Starting Pitcher Streamer Rankings Fantasy Baseball – 8/21 & 8/22

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: 76-61

My pick yesterday: Clarke Schmidt vs. BOS

PL Bot’s 2023 Streamer Record: 71-66

PL Bot’s Pick yesterday: JP Sears vs. BAL

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




Luis Castillo @ CHW – Aces gonna ace.

Blake Snell vs. MIA – Aces gonna ace.

Aaron Nola vs. SFG – It’s the Giants. I know how rough it’s been rostering Nola. Dew it.


Probably Starts


Lucas Giolito vs. CIN – He hasn’t been pitching nearly as poorly as the results have been. It’s a solid matchup and Giolito spouted 95 mph against the Rangers.

Jordan Montgomery @ ARI – He’s a safe play here.

UPDATE: Michael Wacha vs. MIA – He looks to be getting the start and had his command in order in his Still ILL outing.

José Urquidy vs. BOS – Uruqidy has been pitching stupidly well and has a solid Win chance here.

UPDATE: Allan Winans vs. NYM – He’s replacing Yonny in the rotation and just dominated the Mets with solid command and an array of secondaries. Pick him up for the two-step with a chance at the Giants this weekend as well.

Bryce Elder vs. NYM – The Mets aren’t scary and Elder has a great Win chance as he does his sinker/slider thing.

Javier Assad @ DET – Assad performed better with his cutter in his second outing and it’s the Tigers.

Graham Ashcraft @ LAA – I’m weirded out by the new slider that looks more like a cutter to pair with his…cutter, but the results have been there and I think we’re at the point of treating him like a Vargas Rule – It’s a 2.17 ERA, 10.9 WHIP across his last nine starts and 58 innings, if you can believe it.


Questionable Starts


None – I originally had some from the bottom tier in here, but honestly, no. I don’t suggest doing any of it and the end of the second tier is good enough to roll with.

UPDATE: Cristian Javier vs. BOS – Hoooo boy. Some will refuse to start Javier. Then there are guys like me who believe that Javier is on the verge of having his TIARA removed finally – his slider and curve have suddenly returned plenty of strikes in his last two starts, with the holdup now being his four-seamer, a pitch that has routinely been there throughout the year. Throw in the struggling Red Sox offense and you have a legit “oh snap!” potential day.

UPDATE: James Paxton vs. HOU – Paxton’s four-seamer has been worse over the last few weeks and the Astros are a dangerous crew. I’m scared here and you may want to play it safe.


Do Not Starts


Tanner Houck @ HOU – He’s expected to return from the minors and I’d wait a start before considering adding him to your lineups. Feel free to spec add if you like, but this will likely come with jitters + facing the Astros isn’t what you want.

Bailey Falter (Opener) vs. STL – Falter isn’t exceptional, but he does enough to make this a decent option in PNC Park. Definitely not chasing it.

UPDATE: Paul Blackburn vs. KCR – Blackburn was far better last time out and there’s a chance it works against the Royals. I do not suggest starting him, though. There’s too much risk involved for not high enough of a ceiling.

UPDATE: Drew Rom @ PIT – He’s making his MLB debut for the Cardinals after fanning eighteen in his last two Triple-A starts. Thing is, he features a low 91 mph four-seamer and yet earned 15/57 whiffs on the pitch on August 9th. I wonder if that actually works in the majors.

Alex Faedo vs. CHC – The slider is strong, the other pieces are not.

Matthew Liberatore @ PIT – He regressed massively last time out, back down to 92/93 mph and not being the guy we wanted to see against the Athletics. Maybe it returns?

Johnny Cueto @ SDP – We’re seen Cueto magic before. That’s all I’ve got.

UPDATE: Sean Manaea (Opener) @ PHI – The Giants are shifting everything around and it looks like Manaea will get the first crack at bulk innings. Maybe he does enough over 3-4 frames to steal Win.

Alec Marsh @ OAK – Marsh shouldn’t really be considered, but it’s O.Co. He could have his best breaker and a good enough heater, but it’s unlikely.

Alex Wood @ PHI – They are letting Wood start. Maybe. It could be five frames, it could be an opener, it could be very much not worth your time.

Touki Toussaint vs. SEA – There is some strikeout upside in the curve, and yet it’s likely to still come with horrible ratios.

UPDATE: Ryan Weathers @ SDP – He’s not a pitcher to trust + the Padres demolish LHP. There is the “revenge game” aspect, too, which could bring some extra adrenaline. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

Kyle Muller vs. KCR – Oh hey, he’s back! I hope he’s showing us something new.

Slade Cecconi vs. TEX – It’s Texas and Cecconi ain’t it.

David Peterson @ ATL – Oh dear, NO.


Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings


Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings




Blake Snell vs. MIA – Aces gonna ace.

Justin Verlander vs. BOS – He’s had a few stumbles but is generally stable against a weak Red Sox team.

George Kirby @ CHW – Arguably should be above the White Sox but that start against the Royals was so not what we wanted.

Bobby Miller @ CLE – Miller is a steady arm pitching for a winning club. While I’m not expecting growth with each outing, I also bake in a bit of upside that we haven’t quite seen realized yet, ready to burst with each time he pitches. That would come via his slider and curve getting into grooves for high CSW rates.

Yusei Kikuchi @ BAL – Kikuchi has been such a consistent member of your rotations that you’re not considering a bench for a moment.

Zac Gallen vs. TEX – He’s an ace and yet he gets the worst matchup of the lot by far, fresh off a tough outing.


Probably Starts


Andrew Abbott @ LAA – Abbott isn’t punching out everyone and their grandmothers anymore (sorry for that image), sadly. Still, the Angels are generally a solid team to stream against these days.

Bailey Ober @ MIL – Ober is still locating his four-seamer phenomenally and shouldn’t be punished by his mistakes as much as we’ve seen lately.

Grayson Rodriguez vs. TOR – It’s hard to make out how good the Jays offense actually is, while Grayson has been electrifying since returning to the majors.

Zack Littell vs. COL – Here’s another solid Win chance for Littell against Rockie RoadCan the Rays offense please come through this time?

Jon Gray @ ARI – I dig Gray’s four-seamer over his last two starts and Arizona isn’t enough to scare me off.

Bryce Elder vs. NYM – The Mets aren’t scary and Elder has a great Win chance as he does his sinker/slider thing.


Questionable Starts


Reid Detmers vs. CIN – Detmers took down the Rangers, but his command was off. The ball landed in good spots, but it often wasn’t intentional and I heavily question if he’s turned a corner.

Wade Miley vs. MIN – This is a decently safe stream, though Miley’s limited ceiling means the floor is awfully close to unsalvagable.

Carlos Rodón vs. WSN – It’s a Still ILL as we hope Rodón is sitting 96 mph and tossing at least five frames. I still believe he can pitch like an ace this season, though I understand we all need to see it first.

Jesús Luzardo @ SDP – The Padres crush LHP and Luzardo made a trio of terrible mistake pitches (one heater, one changeup, one slider) to the Astros that could have the same 3 HR results here. That said, if he is able to avoid punishment on his mistakes, the results could fare far better.

Taijuan Walker vs. SFG – His velocity was down to sub-91 mph levels in his last start, leading to a skipped turn of the rotation. He returns with a gift: the San Francisco offense. That combination could be enough.

Mike Clevinger vs. SEA – Clevinger has been hot and it could continue against the Mariners. Thing is, I don’t dig his four-seamer/slider/cutter combo and think it’s more about luck than actual ability. He’s a Cherry Bomb to me, at best.

Johan Oviedo vs. STL – Oviedo has a great slider and poor heater. You know this. That’s the outline of a Cherry Bomb.


Do Not Starts


Kyle Harrison @ PHI – It’s Harrison’s MLB debut, who carries a track record of an overpowering four-seamer and control issues. He’s worth a spec add, though after this start would be Atlanta. Not cool.

Josiah Gray @ NYY – With the horrid morale in the Yankee clubhouse, Josiah could come out on top simply based on the poor lineup in front of him. And yet, that would require Josiah to throw enough competitive strikes and I hate banking on that.

Reese Olson vs. CHC – Olson can do well when his slider is at its peak and enough fastballs find the east-west edges. The ceiling is rare and the Cubs swing a heavy bat, making this a clear dart throw to avoid.

Ty Blach @ TBR – Blach may be the best Rockies pitcher, going against the struggling Rays outside of Coors. Blach and the three DNS options above him are all on the cusp of “hey, if you need a desperate arm”. A Do Not Start for 12-teamers with a low chance of coming through, but demonstrably better than the below options.

Drew Smyly @ DET – It’s a solid matchup, but Smyly isn’t stretched out + he hasn’t had that start in a loooooong time.

Noah Syndergaard vs. LAD – Thor is so not worth your time, yet we’ve seen worse arms survive at least five frames against the Dodgers. It’s awfully infrequent, but possible.

Tanner Houck @ HOU – He’s expected to return from the minors and I’d wait a start before considering adding him to your lineups. Feel free to spec add if you like, but this will likely come with jitters + facing the Astros isn’t what you want.

Angel Zerpa @ OAK – I don’t love his skills, but at least it’s Oakland?

Kyle Muller vs. KCR – Oh hey, he’s back! I hope he’s showing us something new. Probably not.

Adam Wainwright @ PIT – I’m just hoping he gets Win #199. He’s running out of time to get to #200.

Tylor Megill @ ATL – It’s Atlanta and Megill doesn’t have enough in the tank.


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.

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