In daily fantasy baseball leagues, starting pitchers typically take up the majority of the cap-space of your roster, making the position absolutely critical to your success. Plain and simple — there is only so much your offensive players can do to make up for a bad performance from your starting pitcher, so finding the best matchup and/or best bargain option who could far exceed their price is the difference many times between a very prosperous evening, and a gigantic headache for daily fantasy grinders.
Below is the best starting pitcher I have identified for the April 19 slate based on price and prospective performance.
Cingrani, a 24-year-old LHP, is off to a solid start in 2014 — now in his second full MLB season. In three starts, he has gone 1-1 with a 2.60 ERA and a solid 1.096 WHIP. Perhaps his most impressive statistic early on is his prowess for striking batters out (20 in 17.1 innings pitched for a 10.9 K/9). However, to be fair, Cingrani has struggled with his control at times — walking nine batters in those aforementioned 17.1 innings for an alarming 4.7 BB/9.
A matchup with the floundering Cubs (4-11) is just what Cingrani needs to work on his control. The Cubs have only scored 48 runs thus far in 2014, good for third lowest after the Houston Astros and San Diego Padres — and their biggest power threat is Anthony Rizzo, who Cingrani matches up well with as they are both lefty. Their best right-handed hitter is SS Starlin Castro, who is not a huge threat to go deep.
Cingrani is priced at $7,800 on Fan Duel, which is reasonable and still leaves you with enough cap space to build a solid offensive group around him. Keep in mind that the game starts at 2:20 p.m. CT, so make sure to enter contests that include the early games, and take Congrani confidently — expecting seven innings, six to eight strikeouts, while allowing two runs to cement a win if given adequate run support.