SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 9/1 & 9/2

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: 79-62


Today’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”.
  • Yu Darvish have not been the pinnacles of stability this year and while I’d still start him, I elected to put Darvish at the bottom relative to his peers.


  • The Phillies/Nats game was postponed today. Make sure you get your bench bats in the lineup + relievers in place of Aaron Nola and Paolo Espino.


  • 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. Update: This game has been postponed today. Plan accordingly.
  • 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 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. Update: This game has been postponed today. Plan accordingly.
  • 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.


  • Joe Ryan is getting the call for the Twins to face off against the Cubs and with Thompson’s rainout, he becomes the streaming pick of the day. It’s a risky one as I generally avoid MLB debuts, but he’s been stretched out to five frames with legit strikeout upside. He’s an extreme fastball pitcher that has missed tons of bats in the minors and he could coast through the ragged Cubs bats.


  • In the bottom tier, there are few names that jump off the page. Jackson Kowar returns to the majors could be his best self against Cleveland, while I’m curious what we see from Kohei AriharaThat doesn’t mean we should start both, though. Definitely not.
  • 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.




Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • Thursday comes with just seven games and decent distribution of options. Logan Webb has finally earned his place at the top of the ranks, with no clear option standing in his way. Start Webb and feel great about it.
  • Shane McClanahan does get a tough challenge against the Red Sox, but it’s not enough for me to hold him back. Their offense is a bit wounded at the moment with their team COVID cases, too.


  • The Phillies/Nats game was postponed on Wednesday and will be played on Thursday as both teams had the day off. Make sure you have Aaron Nola in your lineups as he should be safe to go against the Nationals.


  • In the second tier, Carlos Carrasco was pushed to Thursday with Wednesday’s postponement. He had his changeup working last time and if the slow ball returns with a hint of his classic slider, he’ll make easy work of the Marlins.
  • Some of y’all may be shocked at Sean Manaea sitting in the second tier. I completely understand and I may be going too strong with my gut in this one. Manaea sat 93.3 mph in his last start, though, and the final piece of the puzzle is landing his changeups and curveballs down in the zone. It sets the table for potential dominance against the Tigers and I’d favor the reward over the risk.


  • After missing a start with shoulder fatigue, Triston McKenzie returns to face the middling Royals lineup. I’m not worried about the time off and I imagine Triston can get back into his groove with strong breakers and a whiff-friendly heater.
  • I debated with Twitch chat if Huascar Ynoa deserved a spot in the second or third tier and I ultimately decided to play it safe in Coors. I think he has the repertoire and approach to make it work, but I understand the risk. It’s Coors, y’all.


  • We’re back to Zach Thompson being the streaming pick of the day, but for real this time…maybe. The Marlins haven’t confirmed Thursday’s starter after Wednesday’s postponement and keep track of how the Marlins are shifting their rotation. They have some tough decisions to make as their SP depth broadens with Trevor Rogers returning soon.
  • I originally had Jon Gray in the third tier as he seems okay to start despite worries about a forearm injury, but it’s Coors, Atlanta is a solid crew, and that injury fear could make him less effective + limit his pitches. It just isn’t the play you want.


  • I also slotted Eduardo Rodriguez in the final tier against the Rays as Eduardo hasn’t had his changeup and the Rays are scary. His four-seamer is still a great pitch and this could explode for a strong outing if the slow ball returns, but we’re in a state of waiting to see the changeup perform instead of predicting when it will. Don’t take the risk unless you’re hunting for strikeouts and a potential Win.
  • Maybe Mike Minor can pull it off against Cleveland? It’s a desperate Toby play if you want to chase it, I’d elect to stream something else later in the week if I need the frames.


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.

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