Adam Wainwright SP (STL) - Wainwright enters tonight's start in SF as a must start option in all fantasy formats. Despite his 6.16 ERA Wainwright's peripherals are as strong as ever. In fact, his xFIP sits at 2.94. Wainwright's K% is identical to what it was in 2010, and his K/BB ratio is only slightly lower at 3.25 compared to 3.80 in 2010 (2.92 for his career). He is also currently posting a career best 54.5 GB%. Bad luck and adjustments from TJ surgery (velocity is down somewhat) are responsible for a .352 BABIP (career mark of .290) and 25 HR/FB% (career mark of 8.2%) that are heavily skewing Wainwright's ERA upwards. As he moves further along in his recovers and lucky simply goes in his favor, these numbers will revert towards Wainwright's career marks. Given the outstanding peripherals early on, I feel comfortable calling for a sub 3.25 ERA for Wainwright for the rest of the season.
Hanley Ramirez SS (FLA) - Ramirez ripped 2 doubles last night and seems to have found the power that has alluded him the past 2 seasons. In fact, his ISO entering play yesterday was .200 - exactly matching his career mark. The key for Ramirez in getting that ISO back up was generating more loft in his swing (something that his injured shoulder may have helped prevent the past 2 years). Ramirez has a GB% of just 41.7% after posting marks above 50% each of the past 2 years (career mark is 44.3%). This makes me confident that the shoulder is healthy and the power is here to stay. From a batting average standpoint, I have to agree with Drew's assessment from a couple of weeks ago that this will turn around and makes Hanley a buy low candidate. Hanley is hitting .221 despite an okay .48 EYE and the solid ISO mentioned previously. His overall batting average isn't being dragged down by a lack of skill but rather by an unlucky singles average. His current singles average is just .176, while his previous 4 year average is .272. Look for this to turn around in the near future with some better luck and an expected increase in LD rate from Hanley.
Henry Rodriguez RP (WAS) - Yesterday Nats' Manager Davey Johnson committed to Henry Rodriguez as his current closer despite the young lefty's recent struggles. On the year, Rodriguez has a 4.60 ERA with 8 saves and 3 blown saves. Rodriguez has shown the ability to miss bats by striking out 30% of the batters he has faced, which is very impressive. Unfortunately Rodriguez's skills end there. Opponents are driving the ball well against him as evidenced by a 22.9 LD%, 45.7 FB% and 12.5 HR/FB%. This does not mesh well with Rodriguez's wildness (17.1 BB%, career mark of 14.2%). Given Rodriguez's skill set and Storen potentially coming back in June, I am not overly optimistic about his value rest of season.
Troy Tulowtizki SS (COL) - Tulo owners can breathe a slight sigh of relief as X-rays on his left leg came back negative the day after he fouled a ball off of that leg. He was back in the lineup yesterday. Tulo is off to a slow start hitting .262/.333/.397 through 32 games, but this is really nothing new. For his career Tulo has of .747 in March/April and .740 in May. In June Tulo has an .886 OPS and owns an OPS of .900+ in each remaining month, so there is definitely truth to the talk that Tulo is a slow starter. Taking that information into account along with the fact that Tulo has a career best .93 EYE and 90.1% contact rate and you should be buying.
Vance Worley SP (PHI) - Perhaps I was more dismissive of Worley's prospects in the preseason than I should have been as I have been pretty impressed early on this year. Worley's K% was impressive for a rookie at 21.5%, but now that number is up to 24.7% - good enough for 18th in the entire Majors amongst qualified pitchers. The increased dominance has not come at the expense of command as Worley is walking 8.2% of batters faced - pretty much identical to last season's 8.3% mark. Further reason for optimism is Worley's increase in GB% from 39.3% to 47.9%. There has to be some concern that this won't last given Worley's below league average marks in LD% (25.6%), chase rate (25.1%) and swinging strike rate (6.3%). Add it all up and you get an odd situation where a player's main skill stats are justifying his surface stats but the underlying indicators don't exactly mesh with those same skill stats. Confusing, huh? I am generally a pretty risk averse owner so if I could get equal value back for Worley in a trade, I would pull the trigger, but I do understand why those who choose to hold will do so. UPDATE: Worley has been scratched from today's start with a sore arm.