As we slide on into September, things tend to slow down even more than they did through those final days of August. We here at MarmosDad HQ finished up t-ball with the mini-me and travel baseball with the eldest’s provincial championships this past weekend, so the ‘slow and low’ tempo of summer is officially about to get charged back up with a return to school this week. One guy who definitely has been equally charged up these days is our first base pick, Nathaniel Lowe (DK: $4,300). 

Frequent visitors to this space will undoubtedly tell you that there has been a lot of love thrown Nate Lowe’s way this year from me. I’ve been in on him for a long time and waiting for the Freddie Freeman comparisons to come to fruition. Well, he isn’t exactly at Freeman’s level yet, but coming off an AL Player of the Week award (August 22-28), Lowe has definitely managed to up the tempo. Since August 31st, Lowe has a nice little 5 game hitting streak going with a HR, two 2B, and 3 multi hit games. Now if he could just share whatever he’s been eating with his brother Josh to help get him back to Tampa. I could see Nathaniel ‘Hornblower’ Lowe keeping up the tempo against projected starter Cristian Javier (who has given up homers in each of his last 3 appearances) in Houston today.

Otherwise, we have a similar split of games that we did last week. There are 9 early-to-late afternoon starts if you want to get a lineup submitted before the evening games begin. The 12:35 PM ET Mets/Pirates is probably too early to look at, but the 3:10 PM ET Milwaukee/Colorado sets the stage for a healthy batch to pick from if you want to play twice today. The evening slate starts at 7:05 PM ET with the Twins at Yankees and Blue Jays at Orioles, and rolls through the remaining 7 game evening group before the last game of the night (Arizona at San Diego 8:40 PM ET).

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Alek Manoah, SP: (DK) $10,500 – At risk of loading up on Beastie Boys puns today, (and really wanting to make a Professor Booty reference for Robbie Ray), a 6’6”, 260+lb., 24 year old Alek Manoah could qualify as both ‘beastie’ and boy. Manoah hasn’t given up more than one earned run over each of his last three starts, and has averaged close to 8 Ks over that span. The Blue Jays are in a spot where they play the O’s 10 times over the rest of the season, and I think Manoah uses this start to set the tone. All year long Manoah was with it, and he’s my ace (so I grabbed the piano player and I punched him in the face?). Regardless, this kid may not be everyone’s stud arm, but he’s certainly more Revere’d now than he was in April. Play him with confidence at Baltimore (Dean Kremer) today.

Spencer Strider, SP: (DK) $8,900 – I kind of cheated here and snuck in an SP from the afternoon games, so feel free to mix and match some of the others if you aren’t playing an early lineup. Strider is good for 6th on Streamonator in this one and honestly, I can’t figure out why he’s not higher. Maybe it’s because he’s on the road where he sports a 3.24 ERA vs 2.23 at home, but a guy that mowed down 16 Rockies over 8 innings of 2-hit ball in his last outing screams ‘Hello Nasty’. Strider is a great pick today against an Oakland A’s offense that ranks at the bottom of the league.

Cal Raleigh, C: (DK) $4,100 – Another afternoon pick here, Raleigh ranked 5th overall on the 7 day player rater when I started putting pieces together for this article on Monday. Sporting a .333 average with 4 HR last week, he’s certainly worthy of a play at home against the White Sox this afternoon. If you’re looking for a late slate catcher, peek in on Willson Contreras ($5,000) at home vs a RHH friendly Mike Minor at Wrigley.

Nick Gordon, 2B/OF: (DK) $3,000 – Outside of the time I recommended Christian Yelich early in the season for the day that he hit for the cycle, Nick Gordon last week might have been my best prediction…except that I wrote it before Tuesday’s games instead of Wednesday’s. After that 2-for-4 Tuesday with a grand slam and 6 RBIs, Gordon followed up with another 2 XBH and 2 RBIs the next day. The good news for today? He’s facing another RHP where he’s hitting 20 points higher. The bad news? That RHP is Gerrit Cole. Gordon’s price tag could get you some value production so you can spend some big bucks elsewhere.

Justin Turner, 3B: (DK) $4,700 – I was all set to run with Brandon Drury here, who has been on fire since the trade to San Diego and was one of my second half players to watch. Well, apparently his eligibility has changed to 1B/2B so that goes out the window for the hot corner today. Enter Justin Turner. Turner has a 14 game hitting streak dating all the way back to August 19th with the appropriately ridiculous numbers that go along with that (.442 AVG, .712 SLG, 234 wRC+). Like Gordon, Turner draws an ace in Yu Darvish, but I still think he’s a good pick for Yu and your afternoon DFS lineup.

Spencer Steer, SS: (DK) $2,400 – If you’ve read this page throughout the summer, you’ll know that I try to squeeze in a rookie or lower-priced player to balance out the high-priced stars. Today, this one is Spencer Steer at Chicago vs all 10 innings of career experience from Javier Assad. I rostered Steer in early June in my AL only league, so I followed him quite a bit in the minors. He hit 23 HR over two levels this year, and managed to hit for average (.293) in 23 games at Louisville after being dealt to Cincinnati from Minnesota. Steer was Laura’s lede this week (coincidentally written up right before Assad) and could have a good showing if he’s in the lineup at Wrigley today.

TJ Friedl, OF: (DK) $2,200 – This one is a combination of a scorching hot schmotato paired with an equally underwhelming SP opponent. Friedl was 16th overall on the 7 day player rater as of Monday afternoon. He’s been starting against RHP (Assad is one) and has 3 homers in his last 5 games. He’s been hitless just once since August 25th and even has the potential to throw in an SB (6 in 46 GP). At $2,200, he’s a hot bat at an affordable price. Take this as a ‘License to Friedl’, if you will.

Aaron Judge, OF: (DK) $6,500 – Believe me when I say that I am fully on board whenever the Yankees lose a few games in a row and pure New York panic sets in. The giant sinkhole in the Bronx – not to be confused with Michael Kay’s mouth – getting ready to open and swallow up everyone (usually led by cries to throw Brian Cashman in first) might be a bit hyperbolic, but despite the freakouts of many a fan, the big chalk play here today is Aaron Judge. The analysis may be a bit unscientific here, but a pending FA trying to keep his team at the top of a divisional race all the while chasing a home run title is a good place to put your money. The 4 HR and .450 AVG last week say he’s not slowing down. ‘No Sleep ‘Til Brooklyn’ … brings home the AL East title. (If you’re looking for a similar chalk play but in the earlier afternoon games, I’d compare Judge’s top OF potential production to Julio Rodriguez too).

I’m Only Happy When It Rains…

It’s been a wet couple of days across MLB and today looks like it could be much of the same. The doubleheader in New York and the game in Philly are both above 25% chance of rain. Double-check your lineups and the radar before finalizing anyone in those games.

Doing Lines In Vegas…

A couple of underdogs as of Tuesday night (but lines that might shift by early morning) – Toronto at Baltimore is a +115 underdog and Jeffrey Springs at home to Boston at +140 would be my two plays.

Best of luck in the DFS plays today! If you have any questions, shoot me a note on Twitter @MarmosDad.