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Here’s What To Watch For In A Game That Doesn’t Matter

The Hot Takedown team gathers after an exciting week in sports, including the U.S. women’s national soccer team winning its fourth World Cup title, Kawhi Leonard making waves by signing with the Clippers and Serena Williams surging into the Wimbledon semifinals.

In advance of tonight’s MLB All-Star Game, we debate the value of this friendly matchup, how the rosters should be formulated, what could account for the American League’s historic dominance and why data is making it harder to snub players. We’re also joined by FiveThirtyEight writer Travis Sawchik to discuss his new book, “The MVP Machine: How Baseball’s New Nonconformists Are Using Data to Build Better Players,” co-written with The Ringer’s Ben Lindbergh. Their book argues that player development, inspired by and propelled through data, is the most important frontier in baseball.

In advance of the USWNT’s ticker-tape parade through New York City, our Rabbit Hole digs into this historic tradition.

What we’re looking at this week:

Grace Lynch is the former producer of Hot Takedown.

Sara Ziegler is the former sports editor at FiveThirtyEight.

Neil Paine was the acting sports editor at FiveThirtyEight.

Geoff Foster is the former sports editor of FiveThirtyEight.

Travis Sawchik is a former sportswriter for FiveThirtyEight.