1. Ryan Dempster (SP - Cubs) - It was easily Dempster's worst outing of the season. He lasted just 4.1 IP and allowed 6 ER, 3 HR, 4 BB, and 6 hits. Lucky for him, the Cubs bounced back and won the game on a walk-off to keep his record at 0-3 as he still searches for his first win of the season. While he remains winless, Dempster is still 6-for-9 in QS this year with a 2.90 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. Run support may continue to be an issue for Dempster throughout the year, so the Wins, as you can see, may be few and far between. The Cubs rank 27th overall in runs scored for the season.
2. Carlos Quentin (OF - Padres) - Quentin's ownership has skyrocketed in the last 24 hours and rightfully so. Since coming off the disabled list 3 games ago, Quentin is 7-for-12 with 5 runs scored, 3 HR, 6 RBI, and 19 TB. If he's healthy, there's no reason to believe he can't put up big power numbers. Quentin has averaged 27 HR per season for the last four years for an AB/HR of 15.9. Sure, he put up these numbers in the hitter-friendly U.S. Cellular in Chicago, but a quick analysis of his HR distances from 2011 reveal the park to be mostly irrelevant. 14 of his 24 HR last year would have went out in every MLB stadium and if you look at his spray chart and overlay Petco, it becomes obvious his power should supersede any negative ballpark impacts. If he's still floating around your waiver wire, grab him if you can.
3. Anthony Rizzo (1B - Cubs) - The Anthony Rizzo era on the northside of Chicago may be fast approaching. He's been sitting out with some wrist soreness in Triple-A, but will return to action soon. News reports have a Senior VP with the Cubs saying he should be up shortly. "Shortly" could mean this weekend or over the next few weeks, but either way you will not want to be left missing a claim opportunity for waiting too long. Rizzo struggled in his call-up with the Padres last year, batting just .141 with a .281 OBP, 1 HR, and 9 RBI in 153 PA. But Rizzo was just 21 when he got called-up and the Cubs are optimistic that some time in the minors has helped his maturity in confidence. So far this year, Rizzo is crushing the ball with 17 HR, 46 RBI, and a line of .354/.415/.713 through 181 AB.
4. Yovani Gallardo (SP - Brewers) - Gallardo hurled another QS on Wednesday with a 6.0 IP, 3 ER performance against the Dodgers. That makes him 9-for-11 in QS this season. Gallardo's ERA is only 4.22 with a WHIP of 1.45, but those inflated numbers are a little misleading. His only two non-QS starts this year both came against the Cardinals. If you back those starts out, he has all quality starts and is posting a 2.47 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and a HR/9 of just 0.31 (he allowed 4 HR in his first start against St. Louis). The rule of thumb here? Bench Gallado when he's facing the Cardinals this season and play him every other time. I think he's a nice buy-low candidate for owners who may be blinded by his ERA/WHIP rather than his true value.
5. AJ Burnett (SP - Pirates) - This isn't the Burnett I remember with the Yankees. After allowing 12 ER in just 2.2 IP against the Cardinals to start the month of May, Burnett has settled down and has only allowed 2 ER or less in each of the last 5 starts. That brings his record to 4-2 and has given him a very serviceable mixed-league ERA of 3.60 and WHIP of 1.24. If you back out that dreadful start against the Cardinals, we're looking at an ERA of 1.52, WHIP of 1.04 and a K/9 of 7.6 with a K/BB over 3.0. Yeah - he's been that kind of pitcher for the first two months of the season yet remains unowned in over 80% of all leagues.
Follow us on Twitter all year: @Fantistics and
Recommend to a friend