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Armed and Ready

Bronson Arroyo is surprisingly available for pickup in many leagues.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - It's getting late in the 2010 baseball season, about 50 games to go, and like most "real life" teams, you are probably searching the available free agent list for pitching help.

Particularly with some pitchers not throwing as well as they had earlier in the season, like Jaime Garcia (5.73 ERA, 1.73 WHIP over the past two weeks) and Carlos Silva (5.06 ERA, 1.69 WHIP) to name just a few.

Well gentlemen...there is help out there.

I have chosen three starting pitchers who over the past two weeks have stepped up to become "fantasy-worthy." The pitchers listed below are all owned in less than 50% of all leagues and can likely patch that hole in your pitching rotation.

Bronson Arroyo, SP, Cincinnati - Despite a solid 12-6 record with an ERA of 3.83 and a WHIP of 1.16, Arroyo is surprisingly available for pickup in many leagues. He's been very good in his last two starts - 14 IP, nine hits, 10 K's and zero earned runs. He'll be matched up in a tough one against division rival St. Louis and ace Adam Wainwright on Wednesday, but I believe he is up to the challenge. He's owned in 50% of all leagues.

Travis Wood, SP, Cincinnati - The Reds, who for years have hit the ball well but struggled to put together a pitching staff of equal quality, appear to be finally remedying the situation. Along with Arroyo, the 23-year-old Wood is helping build a formidable starting staff in Cincinnati. He's made eight starts this season going 3-1 with an ERA of 2.65 and a WHIP of 0.88. He's held opponents to three runs-or-less in seven of his eight starts. He is only owned in 36% of all leagues. His next scheduled start is Saturday against the slumping Florida Marlins who have lost five of their last six games

Gio Gonzalez, SP, Oakland - Gonzalez threw seven scoreless innings and gave up just four hits in Oakland's 6-2 win over normally powerful Texas on Saturday. He is now 10-7 for the season with an ERA of 3.51 and a high WHIP of 1.32. But over his last two starts, against the Chicago White Sox and the Rangers, he has an ERA of 2.14 and a WHIP of 1.00 with 19 strikeouts in 21 innings. Gonzalez is owned in just 33% of all leagues.

2010 Selected Free Agent Fantasy Pitchers
Pitcher Team W L IP ER K ERA WHIP
Bronson Arroyo CIN 12 6 155.0 66 78 3.83 1.16
Travis Wood CIN 3 1 51.0 15 40 2.65 0.88
Gio Gonzalez OAK 10 7 141.0 55 114 3.51 1.32

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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