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Put 'em in

Chris Volstad, SP, Marlins. Get used to it. Until proven otherwise, we're gonna recommend a lot of solid pitchers against Washington this season. Volstad had a 5-4 record and a 2.88 ERA in a 14-start audition last season. A home start against the Nats should get '09 started the right way.

Todd Helton, 1B, Rockies. Helton hit a robust .525 with four homers and 16 RBIs in 40 spring training at-bats. Since he has been injury-prone in recent years, owners should have a seemingly healthy Helton in their lineups now. Helton is a career .556 hitter in nine at-bats against Doug Davis, today's Diamondbacks starter.

Ted Lilly, SP, Cubs. This promises to be a generally weak-hitting Astros team which makes Lilly an especially strong pick today. Lilly has a 3-1 career record with a 2.52 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in six starts against the Astros . An excellent 8 walks to 34 strikeouts ratio with four homers allowed in 39 1/3 innings bodes well today.

Bench 'em

Lance Berkman, 1B, Astros . Berkman is a slugger against righties and a banjo picker against lefties. One reason is performances like his one hit in 16 at-bats (.063) against Cubs lefty Ted Lilly. Even more telling is his woeful .174 career OPS against Lilly.

Freddy Sanchez, 2B, Pirates. Some Baseball averages defy explanation. Sanchez is a career .300 hitter in 2,280 at-bats. Todd Wellemeyer has a 4.42 ERA in 4332/3 career innings. So naturally Sanchez has two hits in 18 career at-bats against Wellemeyer with no RBIs and four strikeouts.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 9, 2009

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