SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 8/2 & 8/3

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: 65-48


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • We only have eight games on Monday but at least we have Robbie Ray to get a taste of elite pitching. Ray should feast against a weak Cleveland crew and dominate. Sweet.


  • Let’s all be thankful that Anthony DeSclafani is facing a team not named the Dodgers. Phew. The Sneks should be plenty easier and get him back on the right track.
  • Tylor Megill has been given a gift on Monday as he faces the Marlins. Start him without fear.


  • The third tier is all kinds of fun…maybe not for your fantasy team, though. Andrew Heaney is getting his start wearing Yankee pinstripes as he faces an Orioles team that has stepped up against southpaws. He’s the same Cherry Bomb as ever and I’d imagine any possible approach changes instituted by the Yankees would happen after Heaney gets one start under his belt. You never know, though.
  • There’s also Jesús Luzardo who returns to the show and gets his first start for the Marlins. The stuff is legit, the command is not – or at least hasn’t been – and I’m curious what we get against a solid Mets lineup.


  • Then there’s Josiah Gray returning to the show as he makes his first start for the Nationals – that’s three team debuts in one tier! I’m excited to see how he can perform, but I imagine there’s going to be a first-start hiccup as he gets settled into the rotation. At least one thing’s clear: we should be thrilled he’s in the majors and not in the minors for another month.


  • In the bottom tier, I’m forced to take Eric Lauer as my streaming pick of the day. He gets the red highlight as I wouldn’t take the chance here, despite facing the Pirates. There just isn’t a high enough tangible ceiling.
  • Michael Wacha is coming off a start where he sat a tick higher than usual and gets the Mariners. I wouldn’t be seduced – he’s had moments of bliss this season only to come crashing down shortly after. Let him stay on the wire.


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • There’s a legit trio at the top of Tuesday’s ranks with Zack Wheeler, Walker Buehlerand Gerrit Cole at the top. It feels odd to have Cole under Buehler (especially with a better matchup!) but both arms are currently trending in opposite directions. You’re starting them both, anyway.
  • Despite facing the Padres, Sean Manaea gets the green light as he just earned his AGA label. His 92/93 mph velocity has been a game-changer and the opponent doesn’t matter moving forward.


  • In the second tier, I’m still wondering if Hyun Jin Ryu will have his changeup across the final nine weeks of the season. Regardless, he has Cleveland in his sights and he should be safe there.
  • It hasn’t been a pretty stretch for Taijuan Walkerbut he gets Miami and it doesn’t seem right to avoid that matchup. Here’s the time for him to rebound.


  • I’m a little conflicted with Lance McCullers against the Dodgers, but he’s had his slider and if you’re rostering him, he should be able to help more than hurt.
  • Kenta Maeda seems to be on the mend in the second half after a rough start to the season. Pitching in Cincinnati is no easy task, though, so give this one some thought.


  • The streaming pick of the day is Luis Patiñowho blew his four-seamer past the Yankees and could do the same against the Mariners. There’s a bit of risk here – was that last outing an anomaly? – but I’d be willing to take the chance against a mediocre lineup.
  • Tier 3 brings little joy and leads with Johnny Cueto who should be okay against the Sneks as a Tobybut you never really know with him.


  • There’s also Zach Plesac as he faces the Jays. We know the ceiling is there for Plesac, but the Jays are one of the premier offenses in baseball. This is dangerous.
  • I debated it plenty, but I elevated Adrian Houser to the third tier as he gets the Pirates. He’s handled them well this season and could go 5/6 innings of beneficial ratios.


  • It’s weird seeing Madison Bumgarner, Blake Snell, Patrick Corbinand Dylan Bundy all in the bottom tier, but here we are. Bumgarner is still sitting sub 90 mph and the Giants are a strong offense. Snell hasn’t figured it out yet, Corbin’s velocity isn’t helping, and Bundy…yeah. It’s Bundy.
  • I can’t help but wonder if Braxton Garrett and Kris Bubic have enough of a ceiling to power through a pair of strong lineups. Not the worst desperate plays if you need it.


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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