SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 7/18 & 7/19

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: 58-43


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • Like Saturday’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.
  • We have plenty more aces going on Sunday, though the top half of this tier is certainly different than the bottom half.


  • Sonny Gray is returning from his IL stint with a rib injury and should be able to pick up where he left off, while Chris Bassitt cruised through the first half.
  • 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.


  • The second tier features Framber Valdez as he hasn’t had his best sinker command across the last month. The curveball is still elite and he’ll need that heater to get by against the ChiSox.
  • Patrick Sandoval and Logan Gilbert square off and are both worthy of your starts. Patrick “The Panada” Sandoval has earned tons of whiffs with changeups and sliders while Gilbert just came into form with his slider. This should be a fun one to watch.


  • The third tier is always where the tough choices are made and Zach Plesac is no exception. He tossed under 60 pitches in his return from the IL and it’s difficult to discern if his outing against the Athletics will be worth your time.
  • I’ve fawned over Jon Gray and his two tick jump in velocity, but hosting the Dodgers in Coors is as tough as a matchup as you’ll find.


  • The streaming pick of the day is J.A. Happ as he gets a gift in the Tigers. Detroit has improved over the last month, but they still struggle against left-handers and Happ can still pull it off.
  • Steven Matz is an interesting option against the Rangers, though he certainly wasn’t sharp in each of his two starts since returning from the IL, failing to hit the 70 pitch mark in either. Hopefully this is the moment he takes a step forward.


  • I can see some turning to Merrill Kelly against the Cubs as a streaming option as he’s pulled off some valuable outings this season against mediocre teams. It’s no lock but worthy of your consideration.
  • I wouldn’t say I’m racing to grab Johnny Cueto off the wire, though he could excel against St. Louis. It is “The Cardinal Rule” after all.


  • In the bottom tier, it’s unclear how many pitches David Price and Casey Mize will throw in their respective outings, making them easy arms to avoid over the weekend.
  • Let’s hope Mike Foltynewicz can toss yet another Quality Start, but it may be misplaced as Toronto’s offense is as dangerous as any.


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • Like Sunday’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.
  • Seriously, Monday had more unconfirmed starters than confirmed. This will change.


  • The top tier has the usual suspects, though some may be surprised to see Luis Garcia at the tail end as he gets Cleveland. If you’ve been fortunate to roster Garcia through the year, you’ll understand there is no good reason to not start him against Cleveland’s mediocre crew.
  • It was the first misstep for a long time for Kyle Gibson last time out, but I’m willing to wager it was a blip, not the beginning of the end, and we have the luxury of comfort with Detroit in his sights.


  • The second tier is a short one. José Berríos will start against the White Sox for the third time in four games. The prior two have been both sides of the Berríos coin and it’s not clear which one we’ll see here.
  • I decided to elevate Tony Gonsolin as well as his floor seems reasonable + there’s a ceiling we haven’t quite seen from Tony that I hope he can achieve here against the Giants. It’s a close call.


  • The streaming pick of the day goes to Alec Mills as we follow “The Cardinal Rule”. Mills has the ability to carve up quality innings and the Cardinals are far from intimidating.
  • I gave some consideration to Vladimir Gutiérrez as he faces the Mets and while I like his pitch separation across his deep repertoire, the floor is a bit too scary here.


  • Don’t ignore the potential ceiling for Caleb Smith despite the horrendous performance against the Dodgers last time out. He gets the Pirates and could put it all together.
  • I’m hoping we see Kyle Muller return for Atlanta, though it’s the Padres and you’re better off targeting his following outing against the Phillies.


  • In the bottom tier, I’m avoiding both sides of the Boston vs. Toronto matchup despite the ceilings for both Ross Stripling and Nick PivettaThe bats are just too dang good.
  • I know you’re tempted to start Casey Mize and Michael Kopechbut don’t forget – both pitchers will have their pitch counts heavily limited. It’s not worth it.


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Photo by Gregory Fisher/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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