SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 7/16 & 7/17

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: 57-42


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • Before we begin, I updated this Friday morning and we still have plenty of confusion about who the starters are for today.  It’s just the nature of the All-Star Break and you would be wise to stay up on it a little more frequently than usual.
  • Also, please don’t judge me when I have the wrong pitcher listed. You rock.


  • Lots of aces are going as teams are able to reset their rotations for the second half. I imagine there will be few contentions here, though keep in mind that Woodruff, Nola, Buehler, and Giolito all got pushed in favor of weaker arms for their respective clubs.
  • I elected to sneak in Chris Bassitt at the end of this one as he squares up against Cleveland. He’s been a rock for your teams this year and while he doesn’t carry the same strikeout upside as others, he’s easily worth the start.


  • Yes, I bumped Lance McCullers to the second tier given the strength of the ChiSox lineup + he hasn’t truly blossomed into an ace yet – his curveball wasn’t there last time and he’s not one to consistently hint at seven frames. I’d still start him, he just doesn’t come with the same confidence of those in tier one.
  • I’d love to see another dominating start from Kenta Maeda as he’s looked excellent across his last two outings. I’m being patient until I see the third outing to confirm his trend, but all signs are pointing toward dominance, especially against the Tigers.


  • The final four of this tier are all familiar names who do little to excite fantasy managers, but should be leaned on for their outings. Adam Wainwright has done marvelous work this season and the Giants, despite having a surprising amount of offensive success this year, aren’t enough to warrant a bench.
  • A start for Zach Eflin against the Marlins is a pretty clear option. There’s a chance he fizzles, while his ceiling could be hit with effective sliders and curves while he spots sinkers.


  • In the third tier, despite facing the lackluster Mariners, Andrew Heaney has showcased himself as the quintessential Cherry Bomb this year, making this start a risky proposition.
  • We haven’t seen a good version of Chris Paddack for a few starts now and a repeat against the Nationals may prove difficult to rebound.


  • It’s unclear what we’ll see of Danny Duffywho had a small step back in velocity to 93 mph after sitting 94/95 mph previously. Mix in a vague pitch count (will they let him go 90 pitches) and an Orioles offense that has crushed lefties and you have yourself an anxiety-filled option.
  • The streaming pick of the day is Michael Wacha in the bottom tier. We saw him have his best changeup a week ago but it’s a poor wager to imagine it’ll earn double-digit whiffs for the second straight start. Sadly, there are no other options to stream today.


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • Like Friday’s ranks, teams have been erratic in solidifying their rotations out of the break, making it tough to create an accurate table. It’s going to be rough this weekend, please don’t hate me.


  • Many of the aces we thought were going Friday are starting Saturday and you should feel comfortable starting all of them despite tough matchups. I’m looking at you Brandon Woodruff, Walker Buehler, Lucas Giolitoand Yusei Kikuchi
  • Okay, Kikuchi isn’t an ace yet, but save for one hiccup, he’s been an incredible arm for fantasy teams. It would be tough to hold him back.


  • Hyun Jin Ryu is coming off the best start he’s had for a hot moment, though it didn’t come with a pristine changeup. I’m still cautious overall, though he gets the Rangers. This should be fine.
  • We’re nearly a month removed from Adbert Alzolay’s blister and he’s stationed in Arizona on Saturday. Trust the fastball and slider to come through.


  • In the third tier, Blake Snell kicks off as he’s expected to return from his departure from the rotation with fatigue. The Nationals aren’t the toughest crew, though we’re not sure which side of Snell we’ll get.
  • I’m a bit shocked to see Kwang Hyun Kim rise up the rostership rates, but he’s no longer a streaming option for the weekend. The Giants are better against lefties, but seeing Kim whip out a strong changeup in addition to his well-commanded fastball/slider 1-2 punch makes him a considerable play.


  • I have Nathan Eovaldi labeled as a Cherry Bomb considering his reliance on secondary pitches to carve out productive innings – a skill he hasn’t displayed much in his career. The Yankees are a bit of a volatile offense in their own right and it could make for a tough start…if there are no more COVID concerns.
  • I’ve been digging Jake Odorizzi as he pitches for a winning team and has done well commanding his four-seamer, though the ChiSox should give you pause.


  • The streaming pick of the day is Vince Velasquezwho is only trustable when starting against the Marlins. The stars have aligned and there could be free production to be had.
  • Opposite Velasquez is Zach Thompsonwho has made us all raise an eyebrow with his cutter and breakers as of late, though he has the tougher challenge of facing the Phillies offense. Hopefully he’s fine after his IL stint.


  • At the very backend of the third tier are Tyler Anderson and Bailey Obereach holding a rarely achieved ceiling as they could each go roughly five innings of quality. Their matchups help, but there’s still a ton of risk here.


  • In the final tier, I’d prefer to avoid the gamble of Patrick Corbin having his best stuff as he faces the mighty Padres. This could be rough.
  • For a deep play, consider either Brad Keller or Taylor WidenerKeller has a longer leash and has leaned into his slider as of late, while Widener has flexed a strong changeup and slider at times, while sitting 93+. I wonder how long the Sneks will let Widener pitch for, though, and I’d avoid both in standard leagues.


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.

2 responses to “SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 7/16 & 7/17”

  1. John says:

    I know the pickings are very slim based on several of the starters going today already being owned enough to not qualify, but how can you have the streaming pick of the day for Friday be a guy you literally are saying not to start? Should have just skipped it entirely if there were no other options. Not a big deal, but just saying…

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