“It’s just about ready to do that thing

I don’t want no tears, I don’t want no lies

Above all, I don’t want no alibis

This Judge is hip, and that ain’t all”

Here Comes the Judge

The Yankees did not need much behind the pitching of Frankie Montas and the bullpen. It did get interesting in the ninth. The home plate umpire, ready to go home, punched out Yandy Diaz on a questionable call to end the game. The Yankees got what they needed from outfielder, Aaron Judge, pounding his 53rd bomb into the stands, never to be seen again.

Other story lines on this Labor Day weekend:

  • Albert Pujols steamrolls toward Alex Rodriguez, and eventually 700. The Cardinals continue to win, and the youngest Manager in baseball, Oli Marmol pulls the right strings at the right time, including pulling back Lars Nootbaar for Pujols, leading to a game winning home run.
  • There was a lot of great pitching on Sunday with three teams being shutout and six only scoring one run.
  • The defending champion, Atlanta Braves pulled to within one game of the New York Mets, on the arm of Max Fried and bat of Marcell Ozuna. Ozuna looking to finish the season with more dingers than arrests. Which would be a feat in itself.
  • The Wild Card races are getting tighter. Especially in the American League. It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

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Michael Wacha, SP: DK: $9,300 – Wacha has turned back the clock, with a spectacular 2022. Wacha enters the game 10-1, with a 2.65 ERA. He started four games in August, leaving August with four wins, logging 24.2 innings while only allowing 15 hits and walking 4 batters. He added 26 strikeouts. In the thick of a pennant race, and the Sox needing to win almost every remaining game, they have the right man on the mound. He is the second most expensive pitcher for good reason.

Yadier Molina, C: DK: $2,500 – With Cardinals starting pitcher, Jack Flaherty returning to the mound after a long IL stint and making his first start since June, it is almost certain the veteran, Molina will be behind the plate to ensure a smooth transition back to the big show for Jack. Molina has been hitting the ball well. His outs have even been loud. Coming into the last week of August there were many outside distractions and a perceived rift between Molina and the organization. At one point, Yadi spending more time with his Puerto Rican basketball team than the one that pays him $10 million a year. But that is behind us, and he now seems rejuvenated. He has back-to-back 2-hit games and has lifted his season average 12 points in the last week. On Friday, Cardinals Skipper, Marmol said, “There’s just a level of intensity that September brings, and he’s experienced it so many times and he knows this is his last one. You’d be stupid to bet against him.” Low cost/high upside play.

Nate Lowe, 1B: DK: $4,200 – We’ll continue with the DFS writer love of Lowe with a showdown against Houston rookie, Hunter Brown.  Brown is a nice prospect and all, but Lowe should give him a less than warm welcome to the show tonight.

Tommy Edman, 2B: DK: $5,100 – How do you feel about two hit games? “You like that!” (Kirk Cousins voice.) Tommy Edman has five two-hit games in his last six played. In which he has scored 5 times and driven in 7. After a month-long slump, Edman, who was in the top 8 in WAR at the All-Star break is back, seeing and hitting the ball extremely well. Tommy is hitting .345 in his last fifteen games.

Xander Bogaerts, SS: DK: $5,700 – He is so good. This could just be a permanent placeholder at this point. I have started Xander in 50% of my lineups for over a week. The only other guy who carries that same prestige is the fellow directly below him, which we will get to shortly. Bogaerts slash line in his last fifteen games: .414/.453/.672; in his last seven games: .536/.581.821. At 7.5 games back, it is unlikely, but the Red Sox have a distant shot at making the Wild Card. Bogaerts is the catalyst for this team. Irrelevant of matchup at this point, unless he’s facing an ace, and you have a plethora of options, you start Xander.

Corey Dickerson: OF: DK: $2,300 – Cardinals President, John Mozeliak made many moves in the off-season that fell under scrutiny, one being the addition of Corey Dickerson. The front office and Manager, Oli Marmol continued their faith in Corey, and it has paid off. He has the season batting average up to .287 and is the reason (along with Nootbaar) why Dylan Carlson has become expendable. Dickerson is hitting a robust .449 over his last fifteen games with only 8 K’s during that span. He hits Anibal Sanchez well, going 4 for 10 with a home run and 2 RBI against the Washington Nationals starter.

Lars Nootbaar, OF: DK: $3,100 – You like’a the Pepper? After every knock Nootbaar grinds the invisible pepper when he lands on his designated base, or better yet, as he is rounding them on home runs. In the leadoff spot, as a left-handed hitter, Nootbaar has been good. The resurgence over the season is partly due to the protection behind him. Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado behind anyone would help, but it is more so confidence and patience at the plate. Lars walked an impressive 23 times in August while only striking out 17 times on 118 plate appearances. That isn’t quite Tony Gwynn, but it also isn’t Paul DeJong. Despite the low average in his last seven games, he has hit 3 home runs and has 7 RBI. He is hitting the ball hard. The luck will change. He’s still too cheap for his production. Low Hanging Noot.


I’m Only Happy When It Rains 

The weather will be a factor in several areas. The New York Mets/Pittsburgh Pirates game has already been postponed. Expect delays in many areas.

Doing Lines In Vegas

If I was a betting man, which I am: I like, Cardinals/Nationals over 8. The Cardinals figure to turn to their bullpen with Jack Flaherty on a pitch count, and 7 of the 9 expected starters for the St. Louis Cardinals hit over .300 against Anibal Sanchez.