SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 8/11 & 8/12

Nick Pollack ranks the starting pitcher streamers for today & 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, there are my streaming picks of the day, and please keep in mind that I am forced to pick a streamer every day. Those highlighted in Green are in the second tier and I’d roll with them everywhere. The most common are those in Yellow in the third tier and should be decent if you’re searching for something on a given day. Finally, those are Red are those I really don’t want to start (they are labeled as “Do Not Start”, after all) but have no other choice. Don’t stream these guys until you are truly desperate. A streaming pick is 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: 70-50


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • We have a sizeable top tier with Frankie Montas surprisingly up at #4. It’s hard to deny him the spot as he’s been on an absolute tear and gets a cushy matchup against Cleveland. That splitter and slider have been locked in.
  • I debated slotting Alek Manoah and Framber Valdez into the tier, and I figured their opponents aren’t intimidating and if you roster them, you’re starting them.


  • In the second tier, I wouldn’t be excited about any of these starts but I’d lean starting them in each case. Wade Miley has been making a play for Spider-Man all year and could pull it off against a solid Atlanta crew while Joe Ross has been able to command the zone with sinkers and earn plenty of slider strikes. For those wondering, Ross will in the suspended Mets/Nats game from Tuesday, starting in the second inning. It’s unclear who the Mets will pitch against him.
  • I heavily consider Tarik Skubal in the third tier as the Orioles perform well against southpaws + Skubal hasn’t had his slider nor changeup since the spring. The ceiling is worth the risk, though, as Skubal’s floor isn’t too murky.


  • In the third tier, I’m leading with the biggest Vargas Rule out there in Cal Quantrillfresh off a 20 whiff outing. I’ve heavily doubted his repertoire as dense enough to support legit success but after earning 10 whiffs on four-seamers last time out, he’s worth the shot against the Athletics.
  • It was a disastrous outing in Coors on Friday for Sandy Alcantara and I can feel the anxiety of managers everywhere when they see the Padres next to his name. He has the stuff to survive, but I understand if you’d rather play it safe for one game.


  • Merrill Kelly has been the most Toby of them all with an even 4.00 ERA on the season and his pedestrian six frames could return in spacious Oracle Park.
  • The streaming pick of the day is Tyler Anderson as he gets a comfortable date with the Rangers. His four-seamer paired with a solid cutter and changeup allow him to accrue innings effectively, especially against a poor set of bats.


  • I know Ryan Weathers against the Marlins seems like a complete slam dunk (15% rostership rate!), though Weathers has struggled in his last two games, tallying 14 ER total against…Rockie Road and the Diamondbacks. Even against a feeble Martlins team, this isn’t a lock.
  • And sure, Rich Hill could go five frames against a mediocre Nationals crew to make your faith worthwhile. The ceiling is capped around six frames, though, if not five. Marcus Stroman will be pitching instead of Hill for the second game of the doubleheader against the Nationals.


  • In the final tier, I wouldn’t trust Kyle Gibson against the Dodgers as he doesn’t appear out of the woods from his horrid July. The ceiling is low and L.A. knows how to make a pitcher’s night miserable.
  • The upside of Touki Toussaint is fun, facing the powerful Reds offense is not. Take this one off.


  • I don’t expect many innings from Spencer Howard in this one, making a decent matchup in Seattle turn into an outing undeserving of your attention.
  • And hey, maybe Wil Crowe can earn whiffs on both his changeup and slider to follow “The Cardinal Rule”, but it’s not a risk worth taking.


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • I was a little liberal with the top tier for Thursday, adding Logan Webb to the mix as I sat there and tried to consider a situation where you wouldn’t start Webb, even if he’s not close to earning an AGA label. It’s Rockie Road and he’s on a tear. You’re starting him.
  • It was wonderful seeing Yu Darvish look like his best self last time out and we should see more of the same against the Diamondbacks on Thursday.


  • In the second tier, it’s hard not to have hesitation for Shohei Ohtani as he faces the mighty Jays and there’s a risk/reward balance you’re going to have to decide for yourself. I’m starting him where I have him, I don’t blame you if you don’t.
  • John Means was solid in his last start against the Rays, but we still haven’t seen his best heater quite yet. Hopefully it comes out against a Detroit team that struggles against southpaws.


  • I led the third tier with Marco Gonzales as he gets the Rangers. Marco is a stable Toby and a date with the weak Texas bats should be fruitful.
  • The streaming pick of the day is none other than Coffee Cakes himself, JT BrubakerIt hasn’t been a fun month for the slider-heavy Pirate, but he could follow “The Cardinal Rule” and provide dividends for trusting managers.


  • I hope Kyle Muller can pitch at his peak against the Reds, but I won’t ignore his inefficient command as he hasn’t fully blossomed yet. Let’s see if hosting Cincinnati can bring out his best.
  • The Nationals are far from a scary crew and I’m fine starting Rich Hill against them – be warned, though. The ceiling is low and there’s plenty of room for him to fall.


  • In the final tier, Vladimir Gutiérrez can be considered a Vargas Rule given his last three starts, but Atlanta is a strong offense and are a bit too terrifying for my tastes.
  • Who knows, maybe pitching in a cornfield will allow Andrew Heaney to be the sweet end of his Cherry Bomb nature. Too bad the ChiSox are primed to swat the longball and lean into Heaney’s largest weakness.


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 – 8/11 & 8/12”

  1. A Jolly Good Oberkfellow says:

    According to Yahoo, it looks like Tanner Houck for Boston versus TB tomorrow and Trevor Williams for the Mets against Washington. Any calls there? Thanks!

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