Every year, some guys come out of nowhere in the second half of the fantasy baseball season and this year that has been Kris Medlen.
The former top pitching prospect for Atlanta who has battled injuries in recent years tossed a five-hit shutout with six strikeouts. He showed he is fully healthy with 104 pitches and he should remain in the rotation with the Braves temporarily moving to six starters.
Medlen has a 2.03 ERA and has allowed one run or less in at least five innings during his last four appearances, so he is clearly a nice late-season addition to your fantasy team.
Matt Harvey has been another second-half surprise after his call-up to the Mets. He allowed one run and struck out eight in 7 2/3 innings pitched.
Dan Straily of Oakland joins Harvey and Medlen as late-season arrivals and threw 6 1/3 scoreless innings for his first major-league win, although his two strikeouts are less than fantasy owners wanted from the guy who led the minors in strikeouts this year.
If you are searching for the next pitching star to reach the majors and like late-night Twitter chat, follow @Kevin_Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus and @KeithLaw of ESPN, who banter late into the evening on top prospects.
Another guy to grab if available is Garrett Jones, who had two homers and six RBIs for the Pirates. It's no fluke as he is now quietly batting .283 with 19 home runs in a nice comeback season.
Pedro Alvarez once again tempted fantasy owners with three hits and a homer, but those days are not often enough for me to pick him up. Another big tease is Mark Reynolds, who went 2-for-4 with a homer.
There were plenty of expected hitting stars as Texas and Boston got big performances from the middle of the order.
Carl Crawford, Dustin Pedroia, and Adrian Gonzalez, batting 2-3-4, each had two hits for the Red Sox while Cody Ross had three hits batting fifth. Texas got two hits apiece from Elvis Andrus, Michael Young, Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre, and Geovany Soto while David Murphy had three hits.
Atlanta continued to get production from the heart of its order as Jason Heyward was 3-for-4 with a homer and Chipper Jones went 2-for-4 with two homers and three RBIs.
Jay Bruce continued his hot streak with two hits for the Reds. Ryan Braun had two homers to boost his stats to a .302 average with 31 homers.
Kyle Lohse continued to be the guy you wish you drafted late as he threw 6 2/3 scoreless to drop his ERA to 2.61. However, his win went away when Jason Motte gave up back-to-back homers to Paul Goldschmidt and Chris Young.
David Price kept his stellar season going with seven scoreless innings while Dan Haren continued a forgettable year, giving up five runs in 3 2/3 innings.
From the "He's still playing?" category, Jason Bay went 2-for-5 with a home run for the Mets, but is still just batting .159.
Milwaukie's Jim Henderson was once again trusted with a save opportunity and came through in 2/3 of an inning to finish off the Phillies.
Two of the best fantasy pitchers, Matt Cain and Jered Weaver, are on the mound today so avoid their opponents in daily fantasy leagues, but I am loading up on Rangers against Toronto and J.A. Happ.
Written by Steve Mims exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com. Follow Steve on Twitter @nwsportscards
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