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

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

Here are today’s daily SP Streamer rankings.

Every day of the 2023 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 10am – 12pm 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. 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.

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,” 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 (in Alphabetical order):

Nick’s Loose Team Offense Rankings (Updated 5/8)

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.


Nick’s 2023 Streamer Record: 24-21

My pick yesterday: Luis Ortiz vs DET

PL Bot’s 2023 Streamer Record: 22-23

PL Bot’s Pick yesterday: Jared Shuster @ TEX

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


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings




Spencer Strider @ TEX – AGA. I don’t care if it’s the Rangers, he has a strikeout rate well above 40% lol.

Gerrit Cole @ TOR – AGA. The Jays are tough, but it doesn’t matter.

Corbin Burnes @ STL – AGA. The Cardinals are heating up but Burnes had his curve and slider back last time.

Yu Darvish vs. KCR – You start Darvish regardless of opponent, but you have to be relieved it’s the Royals.

Eduardo Rodriguez vs. PIT – He’s on too good of a run to deny him against the Pirates.

Sonny Gray @ LAD – I’m kinda torn on this one. It may be a trap play as his curveball wasn’t there last time out and the Dodgers are rough. Feels too “Big Brain” to bench, though.

Chris Bassitt vs. NYY – He’s allowed just 10 ER across his last 45+ IP and the Yankee offense isn’t great outside of Judge.

Nathan Eovaldi vs. ATL – Eovaldi is on a 25+ IP scoreless streak and you can’t pull the plug even against Atlanta.

Dustin May vs. MIN – I talked about him a lot on the Twitch stream Tuesday morning – he currently has zero pitches with a 10%+ SwStr rate. Still, the ratios are great and maybe his curve and cutter wake up.


Probable Starts


MacKenzie Gore @ MIA – I like it but don’t love it given Gore’s lack of trustworthy breaker. Still, it’s the Marlins without Jazz.

J.P. France vs. CHC – He’s looking like a stable Houston starter and I’d take the chance even against a solid Cubs offense.


Questionable Starts


Edward Cabrera vs. WSN – The walks are terrifying, but the strikeout upside against the Nationals makes him considerable.

Taijuan Walker @ SFG – The splitter usage has been 40%+ across the last two games and it’s worked well for Walker. It’s weird to label a splitter-focused arm as my streaming pick of the day but here we are.

Rich Hill @ DET – You may hate it, but Hill has come through against weak lineups this year.

Ryne Nelson @ OAK – I want to rank Nelson higher, but he’s failed to find his breakers this season. Even the Athletics could tag him.

Mike Clevinger vs. CLE – The future schedule is tantalizing for Clevinger, though he’s (mostly) a two-pitch pitcher without a single elite pitch.

Brayan Bello vs. SEA – I’m excited to watch the growth of Bello this season, though I’m not sure he packs enough punch in his arsenal at the moment. He’s still figuring out his slider and sinker attack. Changeup looks wonderful, though.

Drew Smyly @ HOU – The BSB is back for Smyly, but he has to endure the Astros. Ugh.

Marco Gonzales @ BOS – He pulled off the stream against the Tigers as his command has been solid across the last five games. However, when not facing the Tigers (read: a poor offense), he’s struggled, even with that improved command.

Peyton Battenfield @ CHW – He earned 22 whiffs on his cutter across his first two starts and has collected just 13 in his last four combined. Reshape your thoughts on Battenfield after his strong first two outings.

Update: Matthew Liberatore vs. MIL – The Cardinals are calling up Liberatore and I’m excited to see him (especially against the Brewers) but it’s hard for me to lean in just for today. 1) I don’t start MLB debuts (albeit, this is a season debut). 2) Liberatore was phenomenal in April and took a step back in May. 3) The fastball has come down a little in velocity. He’s a great spec add (are the Cardinals keeping him in the rotation or is this a spot start?) and I’d play it safe here unless my ratios were safe.

Kyle Bradish vs. LAA – The Angels are strong and it’s hard to bank on Bradish getting into a groove on a given night. Welcome to the life of a Cherry Bomb.

Griffin Canning @ BAL – If he’s able to go 25% four-seamers, things could go well for Canning. It’ll mean he has a good feel for his breakers and changeup and I hope we see it.


Do Not Starts


Adam Wainwright vs. MIL – It looks like a great play on paper, but Waino is looking so bleeegggggh. If you’re in dire need of a QS, you can push him up into Tier 3.

Luis Medina vs. ARI – Speaking of QS, Medina earned a PQS last time out and I won’t rule out another against the Diamondbacks. The floor is so low, though, and the ceiling isn’t electric.

Graham Ashcraft @ COL – It’s Coors and Ashcraft doesn’t strike batters out. Yikes.

Kodai Senga vs. TBR – He’s a Cherry Bomb with walk issues against a premium offense. No thanks.

Update: Ross Stripling vs. PHI – His best asset is his changeup and it’s been unreliable this year + the Phils are a strong squad with Harper.

Taj Bradley? @ NYM – Taj has been terrible in Triple-A and we don’t even know if he’s getting the call for this start. I hope he returns, but this isn’t the game to throw him out there.

Update: Josh Fleming @ NYM – Looks like Taj isn’t getting the call after all, making Fleming the follower against the Mets. I don’t have any interest here.

Austin Gomber vs. CIN – It’s Coors, even if Gomber has shown flashes of brilliance. And by flashes, I mean roughly 10% of the time.

Jonathan Heasley (Opener) @ SDP – Oh dear. You don’t need me.


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings




Shane McClanahan @ NYM – AGA. Don’t worry about his last start.

Julio Urías @ STL – He’s vying for the AGA label and has been great lately. The Cardinals are heating up, but you’re still starting Julio.

Dylan Cease vs. CLE – He had a redeeming start against the Astros as he shelved the curve to go four-seamer/slider. As long as one of the hook and heater work, Cease will soar.


Probable Starts


Eury Peréz vs. WSN – He gets to follow up a strong debut with a gift of a matchup against the Nationals. He’s not instantly an ace, though, and we normally see some turbulence for young arms regardless of matchups.

Logan Allen @ CHW – Speaking of turbulence, Allen as has gone through some across the last few weeks. However, the White Sox makes for a pretty easy decision here, even if the ceiling is as high as we want it to be.


Questionable Starts


Tyler Wells vs. LAA – He’s fresh off 18 whiffs…against the Pirates. The Angels are a tougher squad and Wells will have to get the most out of his stuff to come out unscathed.

Tyler Anderson @ BAL – The changeup has been back and Camden is a treat. The ceiling isn’t nearly what it was in 2022, though.

Nestor Cortes @ TOR – The slider has been missing all year and it’s messing up Cortes in a big way. The Jays are as dangerous as they come, making this a “play it safe” outing as I hope to be encouraged for next week.

Trevor Williams @ MIA – He’s my reluctant streaming pick of the day as I understand it’s possible Williams can go six frames against a 1700’s Miami team (Jazz-less).


Do Not Starts


José Berríos vs. NYY – He’s The Great Undulator with a horrific floor. I really just don’t want to deal with it, but if you must, then you must.

Adam Wainwright vs. LAD – Waino could be fixed now that the Cardinals have apparently solved their catching/game-calling issues, but the Dodgers are tough and the ceiling is so hard to reach.

Tylor Megill vs. TBR – Megill hasn’t looked great since 2022 pre-injury and now gets the Rays. No thanks.


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings

Featured Image by Kurt Wasemiller (@KUWasemiller on Twitter / @kurt_player02 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.

3 responses to “Starting Pitcher Streamer Rankings Fantasy Baseball – 5/17 & 5/18”

  1. Doug says:

    Where does Taj rank here since he is starting for Rays tomorrow?

  2. drake says:

    Your “streaming picks of the day” have been hot trash for a whole ass week. Please do better, thanks!

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