In a time long ago, when men were men and athletes freely used performance enhancing drugs to little or no consequences, there was a gameshow. A show that celebrated such athletes both male and female, athletes that invested their time, money, and focus into becoming the most gargantuan human beings they could become. On this show they matched average everyday sclubbs against these well built steroid fueled warriors in feats of strength and agility. What is this show pray-tell? Well of course it’s a little show called American Gladiators. Ever heard of it? No young-ins, I’m not talking about that gross bastardization of a program that was on 7-8 years ago, I’m talking the genuine article. The flag waving, patriotic leotard rocking, testosterone train ride, where the women had high hair and the type of muscles that would have you asking them to open the olive jar. The early 90’s were a simpler time friends.

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The Tigers announced that Joe Nathan had a torn UCL and would require season-ending Tommy John surgery. This could be the end of a once-illustrious career. To commemorate all that Nathan has done for baseball, this Fourth of July, at Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, they will be eating Nathan’s discarded elbow tendons. Takeru Kobayashi said, “I’ll be training on udon and Brandon Beachy tendons for the next few months, then a week before I will eat nothing but Sabathia’s knee ligaments to widen my gullet.” Gotta love that guy’s ambitious spirit. So, Nathan’s done and Joakim Soria now becomes a top twelve-ish closer with the chance of being top seven-ish by season’s close. As long as -ish don’t kill my vibe! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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I got the chills! They’re multiplying. And I’m losing all control. Because the fantasy value Devon Travis is supplying–well, for lack of a better word, it’s electrifying. Oo oo oo! Oh yes, indeed. Friday night Travis was 2-for-5 with his third home run and two RBI. He’s leading off for a mighty Blue Jays line up, batting .375 and he’s currently on a six game hitting streak with ten hits, two homers, five runs and nine RBI in that span. You don’t have to be Danny Zuko to know how rockin’ and rollin’ that is. Dude is systematic, hydromatic, ultramatic! He’s hit in every game he’s played so far except one. Grey’s been telling you to BUY and get Randy for Travis for weeks now! Two weeks, to be exact! Well, now I’m telling you, so you know things are getting serial. If you need a middle infielder, set your heart on Devon Travis. Then sing, “cause to your heart you must be truuuue, nothing left, nothing left for you to do…but pick-up-Dev-on! Off-of-the-waivers-now! Ooo ooo ooo!” What do you mean, you don’t think you like Grease as much as me!? Everybody likes Grease! Travis is owned in just over half of ESPN leagues and that number will surely skyrocket over the weekend. Irregardless! With Jose Reyes sidelined and Devon stepping into the lead off spot, the rookie second baseman is sure to be a valuable fantasy asset going forward. Oh yes, indeed!

Here’s what else happened Friday night in fantasy baseball:

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The first Saturday in Major League Baseball, you wake up and come to find out that Bigfoot has made an inaugural appearance on Razzball to give you thoughts on Saturday’s slate in DraftKings. I bet you didn’t expect that I was a Ted Williams fan either. When I started going to college, I was a math major. About a year later, I realized that I didn’t want to be a math teacher, and decided to major in sociology. Too bad DFS wasn’t around in the late 1990’s. I probably would have stuck with math and statistics just for the love of DFS. Now that you have the image of Bigfoot playing DFS with number’s running through his head, lets try to focus, because there is a full slate of games beginning at 1:05pm est.

I’ve been spouting off since Opening Day on my Twitter account that I value the statistic Batter vs Pitcher (BVP) the most when deciding on what hitters to play. Today’s full slate has given me numerous outstanding starting pitching options. I continue to firmly take a stance on Clayton Kershaw being a must play in DFS regardless of price, and Saturday he is a very generous $12,300 of your $50,000 salary. I know you’ve already forgot that Dallas Keuchel had more fantasy points than Kershaw on Opening Day.

I am not starting any Cardinals’ players against Johnny Cueto. I was dead wrong about him dominating the Pirates in his first start. I am not going to list reasons why you should start all the top players. When playing DFS, I like to be a little daring and pick players that are not on the DFS radar, especially if I am playing in a big GPP. There will be very high ownership of top players, and you most likely won’t win first place unless you hit big on every single position. So why not start a pitcher like Jimmy Nelson, a somewhat unknown, who has big potential.

New to DraftKings? Scared of feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Well try out this 10 teamer of Razzball writers and friends to wet your DK whistle. Just remember to sign up through us before you do. It’s how we know you care! If you still feel helpless and lonely, be sure to subscribe to the DFSBot for your daily baseball plays.

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Greetings! I missed you like Jean-Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal, Bruce Willis, John Cusack, and Christian Slater miss making films that actually hit theaters. HOWEVER, during our lengthy and sometimes painful separation, I was able to meditate a great deal on which direction my writing career should go. Okay, so I mostly just thought about whether or not I should shave my chest or not this summer, but I did spend a few seconds wondering how far we can take, Disgrace/Delight. Movies? Television? Books? Video Games? Porn? Music? Say one thing for Tehol Beddict, say he’s a lover of the arts… But you didn’t come here to discuss whether or not I should wax my chest (or are you?). You have come here, to Razzball.com, the greatest website ever created, to discuss the SP position for 2015, and I, Tehol Beddict, am here to force feed you a few of my thoughts on the subject. I must warn ye, the writing below is explosive, provocative and not for the closed minded. If this is you in a nutshell, I am going to request that you light some scented candles, run a hot bath, and hold downward dog for a good 25 minutes while only breathing through your nose. Ready? Good, good. Let’s hit it.

I am Tehol Beddict and this is, Disgrace/Delight! Take heed!

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Writing for Razzball is a pretty sweet gig. The fantasy master lothario himself, Mr. Grey Albright, has provided me with a tremendous amount of creative control over the subject matter that I choose to write about. All that I’m required to do in return for this freedom is ensure that the topics that I choose to discuss are fantasy-relevant as well as consistently heap praise upon my employer (nice stache Boss!). While this arrangement is usually a blessing, it can also be a bit of a curse at times. There are so many different things to write about, so many potential angles to pursue when analyzing statistics. It can be difficult to narrow it down and focus on a specific set of search criteria. Sometimes, I know exactly how this guy feels.

Want to take me on in a Razzball Commenter League? Join my league here!

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With the top 80 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball, I will say this, we are having such a gay time! Gay like Colin Firth would use it. In an 19th century period drama. As in merriment. We are having ourselves a merry old time! Okay, that’s very gay. Still the same definition of gay. Merry. Merry, merry, quite contrarian of you if you say different! The starters start to thin out a little when we get to this post — not you, Sabathia! — but there’s still plenty to go around. You could likely draft starters from only this post and do fine in some leagues. Think I’m a liar. Well, I’m offended, but in this post last year was Samardzija, Peralta, Ventura, Quintana and Pineda. How many of those guys had an ERA over 3.50? One, Peralta at 3.53. I just got goose pimples typing that, but I also have the flu so maybe I should drink fluids. All the 2015 fantasy baseball rankings are there. My tiers and projections are noted. Anyway, here’s the top 80 starters for 2015 fantasy baseball:

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It started with a simple email. Hey Grey and Rudy, wouldn’t it be cool if someone wrote about the top pitchers broken down by month? And within those months, to evaluate with and without wins to ascertain who pitched well and gave good value vs. who pitched for a 90 win club and had a 4-0 month? Response was a resounding yes, of course. And of course, it was my own damn fault for having such a good idea because now I’m here giving you offseason content prior to January. Clearly the time that everyone is reading about fantasy baseball. Oh well, let’s get to it. Here’s a look back at April’s pitching to see if it holds any keys going forward to 2015 fantasy baseball:

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Here’s an example from your own life. You walked into a bar and negged the first girl you saw. Told her she had nice hair, then immediately asked her how often she dyes it. Never worked before. This girl laughed and talked to your dopey ass. She even thought it was charming when you told her to pay the bar tab. Went home, had great sex and the next morning she’s moving some of her shirts out of her dresser, so you have room to bring a few of your things over. You tell her that’s not necessary and she shrugs, goes into the bathroom, calls her mother and starts crying loudly. Seemed awesome, turned out psycho. Now imagine she didn’t reveal she was psycho for three months. That’s Steve Pearce. At some point in 2015, he will start moving his shirts out of his dresser and you’re gonna feel real awkward. Right now, he’s insane. Yesterday, was part of that insanity as he hit two homers, bringing his season total to 20. No longer is the fortune cookie’s ending ‘in bed,’ it’s now ‘with Steve Pearce.’ There’s some noise about him changing his stance and that’s led to him having a breakout season. Yeah, don’t buy it. He’s 31 years old. Not the death knell for anyone, but when you’re barely rosterable as a utility man for a major league team for almost seven years, you don’t suddenly change your stance and everything’s great. He’s a 10-homer utility man, disguised as Jesus. It will end at some point in 2015, but for now Pearce your genitals, make the devil horns and ride the lightning! Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

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So here we are in week 24 if you don’t count the All-Star break. Where did the time go? It seems like only yesterday that this whole marathon got started. Tehol was speaking of the blessings bestowed upon Dominic Brown by the elder gods, Grey was telling you pitching was crazy deep, and Sky was freaking Nick and everyone else out with his creepy masks in the background of his podcast segments. Things were simple then, we all had hope, some of us still do. Oh who am I kidding you read Razzball of course you have at least one team in the playoffs. Everyone knows we only cater to savvy fantasy owners and snappy dressers. Maybe mustache aficionados also, but they only read Grey for the avatar. Mustachioed men are like the rich and Greek Nationalists, they stick with their own.

Regardless, the end is neigh good citizens of fantasy land. It’s now officially the end of  the beginning of the season. My beginning just so happens to last 5 months. The real ending for fantasy and real life players alike is that last month chasing a championship. Hence the end of the beginning, beginning of the end title. It’s also a not so subtle nod to my favorite Murs album  and possibly song, Done Deal.  The point is you have 3 weeks left max, and should be doing all you can to edge your league mates in the H2H playoffs or Roto standings. Either way we’re all hustling like Freeway Ricky Ross, and I mean the Drug Dealer not the rapper. I’d only say we were like Rick Ross the rapper if I was in a room with Matt Adams and Billy Butler. Even then it would be about them and not me. For the record I’m built like a Greek God and bearded like one as well. I’m sort of a fantasy sports version of Dan Bilzerian, but without the trust fund, harem, and over the top douchiness. Well I guess the last one is up for debate. Okay everything I just said about myself is up for debate…Sad Trombone.

You know what isn’t up for debate (Segue! FTW) the quality of the high end double dipping starters this week. We have 4! Count’em! 4 must start options this week in Clayton Kershaw, Felix Hernandez, Max Scherzer, and Jon Lester. That’s great for any owner with those guys and bad news bears for any owner facing them in the playoffs. It’s okay there’s some hidden gems in the lower tiers with some good matchups. Also feel free to chime in with any double dippers flying under the radar. Whether you feel I’m overlooking them, or that they have under appreciated fantasy appeal. We’re all in this together, unless you’re in one of my leagues, then you’re on your own.

The tier names this week are a nod to my all-time favorite HipHop Group Gang Starr…

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