'Oakland Athletics' photo (c) 2012, Keith Allison - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/


Fantasy baseball is more than talk about PED's, I swear it is even if no one believes it. So let's move past all that off the field junk, it's going to be the biggest story in sports soon as MLB seems likely to lay down the hammer on the Biogenesis players shortly, and talk about what has gone down on the field of late.

Brandon Beachy was throwing 92 mph Monday night, but the results were disastrous for the Braves' hurler. In 3.2 innings he allowed eight hits (two homers), issued a walk and allowed seven runs. Yikaroonies. I know everyone just assumed Beachy would be a star right off the top, but really folks? Did anyone bother to note that he had walked 18 batters in 30 innings in the minors this season? He's got the stuff to dominate, but he's just not close to being locked in at the moment.

Chris Davis update. He stinks. Well, at least for now he does. He's gone homer-less in 10 games since the All-Star break with 20 Ks. Moreover, he has 39 strikeouts while hitting .202 over his last 23 games. His average is down to .304 on the year. Remember he's a .267 career hitter.

And you were worried about playing Carlos Gonzalez because of his finger issue. He returned to the lineup Monday night, had five hits and stole two bases. He's now batting .306 on the year and has recorded a 20/20 effort in 4-straight seasons. Barry Bonds went 20/20 from 1990-98, 9-straight years, just ahead of Bobby Bonds & Bobby Abreu who did it 7-straight seasons.

A.J. Griffin has 10 wins, 111 Ks an a 1.11 WHIP. That last number should really stand out since it's better than the marks of guys like Justin Masterson, Homer Bailey, Gio Gonzalez, Matt Cain, Doug Fister etc. So why is his ERA 3.90? The homer has killed him. In his last three outings he's given up eight big flies and over his last 10 starts he's been taken deep 15 homers.

Mike Leake tossed another seven shutout innings versus the Padres Monday night, though his streak of success might end Sunday when he faces the Cardinals. Regardless, Leake has had a remarkable season going 10-4 with a 2.59 ERA and 1.17 WHIP given that he's just not the owner of the type of stuff that should lead to a ledger like this.

Adam Lind is batting .290 with a .850 OPS. For a guy with career marks of .268 and .784 that's a strong effort. At the same time his season has tanked in July as he's “hit” .188 with a .615 OPS in 22 July games. He's also sporting a .599 OPS in 68 at-bats against lefties this season.

Jake Peavy won't make his scheduled start Tuesday night. The White Sox, wisely, don't want to risk an injury with the biggest name on the pitching trade market at the moment. Why do I say 'wisely?' From 2009-12 Peavy tossed 115 innings one time. He's also sporting a 4.28 ERA right now and has missed time this season due to injury. The guy still has strong stuff, but oh so risky.

I've received plenty of questions about Jeff Samardzija the last couple of weeks as he's struggled a bit. Some people just don't believe that his 15-22 record the past two years is the Cubs' fault. It is. After posting a 3.81 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 9.27 K/9 mark last season he's backed that up with a 3.75 ERA, 1.28 WHIP and 9.13 K/9 mark this season. Records are a terrible way to judge a hurler.

If the Cubs deal Kevin Gregg is sure seems like Pedro Strop will be the one given the first chance to take over in the 9th inning. It may not have been all his fault, the defense wasn't great behind him and two inherited runners came in to score after he left the game, but he was charged with five runs Monday. Not exactly giving me the warm and fuzzies.

Jered Weaver has a 1.32 ERA over his last seven starts (he lost his scoreless streak Monday at 19.2 innings). Thanks to the extreme run of success he's lowered his season long ERA down to 2.84, he's sporting a 1.12 WHIP, and his 3.32 K/BB ratio is slightly better than his 3.18 career mark. All of those predicting doom with Weaver – you were wrong.

Don't worry too much about Brian Wilson signing talk. It's not like a guy who hasn't thrown a single pitch that counts this season is suddenly going to be closing for a club in a week.


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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