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 – 12am ET. If you have questions to 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.
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:
Dave Swan’s Early-Season Offensive Tiers
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: 4-5
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- Saturday comes without a whole lot in the ole reliable category, with Justin Verlander as the only true “yeah, this is going to be fine” outing of the day. Sorry for just jinxing him.
- There may be some hesitation to start Julio Urías and Trevor Rogers, but the Reds on the road should make for a smoother Urías start as we root for his velocity to climb back to normal. As for Rogers, even against the Phillies I’m confident his fastball will keep his floor high.
- I’m a bit shocked to see Carlos Carrasco rostered in over 40% over leagues while Jameson Taillon, who is in a much better situation for Saturday, sits at just 23% rostership. That said, Carrasco’s slider and changeup looked great last time out and it could continue against the Sneks.
- Despite Cleveland surprising us lately with their bats, I’d still feel comfortable starting Anthony DeSclafani Saturday. He brings enough to the table to make it work.
- Despite not trusting Hyun Jin Ryu for the long haul this year, a start against the Athletics seems right up his alley for a Win and decent ratios.
- The Rangers are giving starters fits out of the gate and you may have some hesitation starting Noah Syndergaard. At the same time, he handled the Dodgers in his final tune-up and survived the Astros last week. There’s risk, absolutely, but we all know you’re starting him.
- The streaming pick of the day falls to Nick Martinez as he gets Atlanta. I’m a fan of his deep repertoire, though I will acknowledge Atlanta’s dangerous offense that could make this a tough day at the park. It’s very close to being a Tier 3 pick, so if you’re indecisive about this, it’s okay to sit him.
- You should feel fine with both Tanner Houck and Zac Gallen over the weekend. Houck had a tough time with New York but should settle in nicely hosting the Twins. Gallen is making his first start of the year (finally!) and looked great in the spring, even with increased velocity. I’m all for it, even if it comes with just five frames.
- In the third tier, Sonny Gray gets dealt a tough hand as he faces the Sawx. He didn’t have his breaking balls in his previous outing and I’m terrified Boston will pounce.
- Cal Quantrill and Steven Matz even have the chance to go six, but it comes with a low floor that may be too much for you to slot them in your lineups.
- Can Ian Anderson rein in his command issues? He struggled in the spring and was atrocious last time out, making this a start I’m outright avoiding. I believe Anderson will turn it around as we get deeper in the year – maybe this is the one! – but the ceiling is so dang low I can’t in earnest suggest him in any fashion.
- I know we’re amped about Hunter Greene’s velocity, but dealing with the Dodgers lineup is an ordeal, especially for a guy with questionable command. The potential of a disaster is too rich for my blood.
- Corey Kluber had his cutter working in his first start of the season, though we saw it fluctuate all last season & he gets the ChiSox this time around. No thanks.
- I don’t believe Adrian Houser is as poor as he was last time out and it’ll likely come with time. The reward is too paltry to consider him against the Cardinals
Today’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
- The top tier is pretty clear on Sunday, though some may not want to start Yu Darvish after this horrendous outing last time out + Atlanta is a dangerous opponent. If you roster Darvish, you knew the terms of your agreement – he’ll have days when his command is off and disaster follows, but you have to keep starting him. It’s in your best interest.
- Tyler Mahle is also handed a tough matchup against the Dodgers, but he’s on the road and has the skills to succeed. If you have him on your team, you’re starting him.
- In the second tier, we don’t have as many solid plays per usual. My favorite is Nestor Cortes as he could go 5/6 frames against the middling Orioles and put himself in a good position for a Win.
- Andrew Heaney came out firing last time out with the best command I’ve seen from him in ages. His new breaker was all kinds of filthy and now that he’s stretched out a bit more against a weak Reds team, he’s worth the gamble. I’m still holding my breath to see if the command repeats after just one outing, FWIW.
- Matt Brash lit up the baseball community with his debut against the White Sox and despite facing another tough lineup, I don’t think you can bench him. Let’s see some more wicked breakers and high heaters against the Astros.
- It’s the first start of the year from Aaron Ashby, who went 3.1 frames in his last relief appearance. He still may not be able to go a full five frames, but I’d still roll him out there with his phenomenal stuff.
- In the third tier, we’re living up to the questionable tag. Aaron Civale presents the best chance of a quality start, though the Giants offense could make it difficult, especially if Civale doesn’t have his curveball working.
- The streaming pick of the day is David Peterson, who should be allowed to go at least five frames against the Diamondbacks. I wouldn’t call myself a fan of Peterson, but the Sneks don’t scare me and this could work in your favor.
- In the bottom tier, there are some desperate Sunday options I’d love to not rely on. I’m leading with Bryce Elder as he’s fresh off a strong debut and the Padres aren’t as threatening without Tatis in their lineup. It’s the bottom tier – don’t forget that – but hey, maybe the magic repeats.
- The other options all bring heavy concern as well. Austin Gomber is pitching in Coors, Michael Wacha is all kinds of volatile, Tyler Alexander can pull something off from time-to-time, and Elieser Hernandez’s slider may drag your team to the finish line.
Tomorrow’s Starting Pitcher Rankings
Featured Image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)