Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Ryan Dempster or Jeff Samardzija might be the second Cubs starting pitcher you're looking to add in your deeper or NL-only drafts, but Paul Maholm is the safer bet.
Maholm was just 6-14 last year for the Pirates, but a 3.66 ERA shows reason for optimism. He received just 14 runs of support in his first 10 starts of the year last year. Justin Verlander doesn't raise the Cy Young, let alone the MVP, with offensive support like that.
He's playing on a better offense this season. Pitching at Wrigley Field shouldn't affect Maholm, as he's mostly a ground-ball pitcher.
He won't register many strikeouts, but his WHIP (1.29 last season) won't hurt you as he doesn't walk many. He isn't flashy, but he's a safer option than Dempster and Samardzija.
Samardzija, if he wins a starting spot, will be in his first season of starting in the majors. This will likely cause limits on his innings and pitches, potentially holding him back from reaching the numbers that Maholm can. Maholm is also more of a known-commodity.
Dempster strikes out more, but he's 34 years old and his ERA has risen from 2.96 to 3.65 to 3.85 and finally 4.80 last season. It's hard to imagine him any worse, but it's hard to see him getting much better as well.
If he's the Opening Day starter he will be matched up with the other team's ace more likely than not, making it even tougher to collect wins throughout the season.