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 your success. Plain and simple — there is only so much your offensive players can do to make up for a bad performance of your pitcher, so finding the best match-up and/or best bargain option who could far exceed their price is the difference many times between a very prosperous evening and a big headache for daily fantasy grinders.
Below is the best bargain starting pitcher I have identified for the Apr. 18 schedule based on price and possible performance.
Vargas is off to a fast start for his new club after signing what many thought was a somewhat questionable free-agent deal with the Royals this past offseason for four years, $32 million. He has made three starts so far in 2014, going 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA and impressive 0.864 WHIP. Vargas will never overwhelm in the strikeout department (12 in 22 innings for a 4.9 K/9) but has shown better control than he did last season with the Los Angeles Angels (2.8 BB/9 in 2013) as he has walked only five batters in his aforementioned 22 innings of work (2.0 BB/9).
The lefty faces a Twins lineup that has surprisingly scored the second most runs in MLB (86) but is not overly intimidating. He must be careful with Minnesota’s best hitters in Joe Mauer and Brian Dozier but should negotiate the Twins lineup respectively. The Royals’ offense is opposed by Ricky Nolasco who has been hot and cold this season and should provide Vargas the run support at home he needs to cement a win.
Vargas is priced at a very affordable $5500 on Fan Duel which could really free you up to build an impressive group of hitters with your remaining cap-space today. He is by far the prospective value pitcher of the day.