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As always, probable pitchers are subject to change.  For a look at all fantasy baseball streamers, click that link.

As esteemed Creed frontman Scott Stapp once sang: “Let’s play ball, it’s game day. We want strikeouts, base hits, duhbull plays.”

We should be havin’ a party, ya’ll. It’s the year’s first Two-Startapalooza!!

But yet something feels missing. With Clayton Kershaw out, it’s like Hendrix didn’t make it to Monterey Pop. With Yu Darvish out, it’s like Pearl Jam skipped Lollapalooza ’92. With Patrick Corbin gone for the year, it’s like, well, it’s like the Spin Doctors skipped Woodstock ’94. You get the idea.

Plenty of great double-dippers this week, though, so let’s get to it.

MUST START:

Justin Verlander (KC, BAL); Julio Teheran (@MIL, @WAS); Chris Sale (MIN, @KC); Madison Bumgarner (@ARZ, @LAD); Felix Hernandez (@LAA, @OAK); Adam Wainwright (@CIN, @PIT); David Price (TOR, TEX); Stephen Strasburg (@NYM, ATL); Alex Cobb (TOR, TEX); Andrew Cashner (LAD, @MIA)

Isn’t everyone a Must Start in the first week of the season? Well, not exactly, especially in a week where a few No. 1’s will be scratched due to injury and guys like Brandon McCarthy will get two trips to the bump. Verlander, who cruised through the spring, is as close to a sure thing as anyone with his two home starts against manageable opponents. Strasburg should be off to a nice 2014 with a gimme in the Big Apple and a home date with the jacked-up Braves. And Cash has been money leading up to the season, finally putting those control worries to rest (1 BB in 15 IP). Even though it’s against the Dodgers, I like his home opener in Petco plus the second game against the Fish in Miami.

FIRST TIER:

James Shields
(@DET, CWS); Jeff Samardzija (@PIT, PHI); Johnny Cueto (STL, @NYM); Jered Weaver (SEA, @HOU); Jon Lester (@BAL, MIL); Sonny Gray (CLE, SEA); Matt Cain (@ARZ, @LAD); R.A. Dickey (@TB, NYY); Jose Fernandez (COL, SD); Cliff Lee (@TEX, @CHC); Justin Masterson (@OAK, MIN); CC Sabathia (@HOU, @TOR)

It’s a small sample size, but 2014’s fantasy darling, Sonny Gray, was pretty tough in his four starts at the Coliseum last year (3-1, 1.99 ERA, a WHIP under 1 and 38 K in 40 IP). I’m not as into Cleveland as everyone else, and I think Seattle stumbles out of the gate, so the Son of Grey should have his way. Lee has quietly become one of the top guys as far as commanding the game with a great K/BB ratio plus GB/FB ratio. But it’s going to be a madhouse in Texas, and I don’t like that trip to the Windy City this early on for the Phightins. He’ll pitch well, but he might not come away with a win this week.

SECOND TIER:

Jorge De La Rosa (@MIA, ARZ); Yovani Gallardo (ATL, @BOS); Ricky Nolasco (@CWS, @CLE); Brett Anderson (@MIA, ARZ); Dillon Gee (WAS, CIN); Scott Kazmir (CLE, SEA); Francisco Liriano (CHC, STL); Erasmo Ramirez (@LAA, @OAK); Chris Tillman (BOS, @DET); Drew Hutchison (@TB, NYY);

The Great Orgasmo blew dudes (heh heh) away in Cactus League play (1.14 ERA; 20 K in 23 IP) and looks like he might finally be set to fulfil the wet dreams of fantasy baseball geeks everywhere. Still, it feels like we’ve been here before only to get the blue balls, which is the only thing keeping him out of the First Tier.

THIRD TIER:

Wade Miley
(SF, @COL); Nate Eovaldi (COL, SD); Tanner Scheppers (PHI, @TB); Brandon Morrow (@TB, NYY); Alex Wood (@MIL, @WASH)

Scheppers, not to be confused with Schweppes beverages or Detlef Schremp or Shemp of “Three Stooges” fame, has been tapped to be the Rangers’ Opening Day starter in place of the nicked up Darvish. And oh by the way it’s Scheppers’ first career start, like ever. I’m actually not as concerned about that as I am his second start in the Trop.

DON’T START:

Brandon McCarthy (SF, @COL); Scott Feldman (NYY, LAA)

Kirk Gibson played some head games with McCarthy in his last Cactus League start, the kind of stuff that might be outlawed by the United Nations. Could be OK at home against the Giants, but that trip to Coors looks real scary.

  1. Tehol Beddict says:
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    De La Rosa gonnnna get it in. give him title belt! #CyYoung

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Tehol Beddict: At the aquarium is toit but at home vs. Dbags could be problematic.

    • nick the dick says:
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      @Tehol Beddict: I’m waiting ever so patiently for latos to be dl’ed so de la soul can be my first stream of the year. Jorges my buddy

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @nick the dick: yea can’t wait for the DL. it’s also rad to stash dudes on there. injuries are fun!

  2. RotisserieJedi says:
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    Cash against the Dogers is a ballsy pick, I don’t care what the machine says! I’ll watch to see what happens Pete, because I like Cashner this year, but I worry about non-ace starts early in the season.: they’ve been known to blow up your ratios even if the pitcher eventually levels out and gives you good value. First couple of weeks, I don’t start anyone outside my personal top 20-22. I give up up some Ks early on, but I spare my ratios. What do you think?

    • RotisserieJedi says:
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      @RotisserieJedi: Oh, and I just heard: David Hernandez will be adding a Jaccuzzi to Dr. Andrew’s house!

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @RotisserieJedi: If he has the walks down that not only means he’s not giving free passes but he also has good command. Put that together with his juice and he looks good. In my mind he’s ace-ish, especially at home, until he proves otherwise.

        • Longbeachyo says:
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          @Pete Nice: I think it will be a rough start for Cash. He seems to be pitching to contact now, and the dodgers can make good contact when healthy. He might get a QS, but I doubt he’ll get the win.

          • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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            @Longbeachyo: but how many pitchers could you really own out of your own top 22? 1? if more than 2 you’re not doing Grey’s drafting strategies.

  3. zach says:
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    How nervous should I be about Tillman facing Boston and @Detriot?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @zach: I’m not loving it but I have too much respect for Tillman to make him third tier on opening week.

      • Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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        @Pete Nice: Tillman’s another one that shouldn’t be above Liriano.

  4. JashFath

    JashFath says:
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    If Ryu does end up starting on Sunday, then he will achieve the ultra-rare 3-start week! Fingers crossed!

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @JashFath: Dumb if they do. Season is a marathon not a sprint and the dude was just injured. what’s up with these nutty 80s all-stars turned managers?

      • JashFath

        JashFath says:
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        @Pete Nice: I don’t know, but I love it! Spread the coke and give me stats!

  5. pistole pete says:
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    What about AJ Burnett? He has two starts..and he’s not even listed.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @pistole pete: @pistole pete: yea my bad. he’s like low second or maybe third tier. no idea what to expect out of him.

  6. nick the dick says:
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    yo pete,
    thinking about streaming…
    mon-de la rosa(mia)
    tues-perez(phi) or erasmo(laa) or both
    wed-paxton(laa) or ejax(pit) or morton(chc)
    thurs-quintana(min)
    fri-leake(nym) or santiago(hou)
    sat-kelly(pit) or skaggs(hou) or back to de la rosa

    if you had to go with just one guy on the days where i have options, who yould you take?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @nick the dick: I like Erasmo, Leake and Skaggs but no one on Wednesday. You might consider holding Erasmo man.

  7. mike says:
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    Someone offered me gio and samardjiza for sale. Id be getting gio and samardjiza. Shpuld I pull the trigger??!!

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @mike: I wouldn’t be trading aces this early on.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Pete Nice: he gets 2 pitchers, one slightly worse than Sale and another mid-level guy for one ace. So it would be a depth move.

  8. baesball says:
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    Got an offer, getting votto for starsburg but i already have rizzo and A Gon. Trying to shop one of them, would you send A Gon and J. Upton for A. Jones and Gray(Sonny not Albright)? Is that giving up too much or not enough?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @baesball: I like that series of moves a lot. Go for it.

  9. Corey says:
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    So you guys stream De La Rosa over Gee, huh? Both were available on FA wire and in the end I nabbed Gee – on the basis that a) Neither of his starts are a mile above sea level b) Gee went 4-2/2.72/27 in 39.2 IP against the Nats last year and Cincy had an uninspiring road record.

  10. Tehol Beddict says:
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    GALLARDO!!! look at those match ups! YIKES. now thats scary

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Tehol Beddict: Everyone pooped on Gallardo and now he’s the opening day starter. Braves are kinda in a jumble right now. Boston, weeeellll let’s just see how that goes. in Yovani I trust.

  11. Racehorse says:
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    Looking for starting pitching value on the DL (16 team Dynasty League), even if it’s down the road, is akin to dumpster diving.

    Please rank who’s a better stash…

    Josh Johnson
    Josh Beckett
    Chad Billingsley

    Thanks!

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Racehorse: I’d stash Johnson

  12. Eric says:
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    Just drafted the team today using razzball rankings. How does it look? Good? Average? Bad? 10 team mixed league (CBS).

    C – Ramos
    C – Pierzynski
    1B – Goldschmidt
    2B – Pedroia
    SS – Castro
    3B – Zimmerman
    MI – Utley
    CI – Pujols
    OF – Bautista
    OF – Bruce
    OF – Harper, B.
    OF – Jennings, D.
    U – Aoki

    Res Bat: Arenado

    Starters:
    Bailey, H.
    Buchholz
    Cobb
    Cole, G.
    Gray, S.
    Lester
    Moore, M.
    Peavy
    Porcello
    Teheran
    Tillman

    Closers:
    Janssen, C.
    Romo, S.
    Veras, J.

    • Eric says:
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      @Eric:

      Missed one:

      Also, Justin Upton in the OF.

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @Eric: Gotta ditch one of those catchers. Thou Shalt Not Have A Backup Catcher one of Grey’s 10 Commandments. Don’t really like Utz as Akoi, and Moore had been looking like butt so keep an eye on that.

        • Eric says:
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          @Pete Nice:
          It’s a 2 catcher league. Probably should have mentioned that.

          I do have Moore on the bench too. Thanks.

  13. Zar says:
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    Hey Pete,

    De La Rosa is available in my league. My other starters this week are Liriano, Gray, Masterson, and Erasmo, with a side of Cingrani and Wacha. Is it worth dropping Taijuan Walker for DLR? Fister is already in my DL. Or should I just hold and let my current guys do their stuff?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Zar: Do Tehol and DLR go way back? Did they room together in college? Was DLR the manager of the Circle K when Tehol got his first job in HS? I demand an inquiry! A lot of hype going on here for a COL pitcher. he way exceeded expectations last year and looked great in his last spring start but I dunno. Can you put Walker on the DL?

      • Zar says:
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        @Pete Nice: It’s a 1 DL Yahoo League, H2H though 5×5. I can’t put Walker on the DL, I already dropped fister into it! *shakes fister* Also, looks like the Son of Grey’s first start may be rained out, or flooded given the state of the Oakland Coliseum..

  14. Zeus says:
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    Thoughts on Brett Anderson? Have him as a reserve in a 15 team league. Considering dropping him for Crain to stash.

    • malamoney

      malamoney says:
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      @Zeus: I was considering grabbing Anderson because he has RP eligibility in my league but haven’t found the strength to pull the trigger.

  15. malamoney

    malamoney says:
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    What do you think about Morrow this season. He really let me down last year and I’d certainly appreciate him paying me back. But I’m afraid he’s gonna do it again.

    Fool me once…

    But I am thinking of dumping Peavy since he will never crack my starting lineup (Felix, Greinke, Anibal, Gray, Gerrit Cole, Salazar and Shelby Miller). I was thinking of picking up Street to have an backup RP. Right now I only have Johnson and Frieri. We only start two, but I might be good to have a backup.

    Thoughts.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @malamoney: Yea I was thinking about ragging on Morrow. Remember when he was the Erasmo of the world? As per your Street question: can you punt saves and sell those guys off?

  16. Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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    Mr Nice. I look forward to your help this season, I believe in using the puddle for SPing in ESPN.

    I only have 2 SPs on my RazzBall Staff to begin with. Bumgardener and Verlander as a solid base.

    So be on the lookout for my questions.

    I will wait to clear 2 spots over the next 2 weeks or so, before I start my SPer cameo Plug On Plug Offs based on match ups – about 5 to 7 a week – unless someone is sizzling and is rostered. Generally, Starts in the first couple weeks tend to be abbreviated – so they should be avoided – actually the Dog Days are the best time to pick up starts.. As many teams have used up their innings and have dumped them and it is the pitchers time MLB.

    Again, a good resource if this is a regular show. Hope so.

    One question??? Are you a Bass, Tenor or Baritone. I am hoping you are a bass.

    I currently working on the Great RazzBall Opera. I have decided on Verde’s” Macbeth” as its basis – The large choruses and its dark tragic theme seems to fit. It really is perfect for RazzBall.

    I was hoping to cast you as Banco = Grey’s friend and chief of staff = bass.

    Of course, Grey is Macbeth = the usurper King. Who is guilt ridden and paranoid due to his abusive tyrannical rule and past mass murders to maintain his throne.

    Rudy is perfect for Lady (Queen) Grey – Ambitious and later driven into madness from crunching her numbers.

    Jay Wrong – for the non singing part of the Murdered King Duncan (The Once Star of the Show). He also gets to play the apparitions. (As you might have guessed, Jay can’t even hum)

    Think Sky, Dano and Mike will be great as the witches.

    I’ll be great in the Scottish Exiles Chorus.

    It all ends in a cyber bloodbath of internal war, madness and worst of all – unrequited hubristic self love.

    Let me know about your voice. The parts are filling quickly.

    I’ll be back.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Ghost of the Disappeared: Can I just be the guy who gets the blowjob on the couch while chewing on a mouthful of chocolates? See photo.

      Puddle? You mean streaming right? Never heard that before. Personally I call it “wheeling,” as in Wheel of Death. I once co-wrote a song called “Wheeling Arroyo.”

      And GREAT point about streaming early. Notice I haven’t been talking about it at all, and I am a serial streamer. So, yea, I concur with your strategy of sticking with a steady staff right now and streaming later in the season. Maybe in week 3 haha. But, yes, you are correct, I’ll be here for ya, for better or for worse.

  17. Yescheese says:
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    Would you gamble and carry Erasmo over Lohse? I have Lohse for TE ratios don’t necessarily need the Ks. Both May dropped for a closer durin the next closerpocalypse

    • Yescheese says:
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      @Yescheese: for the ratios

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:
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        @Yescheese: I just like the upside with Erasmo. I’d hate to miss out. but if Lohse fits the puzzle better, by all means.

  18. Eddie the Mush says:
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    Here is my team…keeper league with contracts. What do you think of the team and the necessity for a trade for a pitcher? I have been offered Strasburg for Tulo? Thoughts?
    C…Montero $3
    C…Salty $6
    1b…Hosmer $23-2 year
    2b…Rendon $5-2 year
    SS…Tulo $24
    3b…Longoria $27-3 year
    MI…Lowrie $12
    CI…Frazier $6
    OF…Calhoun $2-2 year
    OF…Gordon $24
    OF…Craig $25
    OF…Jennings $27
    OF…Stanton $29-4 year
    OF…Harper $5
    U…Laroche $5
    Bench…Morneau $9, Owings $0, A. Escobar $8, Maybin $2-DL
    SP…Gallardo $13
    SP…Lynn $19
    SP…Haren $3
    SP…Salazar $17-2 year
    SP…Tillman $13
    SP…Weaver $19
    RP…N. Jones $0
    RP…Hunter $0
    Bench: Lohse $3, A. Bradley $1-3 year, Hughes $2
    DL: Hamels $25, Minor $19, Fister $17

    Any major concerns with my team? Based on the lack of depth and the DL with my pitching staff…do I trade for Strasburg? Thanks.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Eddie the Mush: I guess you’re looking at the lack of pitching. Looking at your DL you’re in good shape beyond this year. What are you gonna do at SS after Tulo is gone? You cool with Lowrie there? I might hold.

  19. Buge Hoobs says:
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    Sanchez, Porcello, or Kluber this week?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Buge Hoobs: sorry I kind of let this one sit out here but it puzzled me a bit: by Sanchez do you mean Annibal?

  20. Bump Bailey's Ghost says:
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    I own Taylor Jordan. Erasmo Ramirez has a brutal schedule. People love Erasmo. I’m on team Taylor. Way do you think, Razzballers?

    • Jason says:
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      @Bump Bailey’s Ghost: I think Jordan’s going to be optioned as soon as Fister’s back in the rotation. I think Roark’s the one who stays in the rotation (check out when they are scheduled to start, Roark on 04/04 and Jordan on 04/06 – that should tell you all you need to know). I’d go with Erasmo. I don’t think his schedule is really all that brutal (first five starts = @ LAA, @OAK, OAK, @MIA, HOU).

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Jason: for his division that’s a good schedule.

        • Pete Nice

          Pete Nice says:
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          @goodfold2: @Jason: yea agree Erasmo. Could be a rotation staple this year. could implode again too – either way I think the Erasmo question will be settled once and for all.

      • Bump Bailey's Ghost says:
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        @Jason: Excellent points, here. I guess the schedule isn’t as bad as I thought. I made the move today and scooped Erasmo. Now Jordan will throw no-hitters in his first two starts. Go pick him up.

  21. Montezuma's Revenge... right now says:
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    liriano should not be lower than cain, and most definitely should be above samardzija.

  22. 2 Cups 1 Braun says:
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    Pete,
    With your love for Sal Perez this season, would you take him over Wilson Ramos in a 5×5 OBP league?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @2 Cups 1 Braun: I would just aim to take Sal. He’s been going so late that you can spend the earlier picks on other slots.

      • 2 Cups 1 Braun says:
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        @Pete Nice: Well I actually already drafted Ramos on Grey’s upside feeling for him this year…think I took him in the 20th round of a 10 team 24 round draft….Sal is sitting on waivers for the picking tonight if I want to indulge.

        • Pete Nice

          Pete Nice says:
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          @2 Cups 1 Braun: yea I wouldn’t drop or trade Ramos for Sal if you have him already, I’m just saying personally when I drafted I targeted Sal and didn’t really bother looking for Ramos.

  23. Chris says:
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    I’ve got Tommy Hunter, LaTroy Hawkins and J.J. Hoover as my RP’s and a pretty good starting pitching staff in a 10 team H2H points league. Would you drop Hawkins or Hoover to pick up Kazmir for his two start week or stand pat with what I’ve got? Saves are worth 7pts.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Chris: Kazmir is a bonafide sleeper candidate but not worth taking a wrecking ball to your team for. yet…

  24. Jeff Ament's Bass says:
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    92 Pearl Jam was the way

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Jeff Ament’s Bass: what about Jeff Ament’s hat? I find that way more interesting/ puzzling.

  25. Los locos says:
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    Now I have fister and kershaw on dl

    Needs to start 5

    Going with Verlander, strausburg, Tillman, wheeler.

    I have porcello and straily on bench, Should i pick up Skaggs, Hutchinson or b Anderson?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @Los locos: I really like Skaggs and Hutch. I would go Hutch if I had to choose.

  26. pitcher perfect says:
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    Erasmo or skaggs???

  27. CrackerJack says:
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    Fernandez has better matchups than Teheran, Price and Cobb, with the added bonus that he is Jose Fernandez… if that still means anything?! Just my opinion. That is all.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @CrackerJack: He does pitch for the marlins …

  28. CrackerJack says:
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    … it’s the Indian, not the arrow! (Side note: Love Kluber tonight…)

  29. CrackerJack says:
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    *** not the harpoon, woulda been better!?

    • CrackerJack says:
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      @CrackerJack: Sorry for not using Reply.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @CrackerJack: Yup Jose was tite!

  30. James says:
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    Hey man, what day should I expect two start paloza for week 2?

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @James: Always on Saturdays. In fact its arrival is imminent!

      • James says:
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        @Pete Nice:

        Awesome, I always look forward to the two start paloozas, helps me plan out me week , since it’s a weekly league

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:
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      @James: it’s up!

Comments are closed.