R.A. Dickey (SP - NYM) - Dickey delivered his most dominant outing of the year in Pittsburgh, punching out a season-high 11 Pirates and allowing them just a run on five hits and a walk in seven innings. The knuckleballer has been susceptible to the long ball this year having allowed eight in 57 1/3 innings, but his groundball rate has remained solid - his HR/FB rate has doubled from the last two seasons. He's highly unlikely to keep an eight K/9 going for much longer, but he's a solid matchup play and isn't likely to suffer a decline of a typical 37-year old pitcher since he's a knuckleballer. He's definitely worth using at home against the Padres Sunday.
Adam Wainwright (SP - STL) - Wainwright dominated the Padres en route to a four-hit shutout, walking just one with nine strikeouts. His ERA is still very high at 4.78, but that is mostly due to an extremely high 21.9% which is bound to regress at least somewhat. His strikeout and walk rates aren't too far off his career averages and his groundball rate is at a career high. His command should likely improve going forward as he further distances himself from Tommy John surgery, making him an excellent buy low candidate. He has a solid matchup at home with the Phillies Sunday.
Shaun Marcum (SP - MIL) - Marcum had a rough outing against the Giants, allowing six runs on five hits (two home runs) in six innings with two walks and five strikeouts. His peripherals worsened last year despite moving to the NL and while his strikeout rate has rebounded so far this year, his walk rate has continued to rise. His fastball usage was down to 28% entering the night and he has thrown his excellent changeup eight percent less often than last season. He has always been homer-prone, and that doesn't play well as a right-hander in Miller Park. The Diamondbacks don't have many left-handed weapons to challenge him in his next outing, but the way the ball flies at Chase Field combined with his flyball tendencies could lead to home runs.
Ricky Nolasco (SP - MIA) - Nolasco gave up three runs in the first against the Rockies, but only allowed one more run in the next five innings. He also struck out a season-high six against just one walk, which is big as his strikeout rate has continued to fall following last season's sharp decline accompanied by a drop in velocity. On the bright side, his groundball rate has spiked since the start of 2011. He was able to register 14 swinging strikes on Tuesday, all on his changeup (three-of-14), slider (nine-of-26) and splitter (two-of-eight). He's a good play at home against the Giants Sunday.
Jordan Zimmermann (SP - WAS) - Zimmermann bounced back against the Phillies, limiting them to a run on seven hits in six innings, walking two (one intentional) and striking out two. He has been lucky on balls in play, allowing just a .252 BABIP despite a 20.3 LD% entering the night, but he has compensated for that by a large increase in his groundball rate while keeping his strikeout and walk rates stable. Although he will allow more hits going forward, especially with the increased groundball rate, he should allow many fewer home runs, and the overall changes are a net positive. He is usable in Miami on Monday.