Why Marcum is a better value than Sheets 

April, 5, 2010
In many cases, fantasy baseball owners come to their drafts armed with little more than the previous season's statistics. They try to make sense of it all and construct a team. However, doing that with nearly a third of Monday's American League starting pitchers wouldn't get you real far. Of the 10 pitchers slated to start, three of them missed the entire 2009 season, which is unique, considering it's Opening Day. However, it seems to me that expectations in the fantasy baseball world are different for them.

Luc Leclerc/US PresswireShaun Marcum squares off versus Scott Feldman today in Texas.
First, let's put this situation in perspective: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, there have been only three Opening Day starting pitchers over the past 50 years to miss the previous season: Carl Pavano, Scott Erickson and Alex Fernandez. That number should double today. I type should because something could befall Ben Sheets on the way to the ballpark.

I've tried to be optimistic about the Oakland Athletics right-hander, but I found it interesting that he was a 13th-round pick in one of my Sunday drafts -- yes, Sunday was a big day, as I drafted three teams -- while another one of those starters we haven't seen since 2008, Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Shaun Marcum, was sitting there for me to nab 10 rounds later, which I did. The third starter in this Monday class is Cleveland Indians ground-baller Jake Westbrook. He remains a free agent in that league.