Originally posted on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 5/4/13
With all the hijinx that have ensued with elite pitchers over the course of the first month, some of the best fantasy contributions have been from guys who were either undrafted, or drafted very late in drafts. With studs like Matt Cain, Cole Hamels, and David Price still struggling to find their rhythm, fantasy players need to be smarter than ever and find value in unexpected places.This is a really light week on the baseball schedule. Six teams have only five games (no two-start pitchers), and 14 teams have six games (only one two-start pitcher). In weeks like this, solid two-start options are at an even higher premium. If you can snag a couple guys who can give you two solid starts, you will have a considerable advantage in a week where most pitchers are only getting one start. Here are some guys to consider.As always I’ll give you two AL and two NL. This week I also included two guys who are all available in almost 100% of leagues who should make for fantastic spot starters.American LeagueNick Tepesch, SP, TEX – @CHC (Feldman), @HOU (Bedard)As I mentioned on the innagural Profcast this week, Tepesch has faced an incredibly soft field of opponents so far this season. He has taken advantage of the ease of opposition and performed solidly. He has a respectable 3.54 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. He has induced groundballs 56.2% of the time, so the somewhat low .279 BABIP could be sustainable. He’s only struck out 18 batters in 28 IP, but he will likely see that number rise with the Astros on the docket. In shallow mixed leagues I’m probably not rolling with Tepesch for long, mostly because I think he’s going to take his lumps when the competition gets stronger, but you have to love the two matchups this week against two JV offenses.Tommy Milone, SP, OAK – @CLE (Jimenez), @SEA (Saunders)Milone has almost identical numbers to Tepesch. He is currently sporting a 3.69 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. He strikes out a lot more batters, with 36 K in 39 IP, and a K% of 22.1% so far this season. One should note that that is well above his career average. He is more well known for his low walk rate. His career BB% is 4.3%, and it is at 3.7% for the season. He has definitely been the most reliable starter for Oakland this year. He tends to struggle on the road, but he gets two very favorable matchups this week, and he is supported by an Athletics offense that has scored 8 or more runs in 10 of their first 30 games.National LeagueAndrew Cashner, SP, SD – vs. MIA (LeBlanc), @TB (Hernandez)Cashner has been highly touted among the fantasy community for a while now, and for good reason. When he’s on, he’s got dynamite stuff. You’re looking at a guy with a fastball that tops out at a whopping 98 MPH, and it doesn’t go much lower than that either. This year, he’s averaging 95.3 with the four-seamer, which is actually a full MPH lower than his career average. That kind of velocity puts him in rare company among starters, and translates to strikeouts in bunches.In limited action last year, he had 52 K in 46 IP with a K% of 26.5%. The Padres are still in the process of stretching him out, and he is coming off of a rough outing against the Cubs in which he gave up 4 ER in 4 IP and only 1 K. Prior to that, in his first start of the year, he was solid, only surrendering one run in 6 IP with 5 K against the Giants. I think that’s more what you can expect from him. If you’re buying Cashner, you’re buying upside, plain and simple. With two good matchups this week, I’d take a shot with him, and get the K signs ready!Kyle Kendrick, SP, PHI — @SF (Lincecum), @ARI (McCarthy)Kendrick is the polar opposite to Cashner in terms of approach. Rather than going for the strikeout, he relies on weak contact. As tweeted by Mark Simon of ESPN, Kendrick has allowed the lowest percentage of at-bats ending in hard contact in the entire major leagues (7.8%). He is followed by Jeff Samardzija at 8.5% and Matt Harvey at 9.4%. Good company to be in if you ask me. In his last 16 starts, dating back to August of last year when the Phillies made him a starter, he has a 2.43 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. He has quietly been one of the most consistent pitchers in baseball. Don’t take his lack of recognition as a bad thing. Just pick him up and laugh all the way to the bank.Universally Available Spot StartersDan Straily, SP, OAK – @SEA (Hernandez)Here are some stats for you: 35.4 K%, 2.1 BB%, 2.18 xFIP. Great talent. Solid matchup.Hector Santiago, SP, CHW – @NYM (Gee)He’s gotten most of his work out of the bullpen, but he should continue to strikeout a fair amount of batters with a career 24.4 K%. With an interleague matchup against the Mets, he’ll get to face the pitcher a few times too.Agree? Disagree? Wildly vague or oddly specific fantasy-related questions? Leave your thoughts in the comments or hit me up on twitter @tony_barone. 
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