Boston Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz should offer several good starts in the near future. Flickr/Keith Allison
Boston Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz should offer several good starts in the near future. Flickr/Keith Allison

The Boston Red Sox have yet to win a game in which Clay Buchholz has started.

And while the right-hander has struggled mightily this season, especially against the long-ball, he serves up as not only a nice back-end start this week for fantasy baseball owners, but also a good option in the future.

Buchholz will take the mound Thursday in the series finale against the Atlanta Braves and I’m expecting a bounce-back performance for the right-hander.

Fantasy owners are likely scared off from Buchholz, based on his sudden infatuation with giving up the home run. He’s allowed four home runs in 21.1 innings this season. Last year in 113.1 innings, he gave up only six homers.

Is this a new Buchholz? I doubt it. In his career, he allows less than one home run per nine innings pitched. In the last three seasons, he’s totaled a 0.3, 0.9 and 0.5 HR per nine-inning ratio.

This season, that number has ballooned to 1.7.

Baseball is the ultimate game of the law of averages, so it’s realistic to believe that number will go down to his normal range. It’s also plausible┬áthat┬áhis strikeout numbers will increase.

So far this season, he’s hovering at seven strikeouts per nine innings, down from 8.5 from last season. At some point, those numbers will likely go back to his career averages, meaning he’s a solid pickup in the fantasy world. Currently on ESPN.com, he’s owned in less than 20 percent of leagues.

Picking him up this week isn’t only about him getting back to form. He has enticing matchups coming up in the next few weeks.

This week, he’ll square off against an Atlanta Braves team with the lowest run production in Major League Baseball. Next week, he faces a red-hot Chicago White Sox team that doesn’t score many runs. Despite its gaudy record, Chicago is 24th in MLB in runs scored and bats only .231 as a team.

The following week, he’ll toe the rubber for two starts, against Oakland and Houston, both ranked in the bottom half of Major League Baseball in runs scored.

All four teams rank in the bottom half of MLB in batting average, with Houston owning the best team average at .243.

Houston and Atlanta also strike out at a higher clip than most teams, with the Astros leading the Majors with 202 strikeouts as a team.

If you have a roster spot available, don’t just pick up Buchholz for a back-end start this week. He’ll continue to pay dividends for your fantasy roster until at least mid-May.

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