Mark Buehrle - Chicago White Sox - @ Cleveland Indians 3:05 PM EST Friday 4/1/11 - 9.7% ESPN Ownership
It's not at all a sexy pickup. Buehrle doesn't get a ton of Ks and isn't worth picking up for the whole season, but he will be valuable pickup at different times this year in the occasional start against the right team. The Sox are playing the Indians who aren't a great hitting team. Buehrle should be able to get through the game without giving up too many runs. This isn't a strikeout pickup, but a Wins pickup. Buehrle has one of the league's better offenses behind him and that helps him pick up more wins than maybe he should based on how well he pitches. I don't really recommend any of the starters readily available today, but would take Buehrle first if I was desperate for a starter.
The rest of the readily available options in the order I would pick them up with thoughts on each (ESPN ownership in parenthesis) -
Mike Pelfrey (6.0%) @ Florida Marlins - Pelfrey is a good pitcher but he is streaky and a better home pitcher than away pitcher. He's on the road today and I'd rather wait a few starts to see how he's pitching before I pick him up.
Carl Pavano (23.3%) @ Toronto Blue Jays - Pavano is probably the best pitcher of the available starters today, but he is going up against the Blue Jays who lead the league in slugging percentage last year. Don't want to put an average starter out there who might get beat around.
Jeremy Guthrie (1.4%) @ Tampa Bay Rays- Guthrie is a guy I'm not a fan of, but he's got a better chance at a win than the guys that follow him on this list. Tampa Bay is quietly a much worse hitting team than last year and the Orioles are young and getting better each year. Going to get worse stats all around from him than you will from Buehrle.
Fausto Carmona (4.9%) vs Chicago White Sox - Carmona is the second best pitcher on this list after Pavano, but is another guy with a bad match-up. The White Sox are going to be a great offense this year. Avoid starting guy's against them when you can.
Kevin Correia (0.4%) @ Chicago Cubs And Jeff Francis (0.2%) vs LA Angels - Correia is a Pirate and Francis is a Royal. Neither is going up against an especially bad team and both had ERA's over 5.00 last year. Don't start either of them.