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Game 140 Thread. Sept. 5, 2023, 7:05 CT. Astros @ Rangers

Two aces. Framber Valdez against Nathan Eovaldi

New York Yankees v Houston Astros
Yainer Diaz (R) #21 of the Houston Astros receives a hand from Michael Brantley #23 after hitting a two-run home run in the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at Minute Maid Park. Neither player is in tonight’s lineup.
Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Astros enter this critical game with two bats tied behind their back. Yes, I beat the dead horse yet again.

No Brantley for the second day in a row. And no Yainer. For context, at a time when many everyday starters have over 600 PAs, Diaz has 373. His wRC+ is 125, 45th in baseball. Since there are 30 teams in baseball, that would make him about the second-best hitter on an average team. As a catcher, Diaz’s wRC+ is 166, which would tie him for sixth in the league with Freddie Freeman, just ahead of Yordan Alvarez.

Dubon is in center, with McCormick in left. Well, I’ve always liked the idea of playing the hot bat, and Dubon did have his first-ever two-homer day yesterday.

Keep it up Doobie.

Here are the lineups.