Every day of the 2022 baseball season, I’ll be looking at today and tomorrow’s slate of scheduled starting pitchers and ranking their matchups for your fantasy baseball streams.
There’s a lot that goes into this and you can hang out with me on Twitch.tv/pitcherlist to talk about the specific ranks as I make them every weekday morning from 9am – 11am ET. If you have questions about these ranks, please ask during the morning Twitch AMA. Those are my office hours as I generally don’t answer comments on the site.
There are four tiers to these rankings with 12-teamers in mind:
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 throughout 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.
(Opener) – Outlines that a pitcher is being opened for that day & the pitcher listed will follow the opener.
As I do my rankings, I thought it would be helpful to showcase a table of how we’re ranking offenses. Dave Swan does an incredible job of showcasing future SP matchups every 2-3 weeks in this article, and I’ve elected to use his offense ranks to share with all of you here:
I’m sure it’ll change through the year + there are differences to be made about teams vs. LHP or RHP, but it’s a great general table that y’all should keep in mind.
Alright, let’s get to it.
2022 Streamer Record: 49-41
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Two Florida men lead the way on Sunday with Sandy Alcantara and Shane Baz. Baz is working toward his AGA label as Sandy could soar for another 7+ inning start because why not.
It’s not 100% confirmed that Kevin Gausman is starting Sunday’s game – monitor his status early Sunday before locking in your lineups.Update: Gausman will not be starting on Sunday, instead it’s a bullpen game for Toronto.
- It’s a small second tier as Taijuan Walker is the clear start given his prolific strikeout ability across the last few weeks. The Marlins don’t give enough hesitation to resist.
- Both Michael Kopech and Eric Lauer have their question marks (will Kopech’s velocity return? Is Lauer’s shift on the rubber the tweak he needed?) but starts against weak foes quells our worries.
- The third tier is…massive. I’m going to tell you right now that this will be a whole lot dice throwing as we hope to find the right starter for Sunday to help win your weekly leagues. For example, in the back-half of the tier are Dylan Bundy, José Suarez, and Jake Odorizzi all facing weak lineups. I can see all three working…or all three failing.
- I favored Dylan Bundy given that he’s allowed just 5 ER across his last four games, though I was impressed with Jake Odorizzi’s fastball command in his previous outing and if it returns, the Athletics should roll over.
- However, I have another option as my streaming pick of the day – José Quintana. His command has been excellent across the last month as he’s entered Vargas Rule territory with a date against the Brewers.
- If Zach Plesac is available, he may provide dividends against the Royals as his slider has earned whiffs while the changeup earns strikes with ease.
- As for some reason I do this in reverse order today, the top of the tier carries a pair of rookies in MacKenzie Gore and Nick Lodolo. Gore hasn’t been as pristine as we’d like lately, but I think I’m still rolling him out there against the Giants.
- Nick Lodolo impressed across his 4.2 frames against the Mets, though we’re not at a place yet to believe his early-season command issues are completely gone from the menu.
- Lastly, there are familiar names in the tier with tough matchups. Logan Gilbert could overpower the Jays with his heater, Nick Pivetta’s rhythm came to a screeching halt last start and now faces the Yankees, and Jameson Taillon struggled against the Athletics and Pirates before this Red Sox matchup.
- And sure, Zack Greinke could survive against the Guardians, and Alex Wood could find his slider and changeup against the Padres.
- In the bottom tier, this could be the first start that I’d actually consider Germán Márquez as he hits the road to face the Sneks. Maybe.
- It’s not the worst idea to flip the coin with Ian Anderson as he faces the Nationals, but I’d rather feature those in tier three instead of praying for Anderson’s command to soar.
- And hey, why not. Maybe Paolo Espino has some of the magic he had in 2021 against Atlanta, or Dane Dunning squirms through the Twins lineup for six frames.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- The NL East carries the top of Monday’s ranks with Max Scherzer, Aaron Nola, and Max Fried exclusively landing in the first tier. All three have AGA labels and should be started without care.
- The second tier is awfully small as well, featuring Miles Mikolas and Lance Lynn. I have some concerns about Lynn, but a start against the Guardians should fare better than the Twins.
- The third tier is the meat of Monday’s ranks, as it often is. Alex Cobb was awfully unlucky last time out (he has been constantly this year) and a repeat matchup against the Sneks should bode well.
Jeffrey Springs has the toughest challenge of all Questionable Starters, but he pitched well last time out against the Sawx and I can see the scales tip in his favor this time around.Update: Springs was placed on the IL by the Rays, pushing Josh Fleming into the rotation for a start you don’t want to make.
- A pair of Tobys follow with Cal Quantrill and Merrill Kelly. I ranked Kelly too low last time out and I recognize his ability to make this work, while Quantrill has stumbled lately but his cutter/fastball are still good enough to go 6+ against the White Sox.
- The bottom half of the third tier is…unnerving, to say the least. My streaming pick of the day is Brad Keller as he faces the Tigers – the worst team in baseball against right-handed pitching. Keller also sat 95 mph on his heater last time out and could go far in this one.
- I considered Daniel Lynch as well, and I’m leaning on the RHP/LHP splits here to favor Keller. Michael Pineda is also of consideration against the Royals, but his ceiling is limited and the floor is…rough.
- There’s also Trevor Rogers and Brayan Bello to consider. Rogers has pitched better over the last few weeks and a date with the Pirates could pull him out of his season-long funk with high heaters and low secondaries.
- As for Brayan Bello, I can’t help but wonder if his MLB debut was a product of jitters as his raw stuff speaks to better days at the park. This could be a strong outing for those willing to take the chance and brush off his first start in the majors.
- In the bottom tier, Mitch Keller, Glenn Otto, and Alex Faedo seemingly have good enough matchups to stream, but I have little faith in all of them to be their best selves to make it worthwhile.
- Sean Manaea has a date in Coors and I think you have more to lose than gain in that matchup.
- Lastly, don’t trust José Ureña after his first start against the Dodgers. Remember, If you start José, Ureña boatload of trouble.
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)