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2014 Fantasy Baseball: 5 Starting Pitchers to Pick Up

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2014 Fantasy Baseball: 5 Starting Pitchers to Pick Up

Wily Peralta
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Starting pitchers are a very versatile part of any fantasy team. One month they could be on fire, the next they could be giving up nine runs a game. With the fantasy season quickly coming to a close, owners are making plenty of moves to improve their team for the home stretch. If you have any struggling hitters or pitchers, drop them and add one, or all, of these five pitchers.

Percentages are based on ESPN.com leagues.

Henderson Alvarez - 58 Percent Owned

Henderson Alvarez
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Henderson Alvarez - 58 Percent Owned

Henderson Alvarez
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Alvarez is doing a nice job as the Marlins ace with Jose Fernandez unavailable. He has a 2.48 ERA, which is the fourth-best in the National League. The only downside to picking up Alvarez is the lack of strikeouts. In 137.2 innings, he has just 83 strikeouts. If you have a big lead in strikeouts, then Alvarez would help your ERA and WHIP totals.

Jake Odorizzi - 32.6 Percent Owned

Jake Odorizzi
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jake Odorizzi - 32.6 Percent Owned

Jake Odorizzi
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Odorizzi has had a pretty awesome July. He had five starts and went 4-1 with a 2.90 ERA. In 31 innings, he has 32 strikeouts. Odorizzi has allowed two earned runs or less in eight of his last nine starts. Over that stretch, he has lowered is ERA from 5.31 to 3.80. Keep an eye on his ERA, though, to make sure it doesn't take a hit and jump up over 5.00 again.

Marcus Stroman - 64.3 Percent Owned

Marcus Stroman
Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

Marcus Stroman - 64.3 Percent Owned

Marcus Stroman
Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

Stroman has been one of the biggest surprises over the last month or two. The rookie is making the most of his opportunity. He won three in a row, allowing a combined one earned run in those starts and struck out 20 batters. He has an excellent BB:K ratio of 4:20. If he is still available, then pick him up. He pitches against the Houston Astros in his next start.

Tanner Roark - 93.8 Percent Owned

Tanner Roark
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Tanner Roark - 93.8 Percent Owned

Tanner Roark
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Forget Stephen Strasburg, Roark may be the Washington Nationals best pitcher. He has 11 wins, the most on the team, with a 2.74 ERA. He has won five straight games with seven innings in each of those starts. Roark went 4-1 and allowed one earned run in four straight starts. Roark is the most-owned pitcher on this list. If you are in those 6.2 percent of leagues, then add him now.

Wily Peralta - 56.7 Percent Owned

Wily Peralta
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Wily Peralta - 56.7 Percent Owned

Wily Peralta
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

After losing to the Philadelphia Phillies on July 8, Peralta has settled down. He has three straight wins and allowed three combined runs in 19.2 innings with 12 strikeouts. The third-year pitchers is hitting his stride and has a few more good seasons left. With the win on Saturday, he eclipsed his 11-win total from last year. Peralta's next start will be against the Cardinals on Friday. If you're hesitant, wait until after his next start.

Bill Pivetz is a fantasy sports writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @BPiv_Sports.