SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 8/18 & 8/19

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: 74-53


Today’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 two popular names who have horrible matchups. Josiah Gray has to face the Jays and despite his electric stuff, the risk is too dang high. Tylor Megill has come down to Earth lately and the Giants offense cannot be overstated. Play it safe and bench both 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 duo 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.


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • It’s ace day! Despite just ten games being played, we have nearly half of the probable starters squeezing into the top tier, with studs like Walker Buehler, Zack Wheelerand Brandon Woodruff leading the charge. These days are the best.
  • I elected to throw Jameson Taillon at the end of the tier, not because he’s expected to perform like the studs, but because if you have him rostered, you should feel safe starting him against the Twins.


  • In the second tier, we have two members of the AL Central against decent offenses. First is Dylan Ceasewho is one of the premier Cherry Bomb arms around. I like my chances of Cease having his slider and one complementary pitch against the Athletics.
  • Kenta Maeda is a little bit of a tougher decision as the Yankee offense is heating up. His splitter has been on point, though, and as long as his slider stays down, this should work in Maeda’s favor.


  • In the third tier, James Kaprielian gets a tough date with the White Sox and I’m not sure how to feel. On one hand, he’s had a phenomenal season and should earn your confidence, but he also hasn’t been quite the same since returning from the IL and the ChiSox offense is legit.
  • Do we trust Taijuan Walker to carry a 95+ mph heater and overwhelm the Dodgers offense? That’s an awfully tough decision to make and I can see some simply not take the gamble.


  • In the bottom tier, we have the reluctant streaming pick of the day in Tyler GilbertThe man just threw a no-hitter, despite how skeptical I am of his rest of season production, there’s an obvious ceiling that could be hit in his second start, even if it’s not exactly what he did last time out.
  • I can see some favoring Matt Manning against the Angels over Gilbert. Manning is a Toby at best and Gilbert’s ceiling seems a bit more attainable, even if the Phillies bats are a touch more intimidating.


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.

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