In daily fantasy baseball leagues, starting pitchers typically take up the largest amount of cap space on your roster, making the position absolutely critical to the success of your lineup. Plain and simple — there is only so much your offensive players can do to make up for a bad performance from your pitcher, so finding the best match-up is ultimately the difference many times between a very prosperous evening, and a big headache for daily fantasy grinders.
Below is the best starting pitcher I have identified for the 4/18 schedule, based on performance and value.
The Diamondbacks are off to a putrid start at 4-14. Their offense has scored a middle-of-the-pack 67 runs so far this season, but their pitching has been purely awful, giving up an MLB high of 115 runs which has been absolutely demoralizing for their hitters.
Greinke is off to a fast start in 2014, with a 3-0 record and 2.76 ERA and has struck out a stellar 21 batters in 16.1 innings while only walking two, to go along with a 1.10 WHIP. The Diamondbacks’ best hitters are right-handed (Paul Goldschmidt, Aaron Hill, and Mark Trumbo) giving Zack a likely unnecessary additional match-up advantage. The Dodgers will give Grienke the adequate run support he needs to breeze by a struggling Diamondbacks club.
Unfortunately, Greinke comes with a big hit to your salary cap, especially on Fan Duel where he is priced at 9600 — but in this scenario he is completely worth it. Expecting 7 innings pitched, having given up only one run while striking out six to eight is a fair assumption. And with the Dodgers offense, he should get the win as well.