1. Wandy Rodriguez (SP - Astros) - Wandy continued to deal on Wednesday, hurling his 8th QS of the season in 10 starts. He scattered 8 hits in 7.0 IP and allowed 1 ER (a solo HR), no walks and struck out 5. While the K's are slightly down this season compared to his career rate (6.0 vs. 7.6), Wandy has been in more control on the BB side with a BB/9 of just 2.0 compared to a career rate of 3.2. He'll be a 2-start pitcher next week against Colorado and the Reds.
2. Tommy Hanson (SP - Braves) - Hanson hurled a QS last night but did not factor into the decision. In 10 starts this season, Hanson has allowed more than 2 ER twice (4 ER against the Mets and the Phillies). That is certainly helping to keep his ERA at a very respectable 3.12. If Hanson can stay healthy, he should continue along this pace and add a K/9 of about 8.0-9.0. He's currently at a K-rate of slightly under 8.0, which is quite the drop from last year's 9.8, but it is probably normalizing a bit back to his 2-year '09/'10 rate of 7.9.
3. Jeff Samardzija (SP - Cubs) - Samardzija hurled his 6th QS of the season (out of 9 starts), but was outdueled and was handed the loss to bring his record to 4-3. The key for Samardzija from a fantasy perspective has been his impressive K/I of 1.0. Of course, nobody expected him to post a 3.00 ERA, 1.18 WHIP through 57.0 IP to begin the season, but the K's have always been there. While there's always that underlying risk that he could let it all go at anytime and post a few blow-ups in a row, Samardzija has shown that the K-rates are no fluke and if he can continue with a sub-3.00 BB/9, he should continue to post a consistent string of QS. He'll have a favorable match-up in his next start against the Padres and then will go on the road the following week against San Francisco.
4. Frank Francisco (RP - Mets) - Frank Francisco shouldn't be actually converting saves successfully, right? He's supposed to be blowing opportunities and giving way to guys like Jon Rauch. But that hasn't happened yet and, in fact, Francisco has converted two straight perfect save opportunities. Even though he has a crooked ERA of 6.75, WHIP of 1.82, and a BAA of .300, he has somehow figured out a way to go 7-for-8 in May in save opportunities and 12-for-14 on the season. The wheels could always come off at anytime with Francisco and the closer depth chart has Rauch as a logical temporary replacement, but for now old Frank looks to have the job nailed down.
5. David Freese (3B - Cardinals) - A couple of days off might have been just what the doctor ordered for Mr. Freese. After busting out of the gate and hitting .333/.375/.500 in April, he has been "Freesing" in May (I couldn't help myself) with a .194/.272/.417. But last night Freese broke out with a 2-for-4 including his 9th HR of the season. I am not overly concerned with Freese's May slump and Wednesday night looked like it may have cured it. Freese plays in a potent lineup that should lead to plenty of RBI and run opportunities for the rest of the season, especially with Matt Holliday and the red hot Carlos Beltran hitting in front of hi for lineup protection.
Follow us on Twitter all year: @Fantistics and @jribando