The user’s guide to two-start pitchers, Week 5

Yes, that's a big Mark Buehrle photo up above, right there ^. No, this does not make me a Buehrle apologist. As a fantasy commodity, he clearly has some flaws.

Over the past three seasons, Buehrle's K/9 is just 4.48, a ridiculously low rate that makes him difficult to own in any roto format that uses an innings cap — like, for instance, a Yahoo! public rotisserie league (1400 IP max). You've got no shot to compete in strikeouts if you carry a 200-inning pitcher who struggles to reach triple-digits in Ks. (For the record, Buehrle struck out only 99 batters over 210.1 innings in 2010). Even in the National League, the veteran lefty has to be regarded as a spot-starter for fantasy purposes, nothing more.

But in the week ahead, feel free to use him twice. Buehrle will get a home match-up with Arizona and a road start at San Diego. Both teams rank at or near the bottom of the N.L. in batting average (.237 and .191), and at the top of the league in total strikeouts (175, 177). There are no aces on the schedule for Buehrle. He'll face 22-year-old Diamondbacks call-up Patrick Corbin on Monday, then Pads lefty Clayton Richard (5.11 ERA) at Petco on Saturday. If you need pitching assistance in a weekly transaction league, this is a boring add that you should seriously consider. Buehrle is available in 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues, so plenty of you can go get him.

Here's the rest of the Week 5 two-start field, ranked and sorted...


Full approval

Matt Cain — MIA (Nolasco), MIL (Wolf)
Cole Hamels — at ATL (Beachy), at WAS (Zimmermann)
Adam Wainwright — PIT (Morton), at HOU (Norris)
Jordan Zimmermann — ARI (Cahill), PHI (Hamels)
Mark Buehrle — ARI (Corbin), at SD (Richard)
Vance Worley — CHC (Samardzija), at WAS (Gonzalez)

I was definitely tempted to put 'em in the "Full approval" group. But in my heart, I'm a coward

Ricky Nolasco — at SF (Cain), at SD (Wieland)
Mike Minor — PIT (McDonald), at COL (Nicasio)
Brandon Beachy — PHI (Hamels), at COL (Chacin)
RA Dickey — at HOU (Norris), ARI (Cahill)

Not approved for all audiences

Joe Wieland — MIL (Wolf), MIA (Nolasco)
Jeff Samardzija — at PHI (Worley), LAD (Capuano)
Trevor Cahill — at WAS (Zimmermann), at NYM (Dickey)

Scary pitchers, friendly match-ups

Randy Wolf — at SD (Wieland), at SF (Cain)
Bronson Arroyo — CHC (Volstad), at PIT (Morton)

Look, it's your fantasy team. You paid the entry fee. I can't force you to bench anyone

Juan Nicasio — LAD (Harang), ATL (Minor)
Aaron Harang — at COL (Nicasio), at CHC (Volstad)
Bud Norris — NYM (Dickey), STL (Wainwright)
Jhoulys Chacin — LAD (Lilly), ATL (Beachy)
James McDonald — at ATL (Minor), CIN (Latos)

Didn't even want to list these guys, but that's not how this feature works

Patrick Corbin — at MIA (Buehrle), at NYM (Santana)
Charlie Morton — at STL (Wainwright), CIN (Arroyo)
Chris Volstad — at CIN (Arroyo), LAD (Harang)



CJ Wilson — MIN (Blackburn), TOR (Drabek)
Yu Darvish — at TOR (Drabek), at CLE (Tomlin)
Felix Hernandez — at TB (Hellickson), MIN (Marquis)
Hiroki Kuroda — BAL (Hammel), at KC (Hochevar)
Chris Sale — CLE (Tomlin), at DET (Below)
Matt Moore — SEA (Noesi), OAK (Milone)
Jeremy Hellickson — SEA (Hernandez), OAK (Colon)

I guess a case can be made for starting these guys, but I'd rather not make it

Tommy Milone — at BOS (Buccholz), at TB (Moore)
Kyle Drabek — TEX (Darvish), at LAA (Wilson)
Jason Hammel — at NYY (Kuroda), at BOS (Buchholz)

Disgusting year-to-date stats, but nice match-ups this week. It seems like we're always pairing these two, aren't we?

Clay Buchholz — OAK (Milone), BAL (Hammel)
Phil Hughes — BAL (Matusz), KC (Sanchez)

Bad ideas

Jerome Williams — MIN (Hendriks), TOR (Hutchison)
Duane Below — KC (Hochevar), CWS (Sale)
Luke Hochevar — at DET (Below), NYY (Kuroda)
Jonathan Sanchez — at DET (Porcello), NYY (Hughes)
Drew Hutchison — TEX (Feliz), at LAA (Williams)
Hector Noesi — at TB (Moore), MIN (Blackburn)

Extra-bad ideas

Nick Blackburn — at LAA (Wilson), at SEA (Noesi)
Josh Tomlin — at CWS (Sale), TEX (Darvish)

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