MLB Starting Nine – 4/05/17 

The data displayed will continue to be from the 2016 season until we get a big enough sample size this season. I like displaying this information on one page so I can see which pitchers have the most strikeout opportunities on a given night. We know strikeouts are huge in MLB DFS and looking at this information as lineups come out help me pinpoint which pitchers have the best matchups. With this info in front of us, here are the pitchers I think are in the best spots tonight.

Michael Pineda – 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 – 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 – 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. Feel free to message me on Twitter (@MLora) with any questions regarding pitching. I’ll confirm these plays on the Deeper Dive later today and I’ll also be in the premium slack chat leading up to lock. Till next time, party animals!


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