'Domonic Brown' photo (c) 2010, Rory Connell - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ I'm 27 hours away from landing in last Vegas for a weekend of debauchery. OK, I'm laying it on thick trying to sound like the “cool guy,” but here is what likely will happen. I'll hang out with all the great guys from FantasyAlarm.com, we'll drink a lot, talk about all the pretty ladies across the bar, and nothing will happen. Oh, I'll 'spit some game' but it will probably be highly ineffective. We'll end up spending most of our time drinking Vodka & RedBull's while watching football. Hey, it could be a lot worse, right?

This is why I always say, with players performing at a level we hadn't predicted or seen before, that you need to make sure you don't get blinded by sample size limitations. Take the case of Domonic Brown. The Phillies' outfielder has been spectacular this season, given expectations, hitting .274 with 27 homers, 81 RBIs and eight steals. At the same time he's only appeared in 28 games in the second half due to injury, right now he's dealing with mild tendinitis in his right Achilles tendon and he's likely to miss at least another week of action. When on the field Brown has only gone deep four times in 91 at-bats as his power production has dissipated as the games have piled up. He's been great and there's certainly hope for a follow up next season, but those folks that thought he was a 40+ homer lock, an unqualified All-Star after hitting 21 homers in his first 80 games – not so much.

Seriously Marlon Byrd? In eight games with the Pirates he's hitting .387 with a homer and eight RBIs. I know that you know he's been good, but do you know just how good? Byrd is hitting .292 with 22 homers and 79 RBIs. Marlon Byrd has a better batting average than Paul Goldschmidt (.292 to .291), more homers than Adrian Gonzalez (22 to 19) and more RBIs than Andrew McCutchen (79 to 76). Ain't a person on the planet that predicted that.

Speaking of McCutchen, he's one homer and three steals from a 20/30 season. Oh, he's also hitting .320. With Ryan Braun and Matt Kemp being unqualified disasters this season, those people that went with McC in the first round sure must feel good.

Jeremy Hellickson's return to the rotation was an unqualified success. He tossed 5.1 shutout innings against the Angels. Go figure. He had a 9.15 ERA in August.

Francisco Liriano was taken to the woodshed Wednesday as he was beaten down for seven runs in three innings by the Brewers. Even with the thrashing Liriano still owns a 15-7 record with a 2.98 ERA. Still can't really explain it. The 15 wins are a career-high. The 2.98 ERA is the first time he's had a mark under 3.60 since 2006. He's still only thrown 136 innings which means he's likely to fall short of 160 innings pitched for the seventh time in eight years. Be very careful next season.

Ricky Romero is likely to be removed from the 40 man roster this offseason by the Blue Jays. It's a stunning fall for a guy who won 15 games with a 2.92 ERA in 2011.

Michael Wacha was dominant against the Reds throwing six shutout innings on just 80 pitches Tuesday. Wanting to protect the youngsters arm is one thing, but if you're letting a guy start what's the point if you don't let him throw at least 100 pitches? The Cardinals say they will do just that, have him on a 100 pitch count, Sunday against the Pirates. It's a tough matchup for the youngster, but I can't tell someone to bench him, not when he's looked so good this season (3.20 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, more than a K per inning).

Eric Young Jr. has six steals in his last eight games to push his season total up to 35. True story. In Tout Wars this season, a 15 team mixed league, I sat on Young for two months and finally released him... three days before he was dealt to the Mets. He's stolen 27 bases in 67 games since. Think I could have used that?

TAKE ME ON IN FANTASY FOOTBALL

You asked, I’ve answered. Sign up to take me on in Fantasy Football this yr. It’s FREE & you can win $10,000! Sign up now and tell a friend!

WHO AM I?

I have a better ERA than Jeff Samardzija, Yovani Gallardo, Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum.

I have a better WHIP than Zack Greinke, Cain, Ricky Nolasco, Cole Hamels, Mat Latos, Shelby Miller and A.J. Burnett.

I have more wins than Madison Bumgarner, Cliff Lee, Jose Fernandez and Matt Harvey.

I have pitched more innings than Harvey, Mike Minor, Lance Lynn, Kris Medlen and Gio Gonzalez.

Who am I?

I'm the Reds' Bronson Arroyo who is 13-10 with a 3.62 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 179 innings pitched. Arroyo is on his way to a season of double-digit victories and 199 innings pitched for a 9th straight campaign.

 

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.

Ray Flowers on Twitter

RT @SuperHeroStuff: Always give Godzilla his presences first! http://t.co/25WHHyS46a

agreed RT @MatthewVeasey: @mattylogz People don't realize how hard 40 HR is today, even for Stanton. Especially in 3/4 of a season.

Mel Ott (1929): .328-42-151-138 Lefty O'Doul (1929): .398-32122-152

Christy Mathewson : 1905-1911: 1.28, 1.43, 1.14, 1.89 and 1.99 ERAs in there. #Sfgiants