SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 8/19 & 8/20

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: 75-53


Today’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 Zack Wheeler and 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 Dylan Cease, one of the premier Cherry Bomb arms around. I like the chance of Cease having his slider and one complementary pitch against the Athletics.


  • It’s a Vargas Rule for Madison Bumgarner as he’s cruised against the Padres twice despite holding onto a 90 mph fastball (we want to see 91+!). He gets the Phillies and that seems safe enough to give him the green light.
  • 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.


  • With Tyler Gilbert not starting today, Matt Manning becomes the streaming pick of the day against the Angels. Manning is a Toby at best and I don’t think chasing that is worth his horrid floor, but it’s what we’ve got today.
  • José Quintana is stepping in for the injured Patrick Sandovaland there’s no reason to take on the risk here, even as a lefty against the Tigers.


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • Nothing crazy in the top tier (is there ever?) but hey, we have Chris Sale back for another! Look for the velocity sitting 94/95 mph this time around + a higher CSW on that slider.
  • I imagine some have concerns about Lucas Giolito after his last outing. His slider and changeup were both missing and I expect him to retain at least one against the Rays.


  • In the second tier, Alex Wood gets the Athletics and I’d expect him to excel. His slider and heater have been there over his recent bumps in the road and this could easily be the start he showcases his ability to produce is still alive and well.
  • It has been a rough few starts for Sonny Graybut this is Miami. If there ever was a start to help him get his slider and curveball back, this is the one.


  • Blake Snell is a hard man to trust these days, but his fastball/slider approach two starts ago could return here against the Phils. If he’s pumping fastballs in the zone with authority, this will go his way.
  • It’s a close call, but I’d lean starting Austin Gomber inside Coors as he hosts the Diamondbacks. His secondaries are legit and the Diamondbacks are not a whole lot to fear.


  • In the third tier, James Kaprielian’s early season magic may be wearing off and he has a date with the elite Giants offense. Be cautious.
  • The same goes for Yusei Kikuchiwho faces the Astros for the first of his three starts against the Astros across his next four games. It’s a rough road ahead and it’s unclear if he’ll be worth the hold.


  • Elieser Hernandez returned from the IL on Sunday and gave a decent performance, though it left me wanting more from his elite slider. He’s being thrown into the fire now as he heads to the bandbox that is Great American Ballpark and it’s in your best interest to weigh you options heavily.
  • I debated between Jaime Barria and Nestor Cortes for the streaming pick of the day, ultimately landing on Barria’s better secondaries to take advantage of a dire Cleveland offense.


  • In the bottom tier, Carlos Carrasco gets his second date with the Dodgers and it’s hard to believe this is the night his changeup and slider will click. Avoid where you can.
  • I want to believe Patrick Corbin’s breakout is right around the corner as he’s above 92 mph on his heater and earning slider whiffs, but I’ve been waiting for him to take the leap for at least a month now. Who knows if Friday is the day.


  • It’s great to see Miles Mikolas returning to the majors, though this is a clear Still ILL as his ceiling wasn’t high prior to his injury & we just don’t know where he’s at now.
  • Tyler Gilbert is fresh off throwing a no-hitter and now has to endure the challenge of surviving in Coors. Good luck.


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Photo by Samuel Stringer/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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