Fantasy Baseball's Most Undervalued Starting Pitchers

Nick AllenCorrespondent IApril 17, 2009

PITTSBURGH - APRIL 13:  Zach Duke #57 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts to the final out after throwing a complete game and beating the Houston Astros 7-0 during the Pirates Home Opener at PNC Park April 13, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Often times when I'm checking my fantasy teams, I like to check out the percentage of leagues a player is owned. When I'm looking at some of my players percentages, I think to myself, "How is this guy only owned in that many leagues?"

With that in mind, I'm going to dedicate this article to a couple of players owned in less than 30 percent of leagues—in ESPN fantasy baseball—that I think should be owned in more.

In no particular order:

Zach Duke, Pittsburgh Pirates

Duke has had two impressive starts this season. His best start came against the Houston Astros when he tossed a complete-game shutout. He allowed just four hits while striking out five and walking two.

After two starts, he is 2-0 with nine strikeouts and an impressive 0.59 ERA. He has breakout potential, but he will provide you with limited strikeouts.

His next start is April 19th against the Braves and is owned in 17.6 percent of ESPN leagues.

Paul Maholm, Pittsburgh Pirates

Maholm got his first win of the season in his last start against the Cincinatti Reds. He went seven innings giving up one run, walking two and striking out three.

In his previous start he went six innings, gave up one run and only struck out one.

As you can tell, he doesn't strike out many batters but he doesn't give up many runs either. Maholm would certainly get more wins if it weren't for the lack of offensive support.

The guy is no fluke and he's definitely underrated. He is owned in 24.5 percent of ESPN leagues.

Kyle Davies, Kansas City Royals

Davies has had two good starts, although, his best was a no decision after he left the game tied. He is 1-0 on the year, with 13 strikeouts, and a 2.13 ERA.

If the Royals' offense can get going, Davies could rate as a sleeper. In his last five starts last season he went 4-1 with a 2.27 ERA, and is off to a solid start in 2009.

Davies is owned in 24.2 percent of ESPN leagues.

Jarrod Washburn, Seattle Mariners

Washburn is 2-0 thus far, picking up a win against the Angels and Twins to start the season. He has eight strikeouts and a 1.29 ERA.

Washburn has the luxury of a good defense and is a fly-ball kind of pitcher, so that only can help him, right?

Washburn is owned in 7.3 percent of ESPN leagues.

Glen Perkins, Minnesota Twins

Perkins has had two good starts but no wins to show for them. This comes from not having much offensive support.

In his last start he went eight innings, gave up seven hits, two runs, walked one and struck out four.

However, he did not figure in the win's decision.

In his first start of the 2009 season he went eight innings, surrendered one run on five hits, walked two, and struck out four. Despite the solid performance, Perkins got the loss, but the Twins were shut out on the offensive side.

If he can get some offensive support, Perkins would be a nice start.

Perkins is owned in 4.7 percent of ESPN leagues.