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Buehrle or Harang; who ya got?
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Toronto Blue Jays left-hander Mark Buehrle and Atlanta Braves right-hander Aaron Harang have a collective age of 70 years old and a combined ERA of 0.75; something has to give.

While I urge you to sell both players if there's anyone who thinks they are Cy Young contenders, it may be difficult to find fantasy owners who are interested in dealing for them or to determine their future values.

Buehrle has a much longer and more recent track record of success than Harang, but Harang's underlying numbers give him a better chance of sustaining his hot start. That is, if you think they'll continue.

Harang has a 9.38 K/9, an 18.6 percent line-drive rate (LD%) and a 34 percent strikeout rate with men on base.

Buehrle only has a 6.11 K/9 and has had to rely on some incredible luck with runners on.

Batters have gone 3-for-38 (.079) against him in those situations with a batting average on balls in play of .107.

The thing that worries me most about Harang is his 52.9 percent fly-ball rate (FB%), which is a career high and pretty terrible for a sinkerballer.

He hasn't allowed any home runs yet, but he's asking for trouble when he's giving up so many fly balls. His career HR/FB is 10.4 percent and things could get dicey if Harang combines a sudden propensity to give up home runs with a 3.69 BB/9.

Harang's stuff also isn't any different from what it's been in the past, so his high strikeout rate may not last. For his career, his K/9 is 7.31 and K% with men on base is 18.9 percent.

The likely situation is that both players experience dramatic regression and aren't on many fantasy teams by August.

However, in their current forms the pitcher with the higher upside is Harang.

Buehrle is basically the same pitcher he's always been, one who had an ERA between 3.59-4.28 in each of the last seven years and never had one lower than 3.12 in his career.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.

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