'Molson Factory' photo (c) 2012, Nic Redhead - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/


I hope you are enjoying your Labor Day, though I can't remember the last time I had it off (something inherently wrong with that isn't there?). Your intrepid fantasy forecaster is still hard at work trying to help all of you that are still playing for a fantasy championship.

Patrick Corbin... uh oh. Not only has he fallen from 9-0 to 13-5, that means he's 4-5 in his last nine decisions, but he's been bombed the last two times he's taken the hill allowing 14 runs, 13 earned, over 10.1 innings. His second half ERA is 4.47 while his WHIP has been 1.26, well above the 2.96 and 1.07 marks he has for the season. I warned you...

Zack Greinke just keeps on going. He allowed one run and two hits Sunday in his first September start after going 5-0 with a 1.23 ERA in August. This is the guy the Dodgers, and his fantasy owners, paid for. With his run of success of late his season numbers once again look fantastic: 14-3, 2.78 ERA, 1.14 WHIP with 119 Ks in 148.2 innings.

Billy Hamilton is now a Cincinnati Red. He is fast. Biggest understatement I will make all day. Perhaps all week. He is blazing fast. Billy stole 103 bases in 2011 then set an all-time record last season with 155 thefts. He's only got 75 this season in 123 games at Triple-A, but you get the point. The inclination is for everyone to run out and add him. Sure, it's fine to do that. Still, expectation check folks. (1) There is NO spot in the Reds' lineup for Hamilton to play on a daily basis. He's likely to be a spot starter at best who spends time pinch hitting or pinch running. (2) He's really not a very good hitter. In 123 games at Triple-A this season he's hit .256 with a .308 OBP and .343 SLG. Toss in just 38 walks and 102 strikeouts and you've got... a poor hitter. You can add him and hope he steals 10 bases in September but I have two words for you – Dee Gordon.

Jonathon Niese will have to battle Aaron Harang for a rotation spot. Of course I'm kidding. The Mets are in such sad shape that they recently brought in Daisuke Matsuzaka and signed Harang Monday. As for Niese, he had some cramps in his left calf, but he fully expects to make his next start. Niese owns a mere 6-6 record, but he's sporting a 3.66 ERA over 19 outings (he was at 3.40 last year in 30 starts). His 1.47 WHIP is brutal though, so he's really nothing more than an NL-only option or spot starter in mixed leagues, though that 2.14 second half ERA sure is tempting.


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Yusmeiro Petit, he's on the Giants if you were wondering, might be making Barry Zito irrelevant. Petit allowed two runs Sunday over six innings against the D'backs and is staking his claim to a spot in the starting rotation. That's 17.1 innings with the Giants an a 3.12 ERA , 1.33 WHIP and 11.94 K/9 mark. Yeah those K's really stand out. A streaming option anyone? He's likely on your waiver-wire right now since he's only owned in three percent of leagues at Fleaflicker.com.

Mark Reynolds has been a positive contributor in the Bronx. In 14 games with the Yankees the beleaguered slugger has hit .286 with two bombs, seven RBIs an a .875 OPS. Not world beating, but playable for sure.

Anthony Rizzo has been effective this season. He's in the top-10 in the NL with 21 homers, and his 67 walks have him inside the top-5, but he's not exactly stood out as hoped for the Cubs. Rizzo is batting a Carlos Pena like .232. That's unacceptable. His OBP, even with all the walks, is just a league average .326. His SLG percentage, even with the homers, is barely better than the league average at .430. There's also the fact that his OPS per month tells a sad story: .846, .807, .745, .701 and .667. Not good.

What happened to you CC Sabathia? He's never pitched worse than he is right now with a 7.38 ERA over his last 46.1 innings. Impossible to start him at the moment.

Finally, Koji Uehara is a special reliever. Through 61.1 innings this season he owns a 1.17 ERA and 0.62 WHIP. Yep, not a mistype, those are accurate numbers. He's also striking out a career best 12.18 batters per nine and his 9.22 K/BB ratio has pushed his career mark up to 8.26. No pitcher who has ever lived and pitched at least 270 innings at the big league level has a better mark.


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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