To stay ahead of other teams in your fantasy baseball leagues, it is important to scour the waiver wire and free agent pool to pick up pitchers that will help your team succeed in the present and future. Here's a look at five pitchers owned in less than 50% of Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Baseball leagues* who are worth adding for Week 4.
RP Henry Rodriguez, Washington Nationals (48% owned*)
Statistics*: 7.1 IP, 0 W, 4 SV, 9 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.95 WHIP
While he's still sharing the closing spot with Brad Lidge, Rodriguez has been pitching exceptionally and earned a save in each of his last three appearances. A hard-throwing right-hander with very good stuff, Rodriguez is thriving in his second season with the Nationals, should receive more opportunities to close than Lidge, and is a must-add closer that is still available in more than half of all leagues.
SP Bartolo Colon, Oakland Athletics (41% owned)
Statistics: 27.1 IP, 3 W, 0 SV, 19 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.80 WHIP
Colon has surprised most of the fantasy baseball world with three great starts against AL West foes. From his 38 consecutive strikes against the Los Angeles Angels to his low WHIP, Colon has kept the ball in the strike zone and has racked up a decent amount of wins and strikeouts early in the season. Colon's next expected start is against the Chicago White Sox and should be comfortably-used in most mixed leagues.
SP Philip Humber, Chicago White Sox (24% owned)
Statistics: 14.1 IP, 1 W, 0 SV, 16 K, 0.63 ERA, 0.63 WHIP
The pitcher of the week with the 21st perfect game in baseball history, Humber stayed ahead in the count against opposing Seattle Mariners and completed perfection in his second start of the season. With 16 strikeouts in two starts and a miniscule 0.63 ERA, Humber is showing great signs of progression from an inconsistent 2011 season. Despite not having a great major league track record, Humber is definitely worth adding to see whether he can follow up this great performance in his next start.
SP A.J. Burnett, Pittsburgh Pirates (13% owned)
Statistics: 7.0 IP, 1 W, 0 SV, 7 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.71 WHIP
After missing the first few weeks of the season with a fractured right orbital bone, Burnett made his first start of the season with seven shutout innings against the St. Louis Cardinals. Despite struggling in his minor-league rehab starts, the 35-year-old demonstrated great controls against the Cardinal batters and appears to have found a good fit back in the National League.
RP Juan Cruz, Pittsburgh Pirates (11% owned)
Statistics: 6.1 IP, 1 W, 2 SV, 7 K, 0.00 ERA, 1.58 WHIP
Although closer Joel Hanrahan didn't need to go on the disabled list with his injury, Cruz reveled in the situation with two saves against the Arizona Diamondbacks. While Hanrahan has returned and reclaimed his ninth-inning role, Cruz has so far been a decent middle-relief option for the Pirates and could once again find himself closing as the season progresses. View Cruz as a decent NL-only option with prospects for more value in the future.
Other Week 4 waiver wire adds of interest: Miami Marlins SP Mark Buehrle (48%), San Francisco Giants RP Sergio Romo (38%), St. Louis Cardinals SP Jake Westbrook (27%), Seattle Mariners SP Jason Vargas (16%), Arizona Diamondbacks SP Joe Saunders (13%)
*Percentage owned numbers for Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Baseball leagues and player statistics accurate as of Apr. 21, 2012. IP: Innings Pitched, W: Wins, SV: Saves, K: Strikeouts, ERA: Earned Run Average, WHIP: Walks + Hits / Innings Pitched.
Henry Rodriguez Game Log, Yahoo! Sports
Bartolo Colon News & Notes, Yahoo! Sports
Philip Humber News & Notes, Yahoo! Sports
Who's Hot, Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Baseball
More from this contributor:
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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