MLB Starting Nine: April 5

Often times at the end of the night during the baseball season, we “wish” we would have rostered the value pitching options and “spent up” on the top hitters.  Instead of dreaming that outcome, let’s look and see how we can make it a reality on FantasyDraft. Some nights we will be able to find a “double punt” situation, some nights when there are multiple aces on the mound (like when Clayton Kershaw, Noah Syndergard and Stephen Strasburg) we will have to sacrifice hitters and some nights like tonight, we can find a discounted option and a mid-tier option like with the recommendations below and we can still have between $8,000 and $9,000 left for each of our hitting slots.

Here are the pitchers I think are in the best spots tonight so help us allocate extra salary cap towards our batters.

Michael Pineda – $16,200

It’s no secret that Pineda’s numbers last season were great. Some argue that he’s better on paper than he is in real life, and doesn’t translate to good fantasy outings. Well, tonight he faces one of the worst offenses in baseball and a team that showcases a strikeout rate amongst the worst in the league. Guys like Dickerson, Miller, Souza, Beckham, and Norris are all capable of striking out multiple times, giving Pineda a nice floor but also huge upside. Strikeouts are king and if you’re trying to roster the pitcher with the most strikeout upside on the slate, Pineda is your guy.

Rich Hill – $21,000

Believe it or not, Rich Hill had better strikeout number against righties than he did lefties. Right-handed hitters were striking out at a 32% clip against Hill in 2016, and that’s the Padres weakness. The projected lineup for the Padres features seven righties if you include the pitcher which gives Hill a huge ceiling. When he’s not striking them out, he’s holding both sides of the plate to about a .250 wOBA which is well below average. If Roberts doesn’t continue with a pitch count for his starters, Rich Hill will have one of the highest floors one the slate with one of the highest ceilings as well.

Charlie Morton – $12,000

Morton is coming off a strong spring, surprisingly. The 33-year-old right-hander finished the spring with a sub 2.00 ERA and is now in the starting rotation for a Houston team that can provide tons of run support. In his short 2016 season, right-handed hitters were unable to do anything against him, showcasing a .265 wOBA and striking out 27% of the time. It’s safe to assume that Cruz, Segura, Haniger, Valencia, and Zunino should all struggle tonight against Morton. The cheap price tag also lets you afford the expensive studs on the slate, which are known to catapult you to the top of tournaments. My cheap option of the slate will be Charlie Morton.


I love prioritizing hitters in all my tournament lineups, and these pitchers help me do that. I go for the boom-or-bust type of guys in GPP’s and try to reach top 1% scores. Till next time, party animals!


You can find his work on for both articles as well as the Deeper Dive live video show sponsored by FantasyDraft airing regularly at 5pm ET or on Twitter @MLora

Manny Lora

Manny Lora

Manny Lora goes by 'Mjordantmac' across all DFS sites and is primarily known for his massive multi-entry style of play. Unlike many full-time players, he has no prior poker experience, no investment background, and came into the industry with a $100 bankroll.Despite all the disadvantages, he is currently a top GPP player with live finals experience and has much bigger plans in the future. He takes pride in providing ACCURATE statistics and often bashing others for incorrect information. Living in Miami he gets to see lavish cars, beautiful women, a vivid nightlife... actually, not really, he's a homebody who watches every game! Ask him, MANNY KNOWS. @MLora

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