SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 9/3 & 9/4

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: 80-62


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • Just five names sit in the top tier on Friday. Adam Wainwright gets the #1 spot today as his ridiculous 2021 run deserves the recognition for one day. Enjoy it.
  • We also have Nathan Eovaldi sitting at the bottom of the tier, armed with a 41% CSW curveball. He’s had the pitch constantly through the year, fueling our confidence against Cleveland.


  • Cal Quantrill has a rematch against the Sawx and given the roll he’s on with his four-seamer and slider, he could very well come out on top a second time. It’s awfully hard not to start him right now.
  • 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.


  • It’s tough to figure out where to place Sean Manaea sitting in the third tier. I completely understand if you’re terrified of Toronto 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 Jays and consider the potential reward as you head into your weekend.
  • Carlos Hernández is going instead of Kris Bubic for the Royals, and I’ve slotted him in the third tier as the ChiSox are a tough offense – even if he’s already taken them down twice across the last five weeks.


  • The streaming pick of the day is Glenn Otto as he faces the struggling Angels offense. His slider was fantastic against the Astros and I see another start of debilitating batters with the sweeper.
  • Will John Means find his changeup and keep 93+ velocity against the Yankees? There’s a chance it works out in a big way, making him a legit consideration for a start despite the matchup.


  • In the bottom tier, José Urquidy returns from the IL and gets an abrupt welcome against the Padres. I’d play it safe and see where he’s at before giving him the reins again.
  • Despite a great matchup against the Mariners, Madison Bumgarner has struggled twice in a row against the Pirates and Phillies with ~89 mph velocity. It’s not a good moment.


  • It’s cruel to see Anthony DeSclafani face the Dodgers for the sixth time this season and in concert with a barking ankle, I’d avoid this completely.
  • I normally have zero interest in starting Antonio Senzatelabut I can’t deny his recent stretch of odd production. Maybe he can whistle through a day in Coors against Atlanta.


  • It looks like Zach Thompson is heading to the bullpen and Jesús Luzardo sticks with a start today and Trevor Rogers going on Saturday. It was an electric start with only 40% fastball usage last time out, but I suggest playing it safe and observing if Luzardo can replicate his performance a second time. The floor is too low to risk it.


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • Only four sit at the top of Saturday’s ranks, with Joe Musgrove as the #1 play despite facing a tough Houston offense. He’s in such a good rhythm with his slider and curveball that you have to ignore the opponent at the moment.
  • Marcus Stroman gets a 7-inning start in the Mets’ doubleheader against the Nationals and there’s a shot he goes all seven frames. He doesn’t have the same ceiling as three guys above him, but the floor is plenty high.


  • In the second tier, Trevor Rogers looks to be returning for the fish against the Phillies. He tossed 71 pitches in his final rehab start and should be safe for 80+. Let him fly.
  • It looks weird to see Tyler Mahle in the second tier with the Tigers ahead of him, but the game is being played in Cincinnati, where Mahle has been atrocious all season long. I normally try to avoid home/road splits, but this one is incredibly apparent and adds a touch more risk.


  • The easy schedule for the Phillies rotation continues with Ranger Suárez having a date with the Marlins. I’m not seduced by Ranger’s repertoire, but it should be enough to eat innings on Saturday.
  • It’s the Pirates, yes, but Kyle Hendricks has been dreadful lately. It’s still a start I’d make and I’m sure many managers feel the anxiety despite the glorious matchup.


  • Sitting at the bottom of tier two is Tanner Houck as the streaming pick of the day. He hasn’t come through as we’ve anticipated as of late and gets a rematch against Cleveland after walking four. Still, his stuff is too good to continue floundering and I’d put him in the lineup where I rostered him.
  • In the third tier, Germán Márquez has stumbled lately and could continue doing so as he hosts Atlanta in Coors. Be careful.


  • I dig starting Kwang Hyun Kim where you can as he should be over 70 pitches against a middling Brewers offense. The expected low pitch count lowers his ceiling enough to be in tier three, but you should be relatively safe.
  • If I believed Reynaldo López would be getting at least five frames, I’d have him in the second tier, but he hasn’t gone 80 pitches yet and it’s unclear how he’ll be used on Saturday.


  • The fourth tier features Merrill Kellywho returns after almost a month and the last we heard of his pitch count was a sub 30 pitch bullpen last weekend. If he were properly stretched out, I’d be all for this start, but for now we wait.
  • I don’t trust Tylor Megill’s changeup to return against the Nationals, and I’d play it safe by looking elsewhere for a weekend stream.


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/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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