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Bits: Dan Hudson, R.A. Dickey stay hot

9/15/2010

Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Daniel Hudson tossed eight scoreless innings of four-hit ball Tuesday to win for the sixth time in nine NL starts. Hudson still hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in a start for the D-backs, and his ERA is a terrific 1.67. There's little reason for him to be available in 36 percent of standard mixed leagues.

Speaking of pitchers oddly ignored, New York Mets right-hander R.A. Dickey knuckled his way through a five-hitter Tuesday, allowing one run on five hits. The knuckleballer tied Johan Santana with 11 wins and passed him in ERA (2.80) and WHIP (1.15), yet is owned in fewer leagues (50 percent), despite the fact Santana has undergone season-ending surgery.

Mets teammate Carlos Beltran homered Tuesday for the second time in four games but only the fourth time in 54 games this season. Beltran, hitting .236 with little power and speed, has shown marginal improvement in September, but isn't a must-pickup. He's not likely to be a top-100 option in 2011 drafts.

It took 143 games, but Baltimore Orioles outfielder Nick Markakis finally made it into double digits in home runs, smacking his 10th of the season Tuesday. Markakis helps fantasy owners with his .292 batting average (.296 career), but his run production is way down from previous seasons and he isn't stealing bases, either. Like Beltran, Markakis will see his future draft stock slide.

One player pushing his way into the top 100 next year should be Minnesota Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano. He won his 14th game Tuesday, allowing three runs in six innings. Liriano is 8-0 since the All-Star break with a 2.40 ERA and 72 strikeouts in 71 innings. Invest in Liriano.

Kansas City Royals infielder Mike Aviles homered among his three hits and had three RBIs, three runs scored and stole his eighth base of the season Tuesday. Aviles, hitting .299 this season, has consecutive games with three hits and a home run and should get a chance to play regularly. Those in AL-only formats should be interested.