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Albert Pujols is down with an injury and likely to miss 4-6 weeks IF he heals on schedule and IF the Cardinals are being honest about his injury (they've grown increasingly less trustworthy in their reporting of injuries). The Cardinals are hosed, Pujols could have cost himself money on the market (I doubt that), and his fantasy owners are totally jammed up. Sad situation all around. Glad I didn't just swing a huge deal to add Pujols in the Sirius/XM Experts League two weeks ago. Whoops, I did.

Did you give up on Mark Reynolds despite my telling you not to? Reynolds has been hot in June hitting .300 with six homers and 12 RBIs while he's racked up an ultra impressive 1.155 OPS. Yes he's still hitting just .217, but his recent run of offensive production has pushed his pace up to 30 homers, 85 RBI and 83 runs scored. Care to guess what his average numbers where the last three years? How about 35 homers, 95 RBI and 88 runs. Pretty darn close wouldn't you say?

Did you give up on Brandon League during what could have been the worst run of pitching by any reliever in baseball history (from May 8th to May 13th he appeared in four games picking up four loses and three blown saves while allowing 10 earned runs in 2.2 innings)? League hasn't allowed an earned run since May 13th to drop his ERA back down to 3.90. His WHIP currently sits at 1.07, and if you remove that one week of pitching he would be 20-for-20 in save conversions and his ERA would be 0.99.

The date was October 28th, 2010. That day I penned an article titled Pitchers: Not as Bad as You Thought. In that piece I suggested four names who could return a significant profit in 2011 because their apparently poor work in 2010 would lead to them being undervalued on draft day. Here are the four names that I discussed with a little diddy on how each is currently performing.

Scott Baker (5-4, 3.24 ERA, 88 Ks, 1.17 WHIP in 91.2 IP) He's allowed one run over his last two starts, has won each of his last three outings to improve to 5-4, and his ratios this season are outstanding. Baker also has a career best 8.64 K/9 mark and has been everything I hoped he would bee when I commented on how valuable he could be eight months ago. Did you listen? Judging by how many queries I received about Baker the past two weeks I'm gonna have to say very few did.

James Shields (7-4, 2.40 ERA, 108 Ks, 1.00 HWIP in 112.2 IP) Shields is third in the AL in ERA and 6th in WHIP, and he's also fourth in the league in innings pitched while his five complete games and three shutouts are the most in baseball. You remember back in March when he was listed 24th amongst starting pitchers in my Top-100 Starting Pitchers? Do you remember how you sent me emails and tweets about how stupid I was?

Chris Narveson (4-4, 4.48 ERA, 70 Ks, 1.39 WHIP over 78.1 IP) I'm not going to admit total failure here, but he's not been as good as I hoped. Still, he does have his use as his K/9 rate of 8.04 is solid while his 1.48 GB/FB ratio is encouraging. Hell, what are you complaining about since you drafted Narveson in the 27th round in your mixed league.

A.J. Burnett (7-5, 4.05 ERA, 76 Ks, 1.22 WHIP in 93.1 IP) Direct hit yet again. Burnett is on pace to better his numbers from last season, some substantially. After all he was 10-15 with a 5.26 ERA and 1.51 WHIP in 2010. Did you take a chance on him late in drafts cause of my recommendation or simply because he pitches for the Yankees? It's a concern that his K/9 rate is just 7.33, that's nearly a full batter below his career rate, but at least it's better than the 6.99 mark he posted last season.


By Ray Flowers


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About Ray Flowers

The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: Mon-Thurs 7 PM, Fri. 9 PM EDT), Ray also hosts a show Sunday night (7-10 PM EDT). Ray has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. Specializing in baseball, football and hockey, some consider him an expert in all three.

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