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Kris Medlen, Pedro Alvarez stay hot

8/29/2012

Miami Marlins right-hander Ricky Nolasco tossed a five-hit shutout against Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals on Tuesday, striking out six with nary a walk. Unlike Strasburg, Nolasco hasn't been much fun to own; even now, his ERA is 4.78, and this was his first quality start in 10 outings. Let's assume Tuesday was aberrant for Nolasco, and for Strasburg's untimely pounding (seven runs, five earned).

Baltimore Orioles rookie Manny Machado tallied the first stolen base of his career on Tuesday. He went hitless in the game and is batting .250 in 60 at-bats, with two walks, and after producing seven extra-base hits in his first week (including three home runs), he has just one in 10 games. Still, Machado is shortstop-eligible this year, and will be a third baseman in fantasy for 2013, and he'll be relevant in all formats.

• Speaking of relevant, Atlanta Braves right-hander Kris Medlen hurled eight innings of shutout ball at San Diego on Tuesday, allowing five hits and fanning nine, and he has passed Felix Hernandez, who also is on quite a streak, as fantasy's top pitcher over the past 30 days. Medlen finished August with a 0.50 ERA and 35 strikeouts versus just four walks.

Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez smacked a pair of home runs, singled and doubled Tuesday, knocking in four runs. Alvarez remains available in half of ESPN leagues, but he's hitting .301 in August, raising his season mark to .247, and he did have four multiwalk games last week, which shows nice progress. Oh, and his 25 home runs aren't bad, either.

• Someone not emerging as expected is Seattle Mariners second baseman Dustin Ackley. The lefty hitter did swat a three-run homer off Minnesota Twins lefty Scott Diamond on Tuesday, his 10th of the season and sixth off a southpaw, but a .233 overall batting average and .302 OBP are below expectations. Ackley, 24, should keep improving, but he'll need to hit 40 points higher.

Boston Red Sox right-hander Alfredo Aceves blew his eighth save Tuesday, allowing two Los Angeles Angels runs in the ninth inning, and it's reasonable to assume right-hander Andrew Bailey earns the next chance. Bailey was unavailable Tuesday after pitching in four of five games. Aceves, who recently served a suspension for conduct detrimental to the team, is not someone to trust in fantasy anymore.