SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings – 9/4 & 9/5

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: 81-62


Today’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. It looks like the Diamondbacks are turning to Humberto Castellanos instead and that could work – he had 19 strikeouts across two starts recently in the minors.
  • 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.


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


  • At the top of the ranks are my two Cy Young picks this year, Walker Buehler and Robbie RayThe matchup doesn’t matter, start them both and enjoy.
  • I know it hasn’t been the best stretch for Zack Wheeler and they just roughed up Kyle Gibsonbut you really can’t second-guess starting Wheeler against the Marlins.


  • I elected to have Dylan Cease sit at the bottom of the top tier. He has been a bit volatile through the year, but those that have him rostered are starting him with confidence for Sunday.
  • You could say the same about Taijuan Walker as he faces the Nationals, though he hasn’t been as pristine as we’d like over the last month. He is sitting at 95+ mph, though, and should make this worth your while.


  • Last time out marked the first stumble for Josiah Gray in his young career and I don’t believe it signifies a tumultuous end to his rookie season. Trust the stuff and start him against the Mets.
  • It’s never easy trusting your pitchers in Coors, but with the way Charlie Morton has been chucking the baseball, you gotta trust the man.


  • Sunday’s streaming pick is Luis Patiño as he faces the Twins. He’s had back-to-back productive outings against the Red Sox and White Sox (the man has pink sox now) and I’d trust his heater to overwhelm the Twins.
  • Yes, Chris Flexen is still somehow a thing and the Sneks aren’t terribly scary. You should be fine giving it another go.


  • It’s the second start since the return of both Corey Kluber and Chris Paddackand I have hesitations for both. Kluber sat sub 90 mph in his first start and hopefully gains a bit of gas in his sophomore start, while Paddack has to endure the mighty Astros bats – The Sherriff may benefit from Houston’s tendency to take plenty of fastballs for strikes, though.
  • If you’re hurting for some arms, Taylor Hearn, Tyler Gilbertand Zach Davies could be the guys you’re looking for. Each have a great matchup ahead and despite their lackluster ceilings, they could be the ticket to a Sunday win.


  • In the bottom tier, don’t overlook Wil Crowe or Jaime Barria against the Cubs and Rangers as desperate options. Each has the ability to go five productive innings against poor offenses and may make for some last-minute heroics.
  • I know Brady Singer just dominated for the second time, but I don’t buy he can take the ChiSox a second time. He’s had these bursts before only to come back down shortly after.


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 – 9/4 & 9/5”

  1. David says:

    Sadly, it’s about to eliminate me but Wheeler doesn’t seem to be pitching tomorrow. Brutal! I needed the start.

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