In deeper fantasy baseball leagues, finding useful pitchers on the waiver wire can be a very difficult task. With most popular free agent choices already owned, owners in deeper or AL/NL-only leagues often have to dig at even less popular pitchers for fantasy production. Here's a look at five pitchers owned in less than 10% of Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Baseball leagues* who are worth adding for Week 23.
Statistics*: 13.0 IP, 1 W, 0 SV, 14 K, 2.77 ERA, 1.00 WHIP
In his first two major league starts, Cloyd has been quite effective for the Phillies, maintaining a 2.77 ERA and striking out 14 batters in 13 innings. Likely facing the Houston Astros in Week 23, Cloyd has done a fine job replacing the injured Vance Worley in the rotation and could be a nice deep league pickup, particularly if he can put up a high strikeout number against Houston.
SP Henderson Alvarez, Toronto Blue Jays (7% owned)
Statistics: 161.2 IP, 8 W, 0 SV, 60 K, 4.95 ERA, 1.48 WHIP
After struggling in August, Alvarez earned his first win in six starts on September 7 against the Boston Red Sox. Expected to make his next start on Thursday against the Seattle Mariners, he will be facing a team he allowed just one run over six innings against back in April. While he's not a reliable option this season, Alvarez could be serviceable against Seattle in Week 23.
SP Joe Kelly, St. Louis Cardinals (6% owned)
Statistics: 89.0 IP, 5 W, 0 SV, 62 K, 3.54 ERA, 1.44 WHIP
Effective in his last start against the New York Mets, Kelly has had one good start and one bad start since returning from the bullpen for Lance Lynn. Coming off his longest outing of the season, he has recently benefited from strong run support. A promising starter with okay numbers, he could be a nice add for owners needing help with wins and ERA.
SP/RP Travis Wood, Chicago Cubs (4% owned)
Statistics: 126.1 IP, 5 W, 0 SV, 91 K, 4.42 ERA, 1.21 WHIP
After earning the loss in eight of his last 10 starts, Wood found his way back to the win column with one of his best starts of the season against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Facing the Astros in Week 23, he'll have a good chance to continue his recent streak of good pitching by facing one of the worst offenses in the league. Going 1-1 with a 1.35 ERA against the Astros this season, Wood could be a smart spot-start.
SP Chris Archer, Tampa Bay Rays (2% owned)
Statistics: 18.2 IP, 0 W, 0 SV, 25 K, 3.38 ERA, 0.86 WHIP
Despite winless in his first three career starts, Archer has been solid for the Rays. While his record contains no wins and his ERA is only average, his high strikeout numbers, including an 11-strikeout performance against the Texas Rangers, and low WHIP shows the signs of a great pitcher. An injury replacement for David Price, Archer is worth considering for the rest of this season if he continues to receive starts in Tampa Bay.
*Percentage owned numbers for Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Baseball leagues and player statistics accurate as of September 8, 2012. IP: Innings Pitched, W: Wins, SV: Saves, K: Strikeouts, ERA: Earned Run Average, WHIP: Walks + Hits / Innings Pitched.
Henderson Alvarez Game Log, Yahoo! Sports
Joe Kelly Game Log, Yahoo! Sports
Travis Wood Game Log, Yahoo! Sports
Chris Archer Game Log, Yahoo! Sports
Who's Hot, Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Baseball
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Austin Chang is a lifelong baseball fan, San Francisco Giants supporter, and fantasy baseball player since 2005 who has been a Top 3 finisher in 70% of the leagues he has played in. Follow this contributor on Twitter @_austinchang.
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