Starting Pitcher Streamer Rankings Fantasy Baseball – 8/17 & 8/18

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 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.

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 8/16)

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 2023 Streamer Record: 72-61

My pick yesterday: Matthew Liberatore @ OAK

PL Bot’s 2023 Streamer Record: 68-65

PL Bot’s Pick yesterday: Mike Clevinger vs. CLE

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


With the new formatting for the notes, I’ve made the streaming pick of the day Underlined and Italicized.


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings




George Kirby @ KCR – He’s looking like an ace, though I will mention the Royals are a better offense suddenly + his slider wasn’t McAwesome McFilthy last time out (yes, even with 9 IP 0 ER!)

Zac Gallen @ SDP – Gallen has his curve locked in and the fastball is doing great things upstairs for whiffs and landing down for called strikes.

Chris Sale @ WSN – Sale looked great in his return from the IL and is stretched out enough to make this easily worthwhile.

Tarik Skubal @ CLE – Skubal’s four-seamer is too good to bench.

Lance Lynn vs. MIL – Lynn has been phenomenal with the Dodgers and the Brewers aren’t scary.


Probably Starts


Corbin Burnes @ LAD – What, Burnes in the second tier!? It’s the Dodgers + Burnes’ cutter isn’t overpowering batters as we’ve seen in the past. He hasn’t fanned more than six in five starts.

José Quintana @ STL – I’m shocked Quintana isn’t more rostered as his command is back to its great 2022 self. He just cruised past Atlanta with it and the Cardinals make for an easier time…even if the red birds have been hot lately.


Questionable Starts


NONE – We only have twelve pitchers and it means there aren’t any that I’d consider “not great but I can see it.” I don’t add pitchers to tiers just to make a nicer table.


Do Not Starts


Xzavion Curry vs. DET – It’s the most interesting start of this tier and yet I cannot endorse a guy who relied on a 90% slider strike rate in his last outing.

Patrick Corbin vs. BOS – Even a Patrick has his days.

Rich Hill vs. ARI – He doesn’t go deep enough to consider. Maybe he gets opened for and snatches a Win…?

Angel Zerpa (Opener) vs. SEA – I imagine the Royals will use an opener for Zerpa once again and I have very little interest here, save for a slightly larger Win chance given the innings he’ll likely pitch.

Adam Wainwright vs. NYM – The Cards are going to let Waino continue in hopes he gets two more Wins before season’s end to earn #200. Good luck, Cardinal legend.


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings




Spencer Strider vs. SFG – Aces gonna ace.

Pablo López vs. PIT – Aces gonna ace.

Gavin Williams vs. DET – Williams has been overwhelming with his four-seamer and the Tigers should abide.

Brandon Woodruff @ TEX – What difference is there between Woodruff and Alcantara? That’s a great question. To me, Woodruff is a little safer with his four-seamer foundation while Alcantara has shown plenty of volatility throughout the year. Love them both, though.


Probably Starts


Michael Lorenzen @ WSN – It’s another mediocre offense for Lorenzen. Obviously you’re doing this.

Seth Lugo vs. ARI – He’s a traditionally solid play, the Padres offense may be waking up, and the defense is still fantastic behind him.

Brayan Bello @ NYY – It’s just sinker/changeup for the most part, but the Yankees are a sub .500 team now. It’s not a fun time wearing pinstripes.

Sandy Alcantara @ LAD – Yes, I’m scared too, and yet he’s gone 32 innings in his last four starts. Yes, he’s averaging eight innings per start. It’s so hard to say no to that.

Bryce Miller @ HOU – Another scary one here. It’s a high-risk/reward play, and if he has the slider working at all, I think he’ll come out on top.

José Berríos @ CIN – It’s not a fun matchup, but Berríos has been a steady arm throughout the year.


Questionable Starts


Cole Ragans @ CHC – It’s no secret I’m a believer in what Ragans does and after issuing a few too many walks last time and being a bit tepid on the four-seamer, Ragans still carries massive upside you shouldn’t ignore. But he burned me against the Cardinals and the Cubs are good! I get it, it’s why he’s in this tier. And to be frank, his schedule is so good after this one and unless I see a dramatic step back in skills (high walks, poor heaters, unreliable secondaries), I’m going to keep endorsing him regardless of this outcome. Process > results.

Kyle Gibson @ OAK – It’s a great matchup and yet Gibson looked terrible against the Mariners in his last outing. It’s the constant turmoil of Gibson. I think you’re fine starting him, but the risk is heavy.

J.P. France vs. SEA – Lots of solid choices in the third tier on Friday. France pitches for a winning ballclub and is fresh off one of the best starts I’ve seen from him. Guess we’re doing this.

Tony Gonsolin vs. MIA – The Marlins aren’t too scary and Gonsolin could go 5/6 for a Win.

Andrew Heaney vs. MIL – I’m not sure how much he’ll go after being limited to just four outs with an illness last time out. Throw in the innate volatility of Heaney and you have yourself a good ole shrug.

Tyler Anderson vs. TBR – Anderson’s changeup is looking fantastic and the Rays offense is in a weird place.

Jameson Taillon vs. KCR – I’m not sure how to feel about the Royals offense right now + Taillon’s command was way off last start. Still, I can see him going six innings of production here if you’re searching for it.


Do Not Starts


Brandon Pfaadt @ SDP – Pfaadt has had some surprising strikeout upside as of late and yet I don’t buy his sweeper + four-seamer combo. Neither pitch is elite to me, with the sweeper stealing called strikes as it finds the zone but isn’t that electric pitch you want it to be.

Matt Manning @ CLE – Manning will be allowed to go six if he’s surviving, but will it be productive even if he does?

Zack Thompson vs. NYM – Hey this is kinda cool. The Cardinals are letting Thompson start in Steven Matz’s place and we’ve seen him have some success across four innings with a four-seamer, curve, and cutter. It’s not as electric as I want it to be and this will likely be rough around the edges, but maybe there’s something to lean into here.

Jhony Brito vs. BOS – Maybe he goes five and steals a Win? At least he has a track record of being fine.

Luis Medina vs. BAL – The slider hasn’t been there for a pair of stars and it’s Baltimore.

Joan Adon vs. PHI – His stuff just isn’t that good. He’ll get a decent chance if the balls in play go his way, at least.

Michael Kopech @ COL – It’s Coors but it’s not as scary as it used to be…? Oh right, it’s also Kopech.

Peter Lambert vs. CHW – Coors is undefeated. 

Alex Cobb @ ATL – It’s Atlanta and Cobb doesn’t have his splitter. Yikes.

Joey Lucchesi @ STL – Is he even going to go five frames?

Andre Jackson @ MIN – Is he even going to go five frames?

Brett Kennedy vs. TOR – Is he even going to go five frames?

Tampa Bay Bullpen @ LAA – I may be updating this one, and as of now, it looks like it’s a bullpen affair for the Rays.


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.

One response to “Starting Pitcher Streamer Rankings Fantasy Baseball – 8/17 & 8/18”

  1. Tim says:

    Nick, I have Burnes, Sandy, Webb, Quintana and Ragan on my staff. I am scared about Burnes/Sandy for the reasons you mentioned and nervous about Ragans vs. Chicago and Webb at Atlanta. Do I just bench these guys and hope for better days? It is tough to choose which of Burnes/Sandy/Webb to start this week given those matchups (and past history is very bad for Sandy/Burnes vs. LA).

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