SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 7/4 & 7/5

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: 51-40


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • Yes, I’m still ranking Gerrit Cole atop the rankings despite the spin rates and stuttering performance as of late. His stuff and command are still excellent and look for him to dominate a middling Mets crew. This is the third day I’ve said this as Cole keeps getting pushed back with the rain. YOU GOT THIS COLE.
  • Anthony DeSclafani jumps into the top tier as managers should feel confident with Tony Disco when he’s not facing a top-tier offense. He’s done everything to make us feel great about starting him versus the Sneks.


  • The second tier is short and leads off with Marcus Stromanwho should find his groove again after an odd start enduring hip soreness. I’d let him fly given how well he’s performed this year.
  • German Marquez makes for a tough denial after nearly tossing a no-hitter in Coors last time out. The Cardinals are arguably worse than the Pirates at the moment, too.


  • I’m still on the Patrick Sandoval train as he gets a solid matchup against the Orioles. If he has both his changeup and slider, this could be deadly.
  • There have been few more quietly consistent than Wade Miley this season and I don’t see many managers turning away a Sunday start from the Cincy southpaw.


  • The third tier is…incredibly difficult to navigate. It normally is the hardest one to rank, but man this one is filled with desperate options for your Sundays and there are so many pitchers who could go either way in this one. Good luck, seriously, we all need it.


  • With that out of the way, let’s start with Blake Snell, Kyle Hendricksand Kenta Maedaall of which drafted inside the Top 30 SP and are now hoping to redeem themselves in the second half. Snell is expected to start from his mini-IL stint with an illness, but we don’t know if he’ll be able to produce like his last game of 0 ER in five frames. Maeda was a disaster against the White Sox and even facing the Royals still brings massive hesitation.


  • The next mini-tier is Zach Thompson, Caleb Smithand James KaprielianThomspon had a wonderful cutter and fastball command last weekend and could bring it for a difficult matchup against Atlanta. Smith hasn’t been locked in with a 92 mph heater, slider, and changeup yet and I’m not sure he can get there against the Giants (he’s my reluctant streamer of the day, oh no), and Kaprielian has a solid skillset with fastball/slider, but the Red Sox are no joke.


  • Mike Foltynewicz isn’t someone I’d generally recommend, but he survived the Athletics earlier in the week and now could keep the momentum against a weaker Mariners crew. Folty isn’t a consistent arm, though, so proceed with heavy caution.


  • Then there’s also Nick Pivettawho still has electric stuff, but struggles to execute it with every pitch. This is your high strikeout upside play.
  • Tyler Anderson and Chris Flexen are another mini-tier as Anderson and Flexen are a pair of highly volatile arms who could give you a QS against weak teams.


  • Finally, it’s Joe Ross, Matt Manningand Brad Kellerwho all have poor matchups and have expressed better days in the past. We’ve seen Ross have a pair of disaster starts this year, including one against the Dodgers, so that’s a clear side-step if you can. Manning and Keller are each fresh off their own apocalypses (Apocolypsi?) but have the ability to rebound and succeed, even against strong clubs.


  • And last but not least, is the fourth tier. Vince Velasquez is a desperate grab for strikeouts, but this shouldn’t end well against the Padres. Ryan Yarbrough hasn’t brought a ton of upside and gets paired with the Jays, I’d avoid. Michael King may be the bulk guy for the Yankees today and likely won’t provide quality innings, Cal Quantrill has shown nothing of value and gets the Astros, and Carlos Martinez, well, he gets Coors.


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • It’s a normal Monday with fewer games, but we still have a fair amount of aces. Trevor Rogers has the biggest challenge pitching opposite Walker Buehlerbut he’s done enough to warrant your start regardless of the opponent.


  • The second tier is lonely with Dylan Cease hoping to repeat his last performance against the Twins. His slider was improved as the results came with it, and it’s safe to play in favor of a repeat.


  • As always, things get interesting in the “Questionable Start” tier. Monday’s streamer is Kwang Hyun Kimwho has gone over the 100 pitch threshold and boasts an improved slider. The Giants have wrecked southpaws a good amount this season, though, and it could be a battle for a worthy line for your fantasy teams.
  • Vladimir Gutiérrez could draw the affectionate eyes of managers as he squares off against the Royals. I’m leaning Kim given a slightly higher floor and sturdier track record of volume, though if you fly with Vlad, you may be glad. There’s enough in that arsenal to pull it off.


  • If Tylor Megill gets the call for the Mets, there’s a chance he can repeat his eight strikeout performance against a middling Brewers lineup. He hasn’t gone too deep into games, though, presenting a low floor that could start your week poorly.
  • Speaking of low floors, Rich Hill has been lying down on his across the last few weeks as he’s been affected by gloopgate as much as anyone. If the Rays are trusting him with the ball against Cleveland, this could still be trouble even against a weak offense.


  • I know Kolby Allard has been oddly effective at times through this season and a date against a Detroit crew who have struggled against southpaws may be fruitful. I find myself hesitating to rely on Allard for any start in any circumstance, though.
  • Zach Davies isn’t dominating with his changeup as he used to, but he still has flashes of competence that could appear against a slightly above-average Phillies squad.


  • I’d avoid Mike Minor and Martín Pérez for Monday given their difficult opponents. There’s a chance both of them can before at their peaks, but it’s not worth it on a Monday. There will be better options throughout the week.
  • I’ve seen some hype around Jose Suarez and on top of my skepticism, he begins his journey in the rotation against the Red Sox. Be patient here.


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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