Under-the-radar weekend starters

Updated: April 22, 2011, 4:58 PM ET
By Eric Karabell

I'm in multiple weekly head-to-head leagues and each weekend I have to decide which unowned starting pitchers I wish to add and rely on to bring me victory, while keeping under the league's start limit. It might sound odd, but those competing in this format view weekend pitchers differently than they do for Tuesday or Thursday. For example, Washington Nationals lefty John Lannan didn't look enticing earlier this week, and rarely does, but against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, you may want to look his way if you're looking for wins.

Let's take a look at this weekend's off-the-radar starting pitchers for those who, like me, might need to look beyond the normal names for a bit of help.

Jeff Francis, Kansas City Royals (owned in 9.5 percent of standard leagues): He's 4-for-4 in terms of quality starts so far, although he hasn't actually won any of those outings. However, the 3.00 ERA and 1.11 WHIP tell the bigger story. He's pitching well (even if he isn't helping in the strikeout department), and I think he'll continue this pattern Friday against the Texas Rangers. Bruce Chen is 3-0, and Francis has been nearly as good. And, oh yeah, use Chen on Sunday, as well.