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Another week has come and gone my friends, well, I’m assuming we are friends. Hopefully fake baseball is still enjoyable to you, even if your team is in the crapper. It’s not too late, in fact it’s still way early. Trust in the pitcher is the biggest thing that makes a start a must start. Listen, I can’t put it to you any simpler than this. Pitchers are held to a different standard than hitters. They can get a hitter out 7 times out of 10 and they look terrible. But if they get them out 8 out of 10, we salute them, throw a parade and erect sandcastles in there honor. It’s a fine line between being great and being crappy. I have said this before and I still use it for “entertainment value” when determining if I am going to start a guy on a certain day. Go to your trusty odds maker, whether it be the newspaper, website or Uncle Geno. The people who have the most to lose on this know what they’re doing. That’s why there are no casinos named after charitable organizations. So, in times of despair, don’t fret, you are surrounded by information that will guide you in the right direction. Unfortunately, when the pitcher sucks and should have been great, there is nothing we can do but take it on the chin. Enjoy another week of fantasy double dipping and streaming. (Please keep in mind that pitchers and matchups may change.)

ONE START OPTIONS

5/3
Sam Lecure vs. Hou – Figueroa
5/4
Clayton Richard vs. Pit – Correia
Jake Arrieta @ KC – Davies
Fausto Carmona @ Oak – Cahill
5/5
Bruce Chen vs. Bal – Tillman
Joel Pineiro @ Bos – Lackey
5/6
Ian Kennedy @ SD – Stauffer
Philip Humber @ Sea – Fister
Jason Hammel @ SF – Cain
5/7
Charlie Morton vs. Hou – Norris
Jon Garland @ NYM – Young

TWO START OPTIONS

Josh Tomlin (@Oak vs. Ross, @Ana vs. Haren) Finally getting use out of that magic trick game he got as a kid. BAA is tiny .186, there is always a but though, a low K/9 and is second in LOB%. I believe Napoleon Dynamite said it best, “Lucky.”

Brandon McCarthy (Tex vs. Holland, @KC vs. Hochevar) Already a 1 WAR pitcher, there are only 15 in all of baseball. Numbers are saying that he should be even better than he has already shown. Best showing for a McCarthy since Weekend at Bernie’s.

Mike Leake (Hou vs. Happ, @CHC vs. Russell) Five-fingered Mike. Cueto’s return is coming most likely in the Cubs series. Homer not too long after. Tough decisions for Dusty. I rank ‘em Wood, Leake and then Bailey, until he proves he can’t get hurt walking and chewing gum at same time.

Erik Bedard (Tex vs. Ogando, CHW vs. Buehrle) I’m not a buyer here. Some K potential but injuries and Seattle’s offensive woes make me wonder when the last time an Erik actually did something good, not so fast there Poncherello.

Chris Volstad (@StL vs. Lohse, Was vs. Gorzellany) Don’t know why I like him, maybe it’s the height thing. Gets me easily confused with Josh. Medium K potential, but based on match-ups this week me likey a little extra.

Tyson Ross (Cle vs. Tomlin, @KC vs. Francis) A’s pitchers are hot commodities this week. Decent numbers in minors for K’s. Control will be a problem. Just getting stretched out, 2-3 more starts will put him in the “Why didn’t I add him before he took off?” category.

Livan Hernandez (Phi vs. Oswalt, @Fla vs. Sanchez) The epitome of fishing for wins. Offers zero K’s but keeps trucking along giving you 6 innings of 3 run ball. About as cool for fantasy rosters as Jorts.

Esmil Rogers (@Ari vs. Saunders, @SF vs. Vogelsong) Looked up his family bio and has a brother named Egrimac. Walks make me unhappy, looking to avenge only bad start of the season against SF. Compare his numbers to Ubaldo, yeah, he isn’t that bad now.

Jeremy Guthrie (@CHW vs. Buehrle, TB vs. Shields) Hard luck guy, Dustin Moseley even feels bad. Take away the start vs. Cle and he has allowed 3 runs in 27 innings. Always liked Stanford alums, maybe it’s because of the LSJUMB.

Wade Davis (Tor vs. Reyes, @Bal vs. Bergesen) Poor K/BB ratio, still sporting an ERA in the high 2’s. Seems to be pitching better than ancillary numbers would suggest. Is still way under owned and looked at, first it was Hellickson and his boyish charm and now it’s Shields who likes to do everything by himself.

  1. Black Beard says:
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    Smokey, thanks again for the great work. One issue…how in the hell do you read a baseball betting line? Thanks.

  2. the bat rastard says:
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    Hey Smokey…reckon you didnt see Wood last night…imploded in first inning…Leake has been pretty steady eccept for shopping at Sears..lol. I hear what you say about Volstad….enigma at best…I think your onto something about the height thing. Height= Good Pitching. As for Livan…I usually pick him up since no one else will…and he always seems to produce….which is more than I can say for some of my so called studs…LOL….and the upside is I can drop him and know that no one else will pick him up…like a ..on the free agent bench. Good Stuff…keep it up.

  3. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Black Beard: Simple look at the money line it will have a minus in front of the favorite(the larger the number the bigger the favorite), plus number in front of the underdog. Use 100 bucks as the easiest round number. + number is money you would win if bet a hundred, – number is the number you have to wager to win a hundred.

    @the bat rastard: Yea Wood stunk something awful.

  4. Earl Battey says:
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    Hey Smokey,

    My pitching has been awful (thanks Gallardo and Liriano!), so I’m looking to make a deal. Would you rather have Marcum and Edwin Jackson or Garza and Ricky Romero?

    I’m towards the bottom in ERA, WHIP and Ks, so it’s hard to make a decision based on needs.

  5. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Earl Battey: Garza and Romero.

  6. Eddie says:
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    @Smokey: Who reaches the majors first: Jarrod Parker, or Julio Teheran? 16 team H2H keeper points league. Our points structure is highly customized and starting pitchers are by far the most valuable commodity in the game.

  7. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Eddie: Parker should prolly get the call after the AS break i dont see Teheran getting the call till next year at the earliest. Randall Delgado is the next braves prospect you will see get the chance to start.

  8. sal says:
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    @Smokey: buehrle, mcdonald, ross or volstad this week?

  9. elwood blues says:
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    I can activate a player and drop a pitcher..
    which one would you let go in NL Only 4×4?

    McDonald (coming off his shut down of the punchless Giants) or one time Razzball-favorite Narveson??

    Was it just one good day from McD (but still a lot of walks).. or one really bad day from Narveson??

  10. Eddie says:
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    @Smokey: Thanks for the tip. I wondered if Parker’s timetable had changed after his dreadful April. Drafted him and been sitting on him ever since. We don’t have a minor league draft, so you have to burn a roster spot to roster a minor leaguer.

  11. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @sal: Buerhle, Volstad than Mcdonald

    @elwood blues: I’m probably a bigger fan of Narvy than most, McD doubles up this week.

    @Eddie: Maybe but if you look at the big league club Zona’s pitching is dreadful. Atl not so much.

  12. the grate one says:
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    @mr.smokey

    thanks for the writeup… i saw some of the guys discussing minors…i just traded away SP to bulk up offense…so im looking for guys that will help me out soon….

    can you rank in what order youd pick these dudes up off the wire (based on expectation of decent performance and date of expected call-up)

    jacob turner, jarrod parker, kyle gibson, mejia, andy oliver, furbush (hah), mike minor, and casey kelly (i wont ask about teheran b/c you answered someone else above)

    thanks!!!

  13. elwood blues says:
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    @Smokey:

    I do like Narveson’s win potential over McD.. I may be able to keep both of them around for another week to give McDonald a shot at a win against another dreadfully offensive team, the Padres.

    I’m eyeing a buy-low trade for Bumgarner.. was his quality start in pittsburgh last week a sign of better things to come.. or the fact that he was pitching against the Pirates??

  14. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @the grate one: Wow MR smokey i like that. There was already talk of Gibson getting the call as early as today, and with Liriano prolly getting dumped to the pen it still may happen faster than any other guy listed. Minor is pretty much dominating Gwinnett so he gets first nod for the braves, even ahead of Delgado(as previously mentioned). Turner Furbush and Oliver are intersting. All are on the 40 man roster already so each could get a call. Turner talent wise is the best of the three, Oliver had previous cup of coffee, Furbush has the hottest hand and gets call first. If I had to pick any of these guys up in any kind of order it would be Minor, Gibson, Mejia, Furbush, Turner, Oliver, Parker, Kelly.(based solely on call up first) other guys to watch out for are Alex Torres or Alex Cobb with TB.

  15. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @elwood blues: He isnt as bad as he has been and the pirate offense helps. MadBum BABIP is .350 which is really high, and is underlying numbers say there is some better stuff to come. He has the dreaded Hamels hangover after the world series. He will be a low 4 Era guy by years end if his arm stays attached.

  16. Trick dad says:
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    Hanley ramirez/jonathan sanchez or jeter/lester? Keeper league

  17. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Trick dad: the difference between HanRam and Jeter long term is way greater than the difference in SP, I’d want Han Ram side.

  18. the grate one says:
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    that was a great response. hah. thanks for taking the time to answer!

  19. Joel says:
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    Rest of season: Lohse or Haraang?

  20. Vic Damone Jr. says:
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    Hey Smokey, need to start 3 of these meh starters next week:

    Bumgarner @WAS, COL
    Zimmerman @FLO
    Wandy R @PIT
    Hellickson TOR
    Beachy MIL
    Harrison NYY

    I like Bumgarner’s 2 starts, Wandy against Pitt seems like an alright bet, and Beachy seems to be pitching well enough right now, but I like Zimmerman to have a bounce back game, and I like Hellickson a lot as well. And Harrison handled the Yankees last week.

  21. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    hello smokey,great stuff here today,thank you,what kind of innings do you see beachy getting this year,i really like him but want to be prepared for it ,or possibly trade him after about 120 innings of work

  22. AL KOHOLIC says:
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    speaking of beachy,the cards always seem to burn me so i sat him in 2 leagues today,bummer

  23. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Joel: Lean slightly towards Lohse.

    @Vic Damone Jr.: Bum Wandy and Hellickson.

    @AL KOHOLIC: Prolly 160 or so innings for the year. Pitched around 130 last year. Success is the only thing going to limit his innings I think. It happens a good sit today will be a bad sit tomorrow they all even out.

  24. Matt says:
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    How do you rate Harang’s two home starts this week? Debating him vs Romero (@TB).

  25. Tony says:
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    i need to stream, who are my best 2 pickups to pitch on sunday:

    Mosely @ LAD
    Morton @COL
    Pavano @KC
    Garlnd vs. SD
    Nova vs TOR
    Sonnanstine vsLAA
    Coleman@ ARI

    Thanks…. remember pick 2!

  26. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Matt: Both must starts for me, Pirates and D backs both meh hitting teams.

    @Tony: It’s Cobb on sunday for TB, BTW. Id take Pavano and Garland of the names listed.

  27. Tony says:
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    @Smokey: thanks smokey, picked up pavana but was outstreamed by someone else in the league on GARLAND! dammit…. whats your next option? i wanna take NOVA bc he’s a yankee and day to day has the best opp at a win, but wins are damn near impossible to count on….. Mosely vs. Garland isn’t even that bad, just SD wont give him any run support… ughh… outstreamed early on sat, annoying!

  28. Shmorgie S. Board says:
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    Alfonso Soriano for Alex Gordon? I have Soriano.

    I’m in a 5×5 Roto league with OBP instead of BA. Am I crazy to want to trade Alfonso Soriano for Alex Gordon? I’m getting killed in OBP and I think the power could come for Gordon. Is this a good deal or should I ask for more coming back for Soriano?

  29. Earl Battey says:
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    Hey Smokey,

    Maybe you can help me avoid the sonavabench:

    I need 2 of these guys:

    Gallardo @ ATL, @ STL (he makes me a little nervous)
    Romero @ TB (TB can be inconsistent)
    Wandy @ PIT (Wandy has been erratic)
    Garza vs. CIN (Cinci is a tough matchup)
    EJax vs. MIN (Twins are playing terribly right now)

    I guess I’m leaning towards Romero and Wandy, but I have little confidence that that’s the way to go.

    Thanks.

  30. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Tony: Moseley would be my third choice followed by Nova.

    @Shmorgie S. Board: both guys have positives and negatives. Gordo should get to about 15 hrs’s by years end.

  31. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Earl Battey: Yoga makes me nervous also but i think i still put him out there with Romero

  32. Shmorgie S. Board says:
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    I know, Smokey, that’s why I’m tempted to make the offer! With Soriano’s homers, I just wonder if I could get more back for him. Maybe I’ll shop him around a bit to see.

  33. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Shmorgie S. Board: Maybe he is hot right now, there are suckers born every minute.

  34. Steve says:
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    And Smokey smiles quietly to himself as Burnett moves to 4-1.

  35. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Steve: A wry one for both he and Shields who deserved better today.

  36. Shmorgie S. Board says:
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    I like suckers!

  37. Steve says:
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    @Smokey: Tell me about it. Shields and Beachy for me today, Baker yesterday and I benched Romero into the bargain.

  38. Eddie says:
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    @Smokey: Any words of comfort for a keeper owner who came into 2011 ready to crush all comers with Carl Crawford and CarGo in his outfield?

  39. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Eddie: patience, ceiling projections prolly not but usable fantasy stats def are ahead

  40. Black Beard says:
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    Tabata might be out for a couple of games…really need to drop one of the following for Smoak. The league has deep benches so I hoard pitching:

    Lohse, Harang or Lackey?

  41. Buge Hoobs says:
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    In a weekly, Oswalt, D. Hudson, or Harang?

  42. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Black Beard: Besides being on Boston what does Lackey have going for him.

    @Buge Hoobs: I would double up with Harang, Oswalt’s head might not be completely there.

  43. Joel says:
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    Smokey: pitchers on the wire are Scott Baker, Wade Davis, Cueto and anibal Sanchez. Which TWO would you take? THANKS!

  44. bogbert says:
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    Thanks for the post, Smokey, it’s helpful. After a run with Liriano/YoGa/Dempster, I’m pretty much close to last in ERA/WHIP, and not good in K’s. My staff is Marcum, Bills, Gallardo, Gio, Jurrjens, and Morrow, with a spot open for streamers. Would you continue to play matchups, or fill the streamer spot with any of the following WW fodder?

    Beachy, Wade D., Stauffer, EJax, Anibal, Bumgarner, Lewis, Baker, McCarthy, Leake.

    Also, do you think Latos will bounce back and if so is he better than the above?

    Thanks!

  45. john says:
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    Volquez stauffer Norris dempster

    What two would you want?

  46. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Joel: Baker Sanchez

    @bogbert: McCarthy, Yea just need to gain some innings back on his arm.

  47. Child Please says:
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    12-team 5×5 H2H league, daily lineups, 10 starts per week

    I have 8 solid starts, so I need two more?…what are your top 3 starts out of this SP?

    James McDonald (@SD)
    James McDonald (vs HOU)
    Esmil Rogers (@ ARI)
    Esmil Rogers (@ SF)
    Volstad (@ STL)
    Volstad (vs WAS)
    Tyson Ross (vs CLE)
    Tyson Ross (vs KC)

  48. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @john: Stauffer and Norris for right now.

    @Child Please: Mcd @ sd, Rogers @SF and Volstad vs Was

  49. Doc Pounder says:
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    Best 6 this week. Oswalt(2),Lohse(2),Holland(2),F-Her,Kuroda,Chacin,Marcum,Zimmerman. I could also start 5,and put in Axford. Thanks

  50. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Doc Pounder: Oswalt 2 , Chacin, F Her, Marcum and Kuroda

  51. oldie says:
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    10 team weekly h2h league who do you start need 5 Kuroda, Garza, Colon, Guthrie, Kershaw, Jurrjens, Volquez, Lowe, W rodriquez,

  52. Matt says:
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    @Smokey but I already have 2-start Kershaw, Hamels, Marcum and 2-start dlR. Gotta sit one of them, Romero or Harang. Harang’s on the bench right now…

  53. bogbert says:
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    Thanks for the previous response, Smokey.
    Start Gio today? I’m a bit ahead of max pace and can’t afford too many more bad starts; I’m a little wary, and would like your thoughts.

  54. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @oldie: Kuroda Garza KershawWandy and Double up with Guthrie.

    @Matt: Id still take the 2 starts at home or Harang vs the one for Romero at TB. I’m a win whore.

  55. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @bogbert: Above average career numbers against Tex, He is a start for me.

  56. paulzone72 says:
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    have to make some room…who would drop out of these pitchers first?:

    harang, d. hudson, volquez, burnett

  57. sal says:
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    @Smokey: @all: just got offered ubaldo and alex gordon for Berkman- must accept?

  58. sal says:
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    forgot to mention 10 team h2h points league

  59. Casey Blake's Beard says:
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    drop narveson for lohse?

  60. Casey Blake's Beard says:
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    drop narveson for lohse?

    also avail: bedard, esmil, leake, ogando, correia, colon, garland

    10 team h2h 6×6 w/ qs

  61. Steve says:
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    @Smokey: Hey Smokey – hope you’re still checking back on this post.

    If you had to pick up one of these top Holds guys from the last 7 days (as per Yahoo, based on number of Holds), who would it be?

    Beimel
    Isringhausen
    D Robertson
    Dunn
    Balfour
    Johnson
    Choate
    J Lopez
    Affeldt

    I’ve included Izzy and Johnson, even though I couldn’t see myself picking wither of them up in a blue fit.

    Thanks!

  62. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Steve: I watch a ton of Yankee games and Robertson is getting his fair share of good opportunities. Followed by Dunn and Affeldt.

  63. Steve says:
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    @Smokey: Yeah, sure looks like it. Out of interest, when does he tend to come in? I thought the Yanks were going Joba-Soriano in the 7th and 8th.

  64. Smokey

    Smokey says:
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    @Steve: sually right before Joba or Sori.

  65. Steve says:
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    @Smokey: Thanks Smokey – much appreciated.

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