Pickups of the Week: Pitcher update


In addition to Monday's nine featured Pickups of the Week, Yahoo! Sports fantasy expert Brandon Funston offered a Wednesday update on five hitters on the rise that weren't profiled in Monday's POW. And on Friday, Brad Evans goes through the same drill for pitchers. The same criteria applies - players must be available in more than half of Yahoo! leagues.

A.J. Burnett

Ignore superficial stats, A.J. a legit fantasy swashbuckler

A.J. Burnett (SP) Pittsburgh Pirates
Most owners would rather scale Mount Everest in shorts than audition a 6-plus ERA starting pitcher on an offensively inept team, but Burnett is classic example of how looks can be deceiving. Subtract his 12 earned run detonation May 2 at St. Louis and he’s posted a 1.71 ERA on the season. That combined with a sensational 10.27 K/9 and other strong peripherals (2.31 xFIP), and the righty is a hidden gem ripe for the taking.

  • Y! % 15%
  • L14 rank1268
  • IP16.2
  • ERA8.64
  • WHIP1.74
  • K20
  • W0
Drew Smyly

Underrated Tiger GREEEAAATTT! thus far

Drew Smyly (SP) Detroit Tigers
The 22-year-old, arguably the finest rookie pitcher currently logging innings in the American League, has been a revelation. He’s punched out a hitter per inning (34 in 34), kept the ball down in the zone and generated numerous ground balls (1.18 GB/FB). With friendly matchups against Pittsburgh and Minnesota upcoming, Smyly could continue to make his investors grin from ear-to-ear. For those not yet on the bandwagon, there’s plenty of room.

  • Y! % 35%
  • L14 rank49
  • IP18.0
  • ERA2.00
  • WHIP0.83
  • K19
  • W1
Felipe Paulino

Additional princely returns in Royal's future

Felipe Paulino (SP) Kansas City Royals
Veiled in Kansas City, Paulino performed fairly well down the stretch last season. Over 124.2 innings with the Royals he tallied a 4.11 ERA and whiffed 8.62 K/9. In his return from a forearm injury May 5, he pitched brilliantly, hurling six unblemished innings against the Yankees (4 HA, 2 BB and 6 K). His ERA will likely hover in the high-3s or low-4s come year’s end and his WHIP will be average at best, but for the strikeouts starved he should prove quite useful, especially against meek opponents.

  • Y! %3%
  • L14 rank144
  • IP6.0
  • ERA0.00
  • WHIP1.00
  • K6
  • W1
Juan Cruz

Short-term stopgap a quick remedy for saves starved

Juan Cruz (RP) Pittsburgh Pirates
For the saves vultures in attendance, Cruz is an immediate, temporary add that could boost your total in the category in short order. With Joel Hanrahan on bereavement, the converted starter should again step in and shut the door for the Buccos if an opportunity presents itself over the weekend. Remember earlier this season with the incumbent sidelined by injury, Cruz stepped in and converted consecutive saves in Arizona.

  • Y! % 10%
  • L14 rank702
  • IP4.2
  • ERA1.93
  • WHIP1.71
  • SV0
  • W0
David Hernandez

Snake could pack venom in ninth if given opportunity

David Hernandez (RP) Arizona Diamondbacks
Water and clean innings have been few and far between for J.J. Putz in the desert. Despite sporting a 9.00 ERA, he remains the D-Back’s closer, for now. Still, saves speculators should stash Hernandez. The reliever has performed well in a variety of situation, netting a 12.91 K/9 while posting a 2.35 ERA in 15.1 innings. Consider the setup man an implosion or two away from seizing control of end-game duties.

  • Y! %11%
  • L14 rank233
  • IP6.0
  • ERA1.50
  • WHIP0.83
  • SV0
  • W0

• L14 rank is the player's rank in the Yahoo! fantasy baseball game for the past 14 days.