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Fantasy Baseball Risers, Fallers: Sept. 3, 2019

September 3, 2019
We have reached the final month of the fantasy baseball season which means every move we make is extremely critical. The finish line is near, but we need to continue to grind so we are rewarded in a few weeks.

Three Up:

1. New York Yankees Outfielder Aaron Judge -- It was only a couple weeks ago that I wrote about Judge’s struggles and how I felt he wasn’t fully healthy. However, it appears the slugger is finally returning to form, as he finished the month of August with eight home runs and 15 RBIs. It will be difficult for Judge to pay off his draft-day value, but if he can have a monster September, it will benefit fantasy owners greatly.

2. Houston Astros Starting Pitcher Justin Verlander
-- The 36-year-old continues to dominate, and I’m not sure if he will ever slow down. Since July 5, the veteran has allowed more than two earned runs just twice. He’s thrown two complete games in his last three starts. The dominance continued with his third career no-hitter Sept. 1, as he also finished with 14 strikeouts. For the season, the right-hander has 17 wins, 257 strikeouts and a 2.56 ERA. There’s no doubt that many fantasy owners who win a fantasy championship this season will have Verlander on the roster. 

3. Cincinnati Reds Third Baseman Eugenio Suarez
-- This might be the quietest 40 home run season, but the third baseman reached that milestone with a month to go. It’s been a very consistent season as Suarez is hitting .261 with 87 RBIs. The 28-year-old did get hit in the hand by a pitch Sept. 1 and is being labeled day-to-day. This would be a blow in the final month, as Suarez has definitely given fantasy owners a boost in the power department this season.

Three Down:

1. Chicago White Sox Infielder Yoan Moncada
-- The 24-year-old is finally living up to his prospect hype in 2019, as he is hitting .289 with 22 home runs and 65 RBIs. However, Aug. 26-Sept. 1 was a rough week for the youngster -- he struck out 12 times and collected just three hits. Moncada was batting .305 Aug. 23, so the average has dipped the last couple of weeks. It would be nice for Moncada to snap out of this quickly so the progress he made as a player is lost by season’s end.

2. Atlanta Braves Outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr.
-- The young phenom has hit a rough patch, as he has not collected a hit in his last four games played. Acuna was batting .296 Aug. 22 and is now hitting .282. It’s still an incredible season for the 21-year-old, as he has 36 home runs, 92 RBIs and 33 stolen bases. This is just a rough stretch. Acuna should bounce back to have a strong finish to the season for fantasy owners. 

3. St. Louis Cardinals First Baseman Paul Goldschmidt
- After looking like his old self in July, Goldschmidt returned to the struggling player in August. The first baseman hit 11 home runs in July but just four in August. Goldschmidt collected only three hits while striking out seven times Aug. 26-Sept. 1. Goldschmidt still may get close to his home run totals of recent seasons, but the slugging percentage and batting average are much lower than his career averages. If Goldschmidt can have a strong September, he can still turn around the perception that this was a disappointing season.