SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 8/21 & 8/22

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: 75-55


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • The top tier is short, but it’s top-heavy with Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole each slated to toss the pearl for their teams. I wouldn’t say Kevin Gausman is part of that label, though, as he hasn’t quite found his splitter across the last month. Time will bring it back – it is the most consistent splitter in baseball – and Saturday could roll out the red carpet for it.
  • Look at Wade Mileygetting a comfortable date with the Marlins. He’s been a wonderful surprise for managers this season and he’ll be a gift that keeps on giving as the Reds have a cushy schedule to end the season.


  • In the second tier, Eduardo Rodriguez has had his four-seamer command for a good while and with a relaxing matchup against the Rangers, Erod is primed to excel.
  • Our faith in Aaron Nola is ever-wavering this season, though the Padres have swung a weaker bat as of late. The stuff is still there for Nola, making him worth the gamble.


  • Is this the start Hyun Jin Ryu finds his changeup again? Detroit is a decent offense – surprisingly – and Ryu has looked more like a Toby than the ace of years past.
  • Triston McKenzie had the best start of his career last time out, executing a proper BSB against the Tigers. The Angels haven’t fared well recently and hopefully McKenzie has made a tweak that will stick through the weekend.


  • In the third tier, Sean Manaea has been in a downward spiral over his last three starts, dropping in both sinker velocity and his ability to locate. The Giants are a strong offense and this adds up to a possible disaster…though it would be unfair to rule out the chance of recovery for Manaea. After all, he was a legit ace for so long before this stretch. It’s a high-risk/reward play and up to you to decide what’s in your best interest.
  • Kenta Maeda is in a different spot as he heads to the Bronx this weekend. He hasn’t looked like the 2020 ace this season, but he’s recovered from his spring cataclysm and could bring enough to the table to stave off a streaking Yankee offense.


  • The final five names of this third tier could all be considered a Toby and it’s tough to discern who will actually come through with their head above water. Jake Odorizzi seems to be in the best position for a Win and despite his recent volatility, I’d favor him above the options below.
  • The streaming pick of the day is Reid Detmerswho can bring his heavy hook to Cleveland and carve out five or six successful innings. He was at his best last time against Houston and there’s a chance he gets a respite in Ohio.


  • The final tier is long, as we have plenty of fantasy irrelevant starters + poor matchups ruining the ranks. Zac Gallen hasn’t found his secondaries and has a major challenge searching for them in the thin air of Colorado, Luis Patiño hasn’t gotten in a rhythm with his fastball/slider and gets the mighty ChiSox, and Logan Gilbert has to deal with the Astros despite note having his slider for weeks. Yikes.
  • Maybe consider Eric Lauer against the Nationals if you’re in dire need of a Saturday play. I don’t love this one, but Lauer has shown the ability to produce over five frames and the Nationals aren’t much to write home about.


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • Sunday is a rough day. We only have two pitchers in the top tier, neither consider elite options for the full year. Adam Wainwright has been a wonderful surprise this year and should be able to cruise through the weak Pirates lineup. Meanwhile, Logan Webb cannot be stopped and should be started essentially blindly until further notice.
  • I debated if Sandy Alcantara deserved to re-enter the top tier or not and I elected to make him the top paly of the second tier as he heads to the hitter-haven in Cincinnati.


  • Framber Valdez has not had his sinker working as well as we saw in 2020, but a date with the Mariners should be relatively safe.
  • I’ve adored the splitter and slider we’ve seen from Frankie Montas over the past month and despite a tough date with the Giants, I’m throwing him out there.


  • It’s a cushy schedule for Vladimir Gutiérrez down the stretch, Sunday’s matchup against the Marlins very much included. He’s a Toby and he’s ready to produce.
  • Luis Gil still hasn’t allowed a single ER after three starts and there’s a chance his legend grows against the Twins. His fastball is overpowering enough to make it a possibility.


  • It’s not fun seeing John Means in the third tier, but he’s been roughed up lately and I’m not confident his command on both his fastball and changeup will be there Sunday. He’s still the best questionable call to make and let’s hope it works out.
  • Marcus Stroman and David Price are squaring off in Los Angeles and I’d personally avoid both options where I could. The Dodgers are no joke + Price hasn’t found his groove quite yet.


  • The streaming pick of the day is Carlos Hernandez as he gets a lovely date with the Cubs. He pounds 95-97 mph heaters with a developing slider and could succeed as he faces his first weak lineup.
  • Alec Mills and José Suarez are two dire options for those in need on Sunday as they’ve shown the ability to be a Toby in the past and each face a mediocre offense.


  • In the bottom tier, I would avoid Adrian Houser if I could. He’s done well against the Pirates but not a whole lot else with the ceiling not worth the floor.
  • Griffin Jax has had his moments over the last few weeks but I don’t think his stuff is good enough to hold off a Yankee offense that has recently come alive.


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 – 8/21 & 8/22”

  1. Bob says:

    I think you mixed up Price and Quantril in your notes.

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