Commentary

Berken, Hanson are favorable pickups

Updated: June 5, 2009, 3:28 PM ET
By Tom Haberstroh | Special to ESPN Insider

Should you book Berken?

Orioles rookie Jason Berken can take a breather, relatively speaking, on Saturday. After matching up against two of the AL's more potent lineups in the Blue Jays and Tigers, he travels to spacious McAfee Coliseum in Oakland to face the A's listless lineup. The 25-year-old righty doesn't have overpowering stuff, but that hasn't slowed him coming out of the gates. He lets his fielders do the dirty work for him; only five of the 36 outs he has recorded have come by way of the strikeout. If he continues to pitch to contact in McAfee Coliseum, he'll be just fine. AL-only leaguers looking for a spot starter to round out the week should give him a look.

Tommy Hanson, meet the Brewers

Owned in only 27.7 percent of ESPN standard leagues, Tommy Hanson has overpowered Triple-A hitters and will make his highly anticipated debut against one of the National League's most potent lineups, the Milwaukee Brewers, on Sunday. What should the 22-year-old right-hander expect? The Brewers' lineup is surprisingly patient; they chase just 21.3 percent of pitches outside the strike zone, which ranks lowest in the NL. But luckily for Hanson and his owners, when they do swing, they miss more often than any other National League squad (22.6 percent). After striking out 90 batters in 66 1/3 innings in Triple-A this year, expect a high strikeout total for his debut. The Brewers might homer off him, but this actually shapes up well for the top prospect. Get him if you still can.