SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 8/31 & 9/1

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: 79-61


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • The top is stacked once again, with Walker Buehler and Brandon Woodruff leading the way. Start all of these arms and don’t think twice – yes, even Shohei Ohtani despite his disastrous time against the Yankees the last time he faced them. Update: Ohtani is not starting today due to his HBP over the weekend. Bummer.
  • There’s a bit of complication going on with tomorrow with the Marlins and Mets. It’s a double-header as they conclude a suspended game from April, a game that didn’t finish the first before it was called. The Marlins and Mets haven’t announced who will start and what game, but Taijuan Walker should start one of them. It’s unclear how the suspended game will be resolved in your fantasy leagues and monitor the situation carefully.


  • In the second tier, it’s hard to deny Tarik Skubal or Blake Snell starts given their recent hot streaks. Skubal’s heater has been dominant, to say the least, while Snell has leaned hard into his fastball/slider approach and pitched better than ever as a result. Start them both.
  • Charlie Morton has been a quiet ace for your squads since his tumultuous April, but he does get the mighty Dodgers on Tuesday. I’d still let him fly, but I understand your concern.


  • The streaming pick of the day is Edward Cabreraas he should be featured for one of the two games on Tuesday. He’s hovering around the 20% rostered mark and did enough in his debut against the Nationals to encourage your trust against a floundering Mets crew.
  • Austin Gomber has the ability to dominate the Rangers, but he hasn’t been locked into his approach like he was back in June. There’s a decent chance he’s forced to throw more fastballs than he should, resulting in Adolis Garcia mashing more baseballs.


  • Hyun Jin Ryu hasn’t been the #2 SP you’ve wanted him to be and despite a horrific day against the ChiSox, I’m starting Ryu in most leagues. His changeup was improved two outings ago and the Orioles should be a bit of a respite after dealing with Chicago. It’s a close call.
  • In the third tier, Cole Irvin and Zach Plesac can both pull off success dates against middling opponents…or fall back into mediocrity. Plesac showed some promise last time with his breaker, but we’re still waiting for the proper slider + changeup tandem to return in full.


  • In the bottom tier, please don’t start Patrick CorbinI was excited last time, he didn’t come through, and we shouldn’t expect him to be his best self, even against a bruised Phillies lineup. Sadly, the other options are clear avoids as well, making him the top option as he still carries potential upside.
  • Mike Minor has had moments where it clicks this season and who knows, maybe Cleveland is the perfect matchup for him to be productive on Tuesday. I wouldn’t chance it, of course.


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • The top tier is a strong one on Wednesday, with the likes of Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole getting the pearl. All of these are pretty straightforward, including Wade Miley as he’s been Mr. Consistency all season and gets to follow “The Cardinal Rule”.
  • Aaron Nola and Yu Darvish have not been the pinnacles of stability this year and while I’d still start them, duh, I elected to put them at the bottom relative to their peers.


  • Tier two has arrived and it carries Carlos Carrasco against the Marlins. His slider was poor last time out, but he began trusting his changeup once again and it brought him to the finish line. We could see more against Miami.
  • I adore Max Fried’s fastball/curveball this year, but it’s still missing the slider of old. His command may teeter against the mighty Dodgers, pushing him into the second tier.


  • Four Toby types fill out the bottom half of the second tier, with Steven Matz and James Kaprielian getting decent matchups they should be able to take care of.
  • I was amazed to see Kyle Freeland sit at a 27% rostership rate, and the people got it right – he’s worth your spot for his start against the Texas and maybe moving forward. His new curveball took down the Dodgers last time out and may continue to debilitate lineups.


  • The third tier is a short one, but it contains our streaming pick of the day in Zach Thompson as he faces the Mets. I’m not sure how his cutter will look, but if it’s anything close to its June self, Thompson can excel against a struggling Mets crew.
  • J.A. Happ would normally be ignored and moved to the bottom tier, but the Cincinnati Reds are atrocious against left-handers. Happ will get the volume and is considerable for Wednesday.


  • In the bottom tier, there are few names that jump off the page. Kris Bubic could be his best self against Cleveland, but his velocity came back to Earth last time out and the changeup hasn’t been at its best for a while.
  • Logan Gilbert doesn’t have his slider and faces the Astros. Bummer. It’s going to be a bit before we get excited for him again.


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.

2 responses to “SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 8/31 & 9/1”

  1. CancelBaseball says:

    You are recommending Cabrera as streamer of the day, but according to ESPN/CBS none of the stats for that game count due to dumb suspended game rule. Gonna be a lot of mad people that follow that advice.

    • Anon says:

      Yahoo is the same for HxH leagues, but it looks like Cabrera is starting the regular game and not the suspended game.

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