'Adrian Beltre' photo (c) 2012, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ Some players are hitting, some are slumping, as the season wears down. Other players are being shut down due to injury, and some of us, a rare few, are already deep into our plans for Halloween. I know what you're thinking, and yes, I do need a girlfriend.

Adrian Beltre seems to think that it's his mission to prove that he has been overlooked all these years. His overall numbers are first rate, he's hitting .316 with 35 homers, 98 RBIs and 92 runs scored, not to mention a strong .915 OPS, and if that was all there was it would be enough. However, it's his out of this world pace of late that is the even bigger story. Over his last 20 games played Beltre has gone deep 10 times, has driven in 16 runs, has scored 16 times and has an OPS of 1.121. Going back just a bit further, starting with his three homer game on August 22nd (my parent's anniversary), he's hit 16 homers in 29 games. No need to belabor the point – he's just been dynamic, period.

Michael Brantley has had a solid season for the Indians for those of you who added him in AL-only leagues. He's hit a solid .286, gone deep six times, stole 12 bags, and hit the 60 plateau in RBIs and runs scored. He's limited by sore groin right now.

Tyler Clippard has had an amazing season relative to his draft day cost as the former setup man has stepped up to record 32 saves. Alas, his performance of late has been pretty awful as he's racked up two loses an a blown save in his last three outings. Moreover, he's sporting a 9.64 ERA and 1.93 WHIP in September. The result is Drew Storen is now the main closer for the Nats. Storen has pitched well with a 2.49 ERA and 1.11 WHIP including a 0.87 ERA/WHIP with 12 Ks in 10.1 innings in September. Not saying a move doesn't make sense given how the two are pitching right now, but it's a bit odd given that the Nationals are in first place getting ready for the playoffs. Speaking of the playoffs the Giants, who have already clinched he NL West, are 10 games up on the Dodgers.

Carlos Gonzalez may be shut down for the rest of the year with a sore hamstring. "I don’t know if I will be able to play again," said Gonzalez. If his season is indeed over he'll end the year hitting .300 with 20 homers and 20 steals. In fact, his performance this season is a near match for his 2011 effort. Check it.

2011: .295/.363/.526 with 26 HRs, 92 RBIs, 92 runs, 20 SBs 2012: .303/.371/.510 with 22 HRs, 85 RBIs, 89 runs, 20 SBs

Hey, I'm never about me, OK maybe sometimes I am, but with all these people telling me they are winning their leagues or in the finals, I'm left with two thoughts. (1) Like a proud papa, I'm proud of everyone and glad I could help out a bit. (2) When people say 'I'm about to win $500 because of you!' I think to myself – where is my share of the pie? I know, it's always about me.

Jason Kubel hit his 30th homer Monday night, the first time he's reached that level. It's a surprise given that he hit only 33 homers the past two years in 242 games. Kubel has also knocked in 90 runs and scored 74 times for a very effective fantasy season for the Diamondbacks. However, his performance has fallen faster than my tolerance for stupidity as he's hit a mere .206 with a .274 OBP in the second half of the season. He's kept bashing the ball though with 15 homers in 57 games.

For those of you that don't know, I'm kinda a huge Halloween fan. When you can combine Halloween and hotness in one, I'm an even bigger fan. Given that lead in, for your viewing pleasure the one and only Kate Beckinsale. Leather never looked so good for the werewolf killer.

Anyone else have the following problem? Tyler Skaggs was supposed to make two starts this week, so I picked him up in two of my leagues. The D'backs just announced that Skaggs was being shut down for the year (Josh Collmenter will take the hill). Great timing guys. Wonderful. Skaggs tossed 158.1 innings last year, so it seems odd that they shut him down this year at 151.2 innings. Can't think he won't be in their rotation next year, but that doesn't mean squat to anyone right now does it?

If you have some time, some pretty interesting photos of some anomalies on the moon from Mike Bara.

Josh Willingham reached career bests last season with 29 homers and 98 RBIs in a tough place to hit – Oakland. Moving to Minnesota, another pitcher's park, it was thought unlikely that he would improve upon those numbers. Well, he has and then some. Willingham has blasted 35 homers while knocking in 110 runs, and he's also scored 85 times – all career-high's. He's also appeared in a career best 145 games, and for only the second time in his career has' appeared in 120 or more games in back-to-back seasons (he's gone for 136 and 145). He's dealing with a wonky shoulder that needs an MRI, so it's tough to tell if he will be able to offer much of anything the rest of the way.


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-Fri 7-10 PM EDT), Ray also hosts his own 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.

Ray Flowers on Twitter

Four hours to the @Playboy Mansion with @StarStreet & @JerLevine

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