Starting Launcher Streamer Rankings – 4/17 & 4/18


Every day of the 2022 baseball season, I’ll be watching today’s and tomorrow’s scheduled starting pitchers and ranking their games for your fantasy baseball streams.

There’s a lot in there and you can hang out with me on to talk about specific ranks because I do them every weekday morning from 9am-12pm ET. If you have any questions about these ranks, please ask them during the morning Twitch AMA. These are my office hours as I generally do not respond to comments on the site.

There are four levels in these rankings with 12 teams in the lead:

Automatic start – Just do it. Don’t think too much about it, the man begins.

Probably start – I will probably start these weapons, although I recognize that there is more risk than we would like. Either it’s a tough game for a good pitcher or a weak lineup for a volatile arm.

Doubtful start – There are situations where I would take the risk, either with a strong enough advantage on the ability side, or a bad offense that a caster could take advantage of.

Do not start – The reward is not worth the risk. Don’t.

Obviously there will be circumstances where pitchers would have to move between teams for your specific situation and these new levels should act as a little more help than last year’s straight table.

Please keep in mind that streaming is far from a perfect game. In fact, if they work more than half the time, I would consider that a success. These rankings and streamer picks are going to be very different from the actual results throughout the year, so please have some sympathy ahead of the scathing comments and tweets. I’m only trying to help!

Be sure to read the notes if you wonder why I favor some pitchers over others – I won’t go to everyone and hopefully answer any questions you have.

There is a second table for tomorrow start pitcher clashes as well, helping everyone get a jump on their nighttime pick-ups. Please note that these matches are subject to change, however, and there will be be times when I have the wrong pitcher. Thank you for your future understanding.

Finally, there are my streaming picks of the day, and please keep in mind that I have to choose a streamer every day. Those highlighted in Green are second level and I would ride with them anywhere. The most common are those of Yellow in the third tier and should be decent if you are looking for Something on a given day. Finally, these are Red are the ones I really don’t want to start (they’re labeled as “Don’t Start”, after all) but have no other choice. Don’t stream these guys until you’re really desperate. A streaming pick is defined as “registered in 20% or fewer leagues”, which really highlights the fact that I would be happy if more than 50% of them worked. I could do the whole sub 30/40% list, but that’s no fun. You can use the leaderboards to figure out who those picks would be instead.

While I’m doing my ranking, I thought it would be helpful to present a chart of how we rank offences. Dave Swan makes a incredible job of showcasing future SP matchups every 2-3 weeks in this article, and I’ve chosen to use his offensive ranks to share with you all here:

Dave Swan’s Early Season Offensive Levels

I’m sure that will change over the course of the year + there are differences between teams versus LHP or RHP, but it’s a great overall picture that you should all keep in mind.

Alright, let’s go.

Broadcast record in 2022: 4-6

Ranking of today’s starting pitchers

  • The upper tier is pretty clear on Sunday, although some may not want to start Yu Darvish after that horrible outing last time + Atlanta is a dangerous opponent. If you sign up Darvish, you knew the terms of your deal – he will have days when his command is disabled and disaster will ensue, but you have to keep casting him. It’s in your best interest.
  • Tyler Mahle also faces a tough game against the Dodgers, but he’s on the road and has the skills to succeed. If you have it on your team, you cast it.
  • In the second tier, we don’t have as many solid games as usual. My favorite is Nestor Cortes as he could go 5/6 frames against the middle Orioles and put himself in good position for a win.
  • Andrew Heane came out of cooking last time with the best leadership I’ve seen from him in ages. His new breaker was all sorts of disgusting and now that he’s stretched a bit more against a weak Reds side, he’s worth a shot. I’m still holding my breath to see if the command repeats after a single output, FWIW.
  • Matt Brash lit up the baseball community with his debut against the White Sox and despite another tough roster, I don’t think you can bench him. Let’s take a look at some more nasty breakers and high heaters against the Astros.
  • This is the first start of the year from Aaron Ashby, who went 3.1 frames in his last relief appearance. He still might not be able to do five full frames, but I would still roll him out there with his phenomenal stuff.
  • At the third level, we respect the dubious label. Aaron Civale presents the best chance of a quality start, although the Giants’ offense could make things difficult, especially if Civale doesn’t get his curveball working.
  • Today’s streaming pick is David Peterson, who should be allowed to go at least five frames against the Diamondbacks. I wouldn’t call myself a Peterson fan, but the Sneks don’t scare me and that might work in your favor.
  • On the lower level there are desperate Sunday options that I would like do not rely. I lead with Bryce Elder because he’s just off to a strong debut and the Padres aren’t as threatening without Tatis in their roster. This is the bottom tier – don’t forget – but hey, maybe the magic is repeating itself.
  • The other options also raise serious concerns. Austin Gomber camp at Coors, Michael Wacha is all kinds of volatile, Tyler Alexander can take something out once in a while, and by Elieser Hernández slider can lead your team to the finish line.

Ranking of today’s starting pitchers

Ranking of tomorrow’s starting pitchers

  • The upper level seems quite secure today. I like all these departures, from Clayton Kershaw pursuing its goal of a perfect season, Shane McClanahan against the average Cubs. And then there is Alex Cobb and Tylor Megill compete and it’s a lot of fun.
  • Seriously, roll these guys over there with confidence to start your week.
  • On the second floor, Luis Garcia is the “Probably start”. It wasn’t flashy when it first came out as we didn’t see a top notch cutter, and its cursor didn’t show up significantly. Hopefully we’ll see him develop his four-inning start against a good Angels offense.
  • The most difficult to classify here was Triston McKenzie after dominating last week, with a fastball at 93/94 mph. I like where he is and if I signed him up I’d be hard pressed do not to pitch it, even against the White Sox.
  • It’s getting really difficult now. Aaron Nola didn’t impress at first and now he gets Coors. COORS. I believe in Nola for the long term, of course, and he could still bounce back in a major way tomorrow, regardless of his mediocre lines so far. Yours here.
  • Today’s streaming pick could have gone to Eric Lauer or Josiah Gray and I’m still debating in my head what I like best. Ultimately, Lauer’s increased speed against the Pirates seems like a safer game, even if Gray gets the Diamondbacks – I don’t trust commanding them yet. If you’re looking for strikeouts, however, Gray may be the best bet.
  • I shouldn’t have been so stupid to forget the “The Kyle Hendricks Rule” last week as he dominated the opening day to explode against the Pirates. Good luck guessing if he’ll be there for the Rays or not.
  • I liked what we saw of Michael Lorenzen as he faced the Marlins, but the Astros offer a bigger challenge that could upset his initial pace.
  • Despite a horrible command in his MLB debut, I believe Nick Lodolo has a lot to offer as a starter this season. He may need another start to get into the rhythm, but don’t rule out the possibility of him locking down with his nasty slider against the Padres.
  • And no, I won’t rule out rich hill steal a win against the Twins. I don’t like it, but I recognize how it could work.
  • At the final level, Madison Bumgarner could survive Nationals, but I don’t think he offers much here for me to stick him at the third tier.
  • I really wish I could be amplified for Huascar Ynoa again, but his slider was way off his 2021 self last time and he gets Atlanta. Sit down for now.

Ranking of tomorrow’s starting pitchers

Featured image by Drew Wheeler (@drewisokay on Twitter)


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