The Must See Playoff Matchups from Day One
Round 2 are projected games
(16) Los Matadores vs (17) Johnny’s Tavern
Johnny’s finds themselves in the 16-17 game for the second consecutive season, winning over Jazzhaus last year, before bowing out to the #1 overall seed Wildman in the second round. Johnny’s is hot, winners of six in a row, on the back of the second most prolific offense in the league, averaging nearly 18 runs per game. Los Mats have had a solid season, most impressively they’ve hung with both JDE and Muddy Waters, losing to each opponent by three. Los Mats have only scored 20 runs in one game this season, so they’re gonna have to have a strong defensive effort to get this win. The loser is the favorite for the Princess Diana Plate.
Johnny’s – 13
Los Matadores – 8
(13) Red Legs vs. (20) Jazzhaus
Very different levels of confidence and momentum here, Red Legs hasn’t won since Week 5, while Jazz has won four of their last five. Red Legs has had a major problem scoring runs, averaging a paltry four runs per game in rank play. However, the Jazzhaus defense is a little more forgiving than what RL has seen in previous weeks, so expect them to break out here, they will certainly need to because Jazz is young, fast, and brash. Jazzhaus has a few hot heads on their team, so Rick needs to keep them focused and on the ball should they fall behind early, or else it could snowball on them. YSC #6 is one of the smaller fields in the league, so there is some out-of-the-stadium homerun potential on both sides.
Red Legs – 11
Jazzhaus – 10
(10) Red Lyon vs. (23) Free State
These longtime frenemies meet again, with extra layers of intrigue added this year. Lyon has gotten healthy offensively the past couple weeks, scoring 38 runs combined, after hitting a bit of a midseason slump. As everyone knows, Red Lyon is a tournament team, but their path to the championship is a fucking war zone, assuming all the favorites win they have to play: Free State —> D-Holes —> Shirt Factory —> KTC —> Jackpot! If they pull that off, shut the damn league down, nothing would ever be that impressive again.
Free State is the hottest team in KVKL, winners of seven straight (they haven’t lost in nearly two months), though back-to-back one run wins over Lucky Berry and AsteroidHead have been less than impressive. A win for Free State here means their season is a success, as this would be one of the biggest upsets in KVKL history by seed, and a loss sends them to the left side of the bracket where they would have to feel good about potential matchups leading to the Diana Plate. Red Lyon knocked Free State out of the playoffs in ’16, the Growlers are looking for some payback.
Free State – 12
Red Lyon -11
(14) Rats vs. (19) Woost
A rematch of their Week 8 matchup, when Woost upset Rats 11-4. Rats had all the momentum in the world leading into their previous game, and perhaps got caught looking ahead to their upcoming game against Muddy Waters. I assume they learned their lesson, never overlook a team with Dan, Dave, and Jackie, or you’ll get beat. Woost hasn’t won since that Week 8 game, and have been giving up too many runs on defense lately, but they’re a veteran team so they should tighten up in time. The winner has the honor of playing KTC in the next round, while the loser will be one of the favorites for the plate.
Rats – 14
Woost – 8
(5) Love Garden vs. (12) Muddy Waters
The premier matchup of the first day, these two teams are loaded with talented players. Love Garden was the highest scoring team in the league, putting up an astounding 192 runs this year, while Muddy Waters finished third at 173 runs scored. Muddy’s defense was markedly better, only allowing 48 runs all year, LG let 99 runners cross the plate. Granted, LG was playing in the #1’s while Muddy cruised in the #3’s. Each team is coming off an uninspiring performance, Love Garden was held to two runs by KTC, and Muddy Waters only won by three over Los Mats, their closest result in quite some time. If you’re not playing or reffing at 9:30, head over to YSC #6 for a big time kickball game. The loser here is the odds on favorite for The Twain.
Love Garden – 11
Muddy Waters – 10
(2) Lawrence Shirt Factory vs. (15) Kicking Assets
These two teams met in week one and Shirt Factory demolished Assets 34-3. Nobody really ever wants to play LSF, but facing them in week one as a relatively inexperienced team is a recipe for disaster. I’ve seen Kicking Assets play a few times this year and they have some very good kickballers, including Ben Wright. While I don’t think KA are going to pull off the huge upset, Happy Shirt shouldn’t be sleeping on them.
Lawrence Shirt Factory – 16
Kicking Assets – 8
(7) D-Holes vs. (10) Red Lyon
(Yes I realize that I picked Free State over Lyon in round one, but consensus is that RL will advance to this game, so I’ll write about what is most likely)
Red Lyon knocked D-Holes out of the tournament last year en route to the Twain, but D-Holes got the better of them in their week 8 matchup, pulling out a 9-2 victory. That was during Lyon’s offensive swoon, which they seem to have corrected. D-Holes had an argument to jump into the top six seeds and avoid such a tough second round opponent, but it’s now a moot point and they have to go out and at least make a run to the quarterfinals to validate all of the regular season success. I’m betting they do so, and Lyon continues their assault on the Twain bracket.
D-Holes – 12
Red Lyon – 6
(6) Goeser’s vs. (11) Ladybird)
In terms of pure athleticism, this might be the best matchup of the weekend. GGN showed some serious moxie in their week 10 GOTW loss to Lawrence Shirt Factory, while Ladybird has quietly righted the ship and enter the playoffs on a two game winning streak. Whichever captain can keep their young team calm and focused during the second game of the day will move on. I think GGN gets it done, but Ladybird is a confident bunch right now.
Goeser’s Good Neighbors – 13
Ladybird Harpies – 11