Fantasy Baseball: 10 Starting Pitchers That Need Your Attention

Eric MatulaContributor IIMay 20, 2012

Fantasy Baseball: 10 Starting Pitchers That Need Your Attention

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    There are a bunch of pitchers who are flying under the radar.

    For whatever reason, they aren't receiving much attention. Don't make the same mistake by overlooking these players as well.

    Here's a list of 10 players who are quietly having solid seasons. Every pitcher on the list is owned in less than 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

James McDonald, Pittsburgh Pirates

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    2012 Stats: 50.1 IP, 3-2, 2.68 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 50 Ks.

    Owned in Yahoo! Leagues: 48 percent.

    James McDonald has been incredible, thanks largely to the fact he started throwing a slider. With the new addition, McDonald has increased his K/9 from 7.47 last year to 8.94 this season.

    The other huge improvement is his WHIP. His WHIP is almost a half-run lower this year. McDonald was a possible stream option in 2011, but he's much more consistent in 2012.

    McDonald is on fire right now. Pick him up before it's too late.

Mark Buehrle, Miami Marlins

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    2012 Stats: 54 IP, 3-4, 3.17 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 29 Ks.

    Owned in Yahoo! Leagues: 46 percent.

    I'm a little surprised that Mark Buehrle is only owned in 46 percent of leagues.

    While Buehrle isn't a superstar, he's been consistent for the last decade, throwing at least 200 innings every single year.

    Buehrle will have his fair share of blowup games, but at the end of the year, he'll finish with a mid-to-high three ERA with double-digit wins and a respectable WHIP.

    If you have a chance at snagging Buehrle, I would pick him up right away.

Ryan Vogelsong, San Francisco Giants

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    2012 Stats: 47.2 IP, 2-2, 2.27 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 34 Ks.

    Owned in Yahoo! Leagues: 46 percent.

    Ryan Vogelsong came out of nowhere last season and had a very good year (13-7 with a 2.71 ERA). He's proving that last season was no fluke.

    After starting the year on the DL, Vogelsong has picked up right where he left off, and he's getting hot right now.

    In his last four starts, Vogelsong has given up three earned runs in 28.1 IP. Pitching in San Francisco is a good thing, so pick up Vogelsong if you have a chance.

Erik Bedard, Pittsburgh Pirates

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    2012 Stats: 41 IP, 2-5, 3.07 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 44 Ks.

    Owned in Yahoo! Leagues: 44 percent.

    Eric Bedard is another Bucco starter not getting much attention.

    Bedard's record doesn't tell the whole story. He lost his first four starts, but he gave up no more than two earned runs in any of them. It also doesn't help that the Pirates scored a combined three runs in those four starts.

    Bedard has always put up solid numbers when healthy. Can he stay healthy? That's the million-dollar question. But while he is, he could definitely help your team.

Drew Smyly, Detroit Tigers

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    2012 Stats: 43.2 IP, 1-1, 2.89 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 44 Ks.

    Owned in Yahoo! Leagues: 37 percent.

    Drew Smyly dominated Double-A last year (4-3 with a 1.18 ERA), and he's gotten off to a great start for his MLB career.

    While the Tigers aren't going to stretch out the 22-year-old (he's pitched no more than 6.0 IP in any start), he is still picking up the strikeouts. He owns a very impressive 9.07 K/9 rate.

    Smyly might not factor into many decisions, but he'll be a reliable guy for good K numbers and a decent ERA the rest of the way.

Wei-Yin Chen, Baltimore Orioles

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    2012 Stats: 44 IP, 4-0, 2.45 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 32 Ks.

    Owned in Yahoo! Leagues: 30 percent.

    Yu Darvish isn't the only Asian pitcher making an impact this season. The Orioles' Wei-Yin Chen has been way more than they could have asked for.

    You probably think that the O's and Chen are flukes, but think again. Chen has been outstanding in his last two starts. He held the Rangers to one run over 7.2 innings on May 10 and then allowed just two runs in seven innings against the Yankees on May 15.

    Take a chance on Chen. Yes, his numbers will most likely jump, but you can definitely get a bunch of good starts from him while he's hot.

Anthony Bass, San Diego Padres

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    2012 Stats: 47 IP, 2-4, 2.87 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 45 Ks.

    Owned in Yahoo! Leagues: 25 percent.

    OK, Anthony Bass plays for the Padres so don't expect a ton of wins, but he can certainly help you out in the other departments.

    Pitching at PETCO will always help your numbers, but he's just not some finesse pitcher. Since April 17, Bass has recorded at least seven strikeouts in every start except for one.

    Don't pass up on Bass just because of the team he plays for. To this point, he's been very consistent. He's only had one bad start this year (six ERs in six IP against the Marlins).

Henderson Alvarez, Toronto Blue Jays

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    2012 Stats: 55 IP, 3-3, 2.62 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 15 Ks.

    Owned in Yahoo! Leagues: 23 percent.

    Henderson Alvarez is just 22 years old, but he's pitching like he's older.

    The strikeouts are insanely low, but he doesn't walk anybody either. He has also managed to give up fewer hits than innings pitched.

    In eight starts this season, Alvarez has had a quality start in all of them except for one (when he gave up six ERs in 6.1 IP against the Rays).

    Alvarez will help the ERA and WHIP and he's pitching good enough to get a "W" almost each time out.

Andy Pettitte, New York Yankees

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    2012 Stats: 14.1 IP, 1-1, 2.51 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 11 Ks.

    Owned in Yahoo! Leagues: 22 percent.

    After surrendering two bombs in his first start, Andy Pettitte looked sensational in his second start against the Reds.

    Yes, Pettitte is 39 years old, but he didn't exactly fade out when he retired. The veteran southpaw was 11-3 with a 3.28 ERA in 2010.

    Health concerns and longevity could be concerns with Pettitte, but he's still worth an add for your roster. The Yankees offense is one of the best. I mean just look at Ivan Nova, who has four wins with a 5.69 ERA.

Felipe Paulino, Kansas City Royals

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    2012 Stats: 18.2 IP, 1-1, 1.93 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 21 Ks.

    Owned in Yahoo! Leagues: Four percent.

    Felipe Paulino's debut was delayed because of an injury, but he's been great in his three starts so far.

    He was bombed against the White Sox (four ER in 5.2 IP), but he kept the Yankees scoreless in six innings and held the Orioles to zero runs in seven innings.

    His 95 mph fastball is also racking up the Ks. He has struck out at least six in each of his three starts, including nine his last time out.