In this piece, RotoBaller will highlight a selection of starting pitchers owned in less than 50% of both CBS and Yahoo leagues that have favorable matchups in the upcoming week. Whether you're suffering from injuries, poor performance, or your league's waiver wire is barren, these undervalued pitchers could prove useful in the days ahead.
4/10: Zach McAllister (CLE) vs. New York Yankees (Ivan Nova)
CBS Ownership: 9%
Yahoo Ownership: 1%
The underrated McAllister showed the stuff of a legitimate fourth starter in Cleveland last season, registering a 4.24 ERA and 110/38 K/BB ratio in 125.1 IP. The enormous right-hander has good command of a 93 mph fastball and plus changeup along with a good slider and cutter, all of which add up to a healthy amount of missed bats and quietly effective results. Facing off against Nova – who labored through his 2013 debut following an ugly 2012 – and an injury-decimated New York batting order, McAllister could be a sneaky upside play in Week 2.
4/10: Barry Zito (SF) vs. Colorado Rockies (Jeff Francis)
CBS Ownership: 28%
Yahoo Ownership: 21%
Zito cut his walk rate and registered 15 wins in 2012 but was otherwise the same below-average starter he’s been throughout his overpaid tenure in San Francisco. That being said, he was a very effective pitcher against the Rockies, winning two of three starts and posting a 2.70 ERA and 13/3 K/BB ratio over 20 IP. Zito also has a large and revealing sample size against batters on the Colorado roster, whom he has limited to a .226/.301/.316 triple-slash with just three home runs in 236 plate appearances. Francis, meanwhile, was pummeled by the Giants in 2012 to the tune of a 10.03 ERA and 22 hits over 11.2 IP, and San Francisco batters have teed off on him at a .368/.380/.645 clip over 79 PA. After shutting out the Cardinals for seven innings on Friday, the Giants have now won 15 consecutive games started by Zito. You could do a lot worse for a spot start this week.
4/11: Felix Doubront (BOS) vs. Baltimore Orioles (Jake Arrieta)
CBS Ownership: 45%
Yahoo Ownership: 17%
Doubront made 29 starts against fourteen opponents in 2012, but his best pitching was against the Orioles. Despite taking the loss in two of three starts versus Baltimore, the Red Sox lefty had a 2.70 ERA and spectacular 30/5 K/BB ratio over 20 IP. Doubront is far from being great, but he has swing-and-miss stuff and is more than capable of the occasional dominant pitching line. His mound opponent is the tantalizing Arrieta, a righty equipped with a strong arsenal that so far hasn’t translated to the major leagues. Red Sox batters have feasted at a .458/.509/1.000 clip with seven HR over 53 career plate appearances against the 26-year-old, so he can expect a limousine to pick him up for Thursday’s game.
CBS Ownership: 24%
Yahoo Ownership: 11%
Chacin was demoted to the minors last May and then placed on the DL with a nerve impingement in his chest that was causing diminished velocity. Throwing harder upon his return and using a slider instead of a curveball, Chacin posted a 2.84 ERA and 23/17 K/BB ratio over 44.1 IP. While it’s clear the Venezuelan needs to reduce his walks (as well as flyball rate), it wasn’t too long ago that he was an ascending young starter. Chacin has pitched very well in four career starts versus the Padres, registering a 2.73 ERA and 22/8 K/BB ratio in 26.1 IP while limiting current San Diego hitters to a paltry .160/.236/.220 batting line in 55 plate appearances.