Starting Pitcher Streamer Rankings Fantasy Baseball: 5/17 & 5/18

Nick Pollack ranks the starting pitcher streamers for today & tomorrow.

Here are today and tomorrow’s daily SP Streamer rankings for fantasy baseball.

Every day of the 2024 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 Playback.tv/pitcherlist to talk about the specific ranks as I make them every weekday morning from 10am – 12pm ET. If you have questions about these ranks, please ask during the morning Playback 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. This includes “if I have them rostered, I’m starting them” pitchers.

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-not-elite pitcher or a weak lineup for a volatile arm. These pitchers have a 50% or greater chance of performing well in my view and I’m starting them in the majority of situations.

Questionable Start – Think of this tier as “I don’t want to start these pitchers in a vacuum, but you could do worse.” Streamers found in this tier are not pitchers I’m targeting and are only if you are in dire need of one. To play it safe with streaming, just start the Probably Start streamers.

Do Not Start – The reward is not worth the risk. Don’t do it. Seriously, these pitchers have a very slim chance of success or sometimes none at all.

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 that day’s streaming pick in the second tier and I’d roll with them everywhere. Those in Yellow are in the third tier and should be okay if you’re searching for something on a given day, but I don’t recommend streaming unless you’re in need. 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 according to Fantasy Pros. This 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 those picks would be 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 (in alphabetical order by tier):

Nick’s Loose Team Offense Rankings (Updated 5/13)

I’m sure it’ll change through the year + there are differences to be made about teams vs. LHP or RHP, but it works as a general table that y’all should keep in mind.

Alright, let’s get to it.

 

This year, with our new daily fantasy baseball projections powered by PLV, I’ll be competing against PL Bot to pick the best streaming option each day.

To get access to PL Bot’s picks each day, sign up for PL Pro here.

The streaming record is determined by “Was this a productive game for 12-teamers if I started them?” Roughly a PQS with a Win and a strikeout per inning with a sub 1.20 WHIP, with a minimum of 5 IP. Close calls are decided by Playback chat.

 

Nick’s 2024 Streamer Record: 30-20

My pick yesterday: Cooper Criswell vs. TBR

PL Bot’s 2024 Streamer Record: 29-21

PL Bot’s Pick yesterday: Taijuan Walker vs. NYM

Want PL Bot’s pick today? Sign up for PL Pro here.

 

My streaming pick of the day is Underlined and Italicized.

 

Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

 

Auto Starts

 

Zack Wheeler vs. WSN – Aces gonna ace.

Tarik Skubal @ ARI – Aces gonna ace.

Cole Ragans vs. OAK – Aces gonna ace.

Max Fried vs. SDP – Aces gonna ace.

Christian Scott @ MIA – Aces–oh snap. Right. Scott has too delicious of a matchup to not slot this high.

Jesús Luzardo vs. NYM – He has some Cherry Bomb tendencies, though his slider was on point last time out and the Mets are Metsing.

Freddy Peralta @ HOU – Aces gonna prove themselves. His command has been off and the Astros are still a great offense.

Chris Bassitt vs. TBR – Bassitt does what he does and has a larger margin for error here.

Paul Skenes @ CHC – Expect at least five frames from Skenes (over 80 pitches last time and the Pirates have treated Jones similarly) and fewer walks than his MLB debut.

 

Probably Starts

 

Nestor Cortes vs. CHW – It’s a great matchup for Cortes. This should work out well as long as he axes the massive waste pitches.

Brayan Bello @ STL – Bello can be depended upon for a cool six frames against a weak offense.

John Means vs. SEA – Means took a step back last time out and I hope we see more of his first start against a pedestrian Mariners offense.

Bryce Miller @ BAL – Bryce doesn’t deserve the land mine of a schedule he’s been dealt. As long as he has any secondary working, he should be fine.

Andrew Heaney vs. LAA – He’s the clear streaming pick as he’s executed the BSB with ease across nearly a month at this point. Take down your old crew, Heaney.

 

Questionable Starts

 

James Paxton vs. CIN – You want a cheap Win? Here’s your chance. He’s hanging on by a thread with his 93 mph elevated heater and low curve, two pitches that have been inconsistent for the past few weeks.

Kyle Harrison vs. COL – Harrison is a Cherry Bombeven against “Rockie Road.

Kyle Gibson vs. BOS – He’s a Vargas Rule for many and the Sawx are easier on the road.

Triston McKenzie vs. MIN – He’s surviving. Somehow. The Twins are a coin flip and I wish y’all the best of luck.

Ryne Nelson vs. DET – I’m encouraged by Nelson’s four-seamer, though he’s missing his cutter to put him over the edge. The Tigers open the door for a potential launching pad, coloring this start as a solid deep-league stream. It’s a higher floor than usual + the upside of this start being the beginning of the breakout.

 

Do Not Starts

 

Hunter Brown vs. MIL – He’s getting a pair of starts to help the Astros deal with Blanco’s ten game suspension and last time out was a strong five frames in relief of Javier. That said, we cannot trust this yet.

Simeon Woods Richardson @ CLE – He had far better command in his last outing. We need more than one game to jump in.

Jake Irvin @ PHI – He just had himself a stupid good start against the Dodgers and who knows, maybe that magic is still there against the Phils. (X) Doubt.

Tyler Anderson @ TEX – There’s always a QS chance for Anderson.

Tyler Alexander @ TOR – Will he be opened for? I hope so – gotta hypothetically vulture those Wins as I stare at Alexander on the wire.

Ryan Feltner @ SFG – We all want this to work. Don’t forget how he failed to take advantage of both the Marlins and Pirates on the road.

Frankie Montas @ LAD – It’s the Dodgers, but weirder things have happened for Montas as he’ll throw enough strikes to give himself a chance to find outs.

Kyle Hendricks vs. PIT – Look at that, it’s more Hendricks. But it’s the Pirates! BUT IT’S HENDRICKS.

Matt Waldron @ ATL – Don’t Trust A Knuckleballer. The floor is super low against Atlanta, though there is an argument that Waldron has a larger spectrum of outcomes given his dependence of a knuckleball – If it’s on, there isn’t much an offense can do, including Atlanta.

Mike Clevinger @ NYY – Naaaah.

Kyle Muller @ KCR – Hey, it’s Muller! This hasn’t worked in…I don’t know. Time of a large magnitude. No one talks like that. One person talks like that.

 

Enjoy these rankings? Support my work and Pitcher List by getting PL+ or PL Pro! You’ll get an Ad-Free website, access to our incredible non-toxic baseball Discord community, my weekly PL Pro exclusive SP FAAB Forecast podcast, a full suite of fantasy baseball tools, and much more. Get 10% off yearly with code SPSTREAMERS here.

 

Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

 

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

 

Auto Starts

 

Zac Gallen vs. DET – Aces gonna ace.

Shota Imanaga vs. PIT – Aces gonna ace.

Kevin Gausman vs. TBR – Aces gonna ace.

Luis Castillo @ BAL – Aces gonna ace.

Bailey Ober @ CLE – He’s been a stud after his initial horrific outing.

Seth Lugo vs. OAK – Lugo is at his peak. You’re not sitting him.

Kutter Crawford @ STL – He’s been gold save for one inning against the Rays last week.

Zach Eflin @ TOR – Eflin is more of a Holly these days and the Jays are not what they used to be.

 

Probably Starts

 

Jack Flaherty @ ARI – Flaherty has been on a roll as he’s avoided damage off his four-seamer while carrying the same stellar breakers.

Justin Verlander vs. MIL – He faced the Yankees and got trounced. The Brewers are not the Yankees.

Luis Gil vs. CHW – It’s the CrySox and Gil is throwing more strikes.

Jordan Hicks vs. COL – Enjoy Rockie Roadlet’s hope the sweeper or splitter are earning all the strikes.

Cristopher Sánchez vs. WSN – He’s a bit Cherry Bomb flavored these days, but it’s the Nats.

Dean Kremer vs. SEA – Kremer’s sinker has earned all the called strikes, his splitter has appeared at times, and his cutter + four-seamer have earned whiffs more than usual.

MacKenzie Gore @ PHI – Gore is a budding ace. I know it’s Philly but I don’t care.

Walker Buehler vs. CIN – Buehler isn’t locked in yet. Here’s to a step in the right direction.

Yu Darvish @ ATL – I know it’s Atlanta, but Darvish just took down the Dodgers. He’s looking lovely.

Luis Severino @ MIA – Sevy is a Toby facing a poor offense. We go with those.

 

Questionable Starts

 

Braxton Garrett vs. NYM – It was just sinker/slider in his debut start of the year and it came with rough ratios merged with plenty of strikeouts. Expect a step forward.

Logan Allen vs. MIN – He’s our streaming pick of the day based on the middling lineup and a solid approach. I have some worry given the massive HR spike in Cleveland this year (is it really the new wind patterns due to seating changes?) and how Allen is still a bit shifty start-to-start.

Bryce Elder vs. SDP – This is a Win chance play. I don’t like Elder a whole lot, but a manager’s gotta do what a manager’s gotta do.

 

Do Not Starts

 

Patrick Sandoval @ TEX – He’s been better than usual with his changeup and slider and he’s a decent quality start if you’re in dire need of one.

Ross Stripling @ KCR – Maybe it works against the Royals?

Bailey Falter @ CHC – The Cubs are good now. Be careful.

Bryse Wilson @ HOU – He had one start of dominance + one with horrific command. Nope.

José Ureña vs. LAA – If you start José, Ureña boatload of trouble. There is a slight Win chance here given he can stumble into five innings, though.

Miles Mikolas vs. BOS – Hey, at least he has a long leash.

Graham Ashcraft @ LAD – It’s the Dodgers and Ashcraft can’t strike batters out.

Brad Keller @ NYY – Keller isn’t what you want.

Ty Blach @ SFG – Blach.

 

Enjoy these rankings? Support my work and Pitcher List by getting PL+ or PL Pro! You’ll get an Ad-Free website, access to our incredible non-toxic baseball Discord community, my weekly PL Pro exclusive SP FAAB Forecast podcast, a full suite of fantasy baseball tools, and much more. Get 10% off yearly with code SPSTREAMERS here.

 

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Photos Courtesy of IconSportswire | Adapted by Aaron Asbury (@aarongifs on Instagram)

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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