SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 5/8 & 5/9

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 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.
  • Also note that Clayton Kershaw will be starting on short rest after tossing just 39 pitches four days ago. Make sure he’s in your lineups.


  • 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.
  • Zac Lowther is making his MLB debut for the Orioles and there’s no reason to take a chance against the Red Sox. Curious to see what he brings to the table, though.


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • There’s a chance Jacob deGrom doesn’t make this start as the Mets are waiting to give confirmation. It would be a wonderful two-start week if he doesn’t pitch on Sunday…
  • Despite his recent struggles, I still have Lucas Giolito as the #3 paly of the day. I expect him to rebound and get back into a rhythm while Aaron Nola gets a tougher matchup against Atlanta.


  • I’ve elevated Kenta Maeda into the top tier as he performed better last time out and gets an easy afternoon against the Tigers. Hopefully this is another step on his redemption tour.
  • Huascar Ynoa has been pitching so well that I’m willing to place him in the top tier. I understand if some want to proceed with caution on a Sunday, but with his heavy slider approach and a 97 mph fastball, I think this should work out well.


  • In the second tier, we have the recently redeemed Kyle Hendricks squaring off against the Pirates after cruising against the Dodgers. Here’s to hoping that sinker command is here to stay.
  • Domingo German is tossing 93/94 mph and looked great against the Astros, 3 ER aside. The nationals do have Juan Soto back in their ranks, but it’s not enough of a deterrent to start Domingo.


  • Zack Greinke hasn’t looked like a true ace this season, but through the full year, you’ll be happy with what you get. The Jays are without George Springer are outside Dunedin, making this an easier matchup to endure.
  • Is Dinelson Lamet starting on Sunday? If he is, like Shane McClanahanI expect the quality of innings to be worth your time, even if it comes with fewer than five frames. I know I speak for everyone when I say I really wish both of these pitchers get to go at least five innings with any sort of consistency soon.


  • Matthew Boyd left his previous start with a knee injury and I’m worried that it interrupted his early-season rhythm. The Tigers may be a bit cautious in this start as well, possibly removing him sooner than we’d like. Take note.
  • Despite a rough outing against the Mets, I’d still start Adam WainwrightIt’s Rockie Roady’all.


  • The streaming pick of the day is Dane Dunning as he’s been granted a gift against the mediocre Mariners lineup. I don’t love Dunning longterm, but his sinker/slider combo should be good enough for a Sunday stream.
  • If you’re looking for strikeouts, don’t overlook Nick Pivetta against the Orioles as he managed to keep his slider down against the Tigers last time out.


  • If you need something for tomorrow, I think there’s a decent shot Eric Lauer pulls off another decent start as he flexed a 90 mph cutter last time out. He gets a cozy matchup against the Marlins and may take advantage of it.
  • Some may also consider Jose Quintana after he earned 17 whiffs on his curveball against the Rays in his previous start. He still only pitched 3.1 innings in that game, though, and the Dodgers are no joke. Be careful.


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 – 5/8 & 5/9”

  1. IhasMarquez says:

    Hey Nick thanks for all your help
    You’re awesome
    I can’t bring myself to drop Marquez, I started him on the 4th :(

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