SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 8/17 & 8/18

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: 73-53


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • We have a hefty top tier on Tuesday, which does include Sandy Alcantara facing Atlanta. I think our worries were silenced after his dominance of the Padres and while Atlanta is a respected crew, he’s worth your time.
  • Logan Webb and Chris Bassitt have performed so well, I’m letting them both fly here. Webb is an easier decision against the Mets, though I can understand a few managers hesitant to start Bassitt against the White Sox. His sinker has been too good to bench him here.


  • In the second tier, I’m stoked to watch Huascar Ynoa as he returns from the IL to face the Marlins. I understand the rules of Still ILLbut he tossed 82 pitches in his recent rehab start and could go 5+ against a poor Miami lineup. Yes, I’m curious if the slider will have the same command and if his fastball velocity still sits around 97 mph, but it’s worth the risk.
  • It was a rain-delayed oddity of an outing for David Price last time out and now he’s been given the gift of the Pirates. It’s no guarantee he’s able to go six frames, let alone five, but he’s a relatively safe play hosting Pittsburgh.


  • The bottom half of tier two is dicier than I’d like. Kyle Gibson is trying to return to his spring ways, but it’s unclear if he can propel forward, even against the Diamondbacks. Marcus Stroman has a tough pull against the Giants, John Means hasn’t looked like his early-season self, and the combination of Nathan Eovaldi Tanner Houck could run into trouble against a volatile but dangerous Yankee lineup.
  • At the end of the day, I’d start them all as I imagine more of them will succeed than sputter, but there will be a few disappointments here.


  • In the third tier, I had to demote Kyle Hendricks after his horrific outing + an evening in Cincinnati’s homer-friendly park.
  • If you’re looking for a sneaky arm down the stretch, consider one of Vladimir Gutiérrez or Tyler AndersonVladimir has a gorgeous schedule the rest of the way including Tuesday’s affair with the Cubs, while Anderson is Tuesday’s streaming pick as he can take advantage of weak lineups like the Rangers and steal a cheap Win.


  • In the bottom tier, the legend of Luis Gil could grow on Monday as he goes against the rival Red Sox in Tuesday’s doubleheader. The Sawx pack a punch and it’s too risky to start, though I’m excited to see if Gil can keep the same command he’s had in his first two outings.
  • I wouldn’t ignore the possibility that one of Bailey Ober or Eli Morgan could excel in the Minnesota vs. Cleveland matchup. They’re both too volatile to take the gamble, but those in deeper leagues could consider one of them.


  • I know Dylan Bundy survived his last start, though I didn’t see much that made him look like his former stud self. Even against the Tigers, I’d encourage caution.
  • Finally, Daniel Lynch is an arm to watch down the stretch and there’s a chance his whiff-heavy slider and well-located fastball can overcome even the Astros.


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • It’s a hefty top tier with Lance Lynn leading the way as he faces the Athletics. It’s not as pristine of a matchup as others below him, though his consistency demands the top spot.
  • Tyler Mahle gets the weakened Cubs on Wednesday and while it looks like a slam dunk, Mahle has a history of performing poorly at home where homeruns fly with the geese. I still love this start, it’s just not as gorgeous as it may seem.


  • In the second tier, I’d trust Anthony DeSclafani to return to his old ways as he hosts the Mets in Oracle Park. He wasn’t at his best last week against Rockie Road and I’m imagining a step closer to comfort here.
  • Marco Gonzales has been on fire as he’s taken down weak offenses over the last month and the Rangers are more of the same monotony. This is boring fun, the best boring you can imagine.


  • In the third tier, I’m still not completely sold that Madison Bumgarner can sustain production with a 90 mph heater, but it’s a Vargas Rule and I don’t blame you for starting him against the middle-of-the-pack Phillies.
  • I’m hoping Zach Plesac can pull from his previous outing to deliver against the Twins. I’m waiting with my elbows on my desk, fingers over my face, intently watching how he does here.


  • The streaming pick of the day is Mitch Whitewho may come in after an opener for the Dodgers. Mitch comes with a 95 mph heater and a decent breaker, though he’s gone just ~60 pitches in his last two games. The Pirates make for a feast and White could clean up.
  • There’s been a large amount of hype around Ranger Suárez for the Phils and I wonder if this is the outing where I actually jump in. He has yet to go five frames and hasn’t expressed a proper third option yet, but I understand taking the shot against the mediocre offense.


  • In the final tier, we start with three popular names who get horrible matchups. Josiah Gray has to face the Jays and despite his electric stuff, the risk is too dang high. Austin Gomber may be able to survive Coors but the Padres too? That’s just too dangerous. Lastly, Tylor Megill has come down to Earth lately and the Giants offense cannot be overstated. Play it safe and bench all three where you can.
  • I was tempted to slot Mike Foltynewicz in the third tier as he’s performed decently well against the Mariners in two of his last three starts. The floor is too low to justify chasing it, though, and I figure the ceiling chasing of the aforementioned trio make for a slightly smarter play.


  • There are some fun names to watch down here, including Andrew Heaney and Jesús Luzardobut make sure you do just that, watch. Not start.
  • It’s been a shockingly productive season for Cole Irvin thus far, but he’s a Toby to me and we don’t start Tobys against the ChiSox.


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Photo by Andy Lewis/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 – 8/17 & 8/18”

  1. Donald Schuldt jr says:

    No expanded thoughts on the bear?

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