.


  • I’m excited to see how well Daniel Lynch performs in his second start for the Royals, hopefully it comes with improved fastball command as the nerves should be out of the way. All that said, it’s too much of a risk against the White Sox.
  • Keegan Akin has returned and while I think he can be a streamer down the road, there’s no reason to take a chance against the Red Sox.


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/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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