'Stephen Strasburg' photo (c) 2013, Alan Kotok - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ Long weekend for this kid. Fantasy baseball though never stops. You have to keep grinding on through the dog days of summer if you want to emerge with a championship. Keep up the good fight everyone. For those of you still slugging it out, here are some thoughts as we enter the middle of Augsut.

Ernesto Frieri has been removed from 9th inning duties with the Angels as Dane De La Rosa is the flavor of the week (he's barely owned over at Fleaflicker). It's not like DDLR has been pitching great though. Over his last five outings he's allowed three runs in 3.1 innings while picking up, get this, a win, a save, a loss an a blown save. He's also sporting a 4.66 ERA and 1.76 WHIP over his last 11 outings. Frieri has been a disaster watching his ERA spike from 2.81 to 4.69 in the span of 10 outings, but he could recapture 9th inning duties with a few solid outings so hopefully you didn't overspend to add DDLR.

Derek Holland has finally arrived. It might have taken a bit longer than folks hoped, but he's performing at a level everyone knew he could reach. The lefty is only 9-6, but he has a 3.07 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and is striking out 8.44 batters per nine innings. He's basically become Jon Lester as Lester has become Holland (10-7, 4.37 ERA, 1.34 WHIP).

Clayton Kershaw has a 1.88 and 0.87 WHIP over 25 starts. He's just under a punchout per innings as well with 174 in 182.1 innings. Don't think there can be much debate any more. He's the best hurler in baseball.

If I asked you who had the second best ERA in the AL, who would you suggest? He's right handed. He's got a 2.45 ERA. His WHIP is 1.05. He's 10-7. He wasn't born in North America. Yep, it's Hiroki Kuroda, the only man in the AL with an ERA under 2.70 and a WHIP below 1.06.

I added Logan Morrison in Tout Wars this week in a deal (in the 15 team mixed league I picked up LoMo and King Felix for Domonic Brown – yeah, a solid deal right?). I don't have any great expectations with LoMo but I needed someone to replace Mark Reynolds on my roster. Over his last nine games LoMo has 12 hits and six RBIs. He's also hitting .272 on the year but has more value to me in Tout Wars since it's an OBP league and he's posting a .361 mark in that category.

Edward Mujica wasn't drafted in a single mixed league this year that didn't include holds as a category. Am I wrong? Clearly the answer to that question is no. Given that fact, he's up for the Out of Nowhere Player of the Year Award. Through 49 outings he has picked up four holds and converted 31 of 33 save chances. He's also posted a 1.81 ERA and 0.77 WHIP. Amazing is right. One of the main reasons for his success is that he has walked two batters all season. Two. The result is a K/BB ratio of 20.00. No pitcher since 1900 has posted a K/BB ratio that high in a season of 50 innings pitched (Dennis Eckersley has the two best seasons on record at 18.33 in 1989 and 19.25 in 1990).

How much sleep do you really need? I'm convinced I could live on four hours a night, with a 15 minute power nap in the afternoon, for months on end. Maybe I'm an alien/human hybrid?

Hunter Pence is boring, that's what many will have you believe. Were you aware that he's six homers and three steals from his first 20/20 season? He's also batting .281 with 55 RBIs and 59 runs scored. If we could all be so boring...

Tyson Ross pitches for the Padres. He was born in Berkeley, California, and then went to college there as well, so you know I'm a huge fan being that I was born and raised in the Bay Area. He's now starting for the Padres, and the results have been impressive. Over his last four starts he's 3-1 with four quality starts. It's much better than that though. He's allowed a total of four runs in the four starts and has struck out 28 batters in 27 innings. He's likely on your waiver-wire. He probably shouldn't be.

Finally. Stephen Strasburg finally got 25 outs in a game. In fact, he got 27 games for first complete game of his career (it was his first shutout as well as he allowed four hits, one run and struck out 10). It took him 68 starts for his first complete game. Dwight Gooden has 68 complete games in his career so Strasburg, at his current pace, would only need to make 4,556 more starts to tie Gooden.

*** GET YOUR COPY OF THE NEARLY 200 PAGE 2013 FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT GUIDE.

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.

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