The Most Important Games Remaining In Each Pool
As we close in on the playoffs, these are the games that will have the largest impact on seeding:
Jackpot! (7-1/2-1)vs. Kansas Tree Care (8-0/3-0)
Hobbs Park, 7:00 PM
A rematch of last years epic championship game that was won by Jackpot (née Wildman) in extra innings, this is the stiffest challenge KTC has remaining on their quest for a perfect regular season and the #1 overall seed in the tournament. A win for Jackpot here and they have a decent shot at the #1 seed, depending on what happens with Lawrence Shirt Factory from here on out. If you’re not playing at 7:00 on Sunday, get out to Hobbs early, this has potential to be the best game of the season.
KTC – 9
Jackpot! – 6
Goesers Good Neighbors (5-3/0-3) vs. Lawrence Shirt Factory (7-1/2-1)
Hobbs Park, 9:00 PM
The intrigue here is two-fold, depending on what happens in the KTC-Jackpot game mentioned above, Happy Shirt has a chance to get the #1 overall seed in the tournament with an impressive performance under the lights. GGN plays Love Garden week 9 at Holcom right, a brutal field assignment against one of the most high powered offenses in the league, so week 10 against Lawrence Shirt Factory might be their last chance to get a win and prevent them from falling like a rock in the tournament seeding. The last #1 seed that went 0-5 in rank play was Free State in ’16. They dropped to the #8 seed, and had two one run losses on their resume. GGN hasn’t been particularly close in any of their losses thus far, if that trend continues, could they fall out of the top 10?
Lawrence Shirt Factory – 14
Goesers Good Neighbors – 4
Jackpot! (7-1/2-1) vs. Chalmersiz (6-2/1-2)
YSC #1, 5:00 PM
Chalmersiz beat Goeser’s in Week 6, but are staring down the barrel of finishing on a four game losing streak, potentially with some large margins of defeat. They just lost by 11 to KTC, take on Lawrence Shirt Factory in Week 9 (who they have historically had zero success against), and then finish up with Jackpot. Rank play has been unkind to Chalmersiz strength of schedule too, as their best wins so far (GGN and Red Legs) are a combined 0-6. I think getting a win in the one seeds almost assures them of a top five seed in the playoffs, but Hurtz and JDE are looking mighty impressive in the #2’s and are eyeing a jump if Chalmersiz gets blown out a couple more times.
Jackpot! – 10
Chalmersiz – 4
*Love Garden, you’re the only team I didn’t write about because I feel like you’re pretty much locked into the #4 overall seed unless something drastic happens. However, your once commanding lead in overall runs scored is starting to dwindle, do you have enough to hold on?
*Disclaimer: I picked the #2 seeds so horrifically wrong in my Rank Play Preview, all of this should be taken with a gigantic grain of salt*
Hurtz Donut D-Holes (7-1/3-0) vs. John Denver Experience (7-1/3-0)
YSC #1, 7:00 PM
These two are on a collision course so long as they both take care of business in Week 9. As mentioned above, the winner of this could jump one, or even two teams in the #1 seeds depending on how everything plays out. D-Holes seem to be peaking at the right time, shaking off that bludgeoning at the hands of KTC at GOTW, while JDE is putting up better offensive numbers in Rank Play than they did in pool play, so I’m looking forward to seeing this revamped lineup on Sunday at Hobbs under the lights. I still think Hurtz has a bit more talent than the Goats, but this should be a tight affair.
D-Holes – 9
John Denver Experience – 7
Red Legs (4-4 / 0-3) vs. Ladybird Harpies (4-4 / 0-3)
Lyons East, 5:00 PM
Not at all where I thought these two teams would be, the loser of this game is almost assuredly getting jumped by Muddy Waters and maybe the Woost if they finish strong and the board looks past their forfeit loss that was actually a win. Flying Hellfish finished 0-5 in the #2’s last year and dropped all the way to the #14 seed, so it’s not out of the question for that to happen again this year. Either way, these two teams have plenty of young talent and I think whoever wins will have some good vibes heading into the tournament and be ready to make a serious run at the Twain.
Ladybird – 12
Red Legs – 11
Red Lyon (5-3 / 1-2) vs. Pawsh Wash (5-3 / 2-1)
Hobbs Park, 7:00 PM
First and foremost, hats off to Pawsh Wash, most prognosticators picked them to finish 0-5 in the #2’s, and here they are staring at a top 10 seed in the tournament and squarely in the discussion for the Twain. They had a three game losing streak in the middle of the season (Love Garden, Free State, and JDE) and it looked like their season was headed down the drain, but they’ve responded in a big way, posting back to back wins over Ladybird and Red Legs. A win over Lyon ensures them a top half of the #2’s finish and the most successful season in Filthy Animals history. Red Lyon has had an up-and-down year, with their offense seeming to desert them lately, only averaging six runs/game since week two. They play solid defense, but they need to get the boots working if they want to make a patented Red Lyon type run in the postseason.
Red Lyon – 8
Pawsh Wash – 7
Rats (5-3/2-1) vs. Muddy Waters (6-2/3-0)
YSC #4, 5:00 PM
This game lost a bit of it’s shine when the Rats were upset by Woost last week, but it still seems like this could be the stiffest challenge that Muddy will face in Rank Play. Muddy hasn’t had a game finish within single digits thus far in the #3’s, while outscoring their opponents 68-17 through three weeks. The Rats still have the inside track to finish second overall in the #3’s, but they got handled by Woost last week and now will likely finish 3-2, not a good enough record to jump anyone from the #2’s. A major question for the board is how high can Muddy climb? Chalmersiz finished 9-1/5-0 in the #3’s in 2016 and were awarded an #11 seed, can Muddy do better than that?
Muddy Waters – 18
Rats – 8
River City Matadores (4-4/1-2) vs. The Woost (4-4/1-2)
Holcom Right, 7:00 PM
In an alternate universe without forfeits these teams are both 2-1 in Rank Play and looking to finish 4-1 and potentially jump the last place team in the #2’s. As it stands now, they are fighting to stay out of the basement this week. Los Mats have some incredibly talented players, and they’re not a team a #1 seed should take lightly come playoff time, but Woost is putting together one of their better seasons in recent memory and are coming off their best win of the year last week. Look for Woost to keep it going.
The Woost – 11
Los Mats – 7
Drop Stoppers (3-5 / 1-2) vs. Kicking Assets (4-4 / 1-2)
Holcom Right, 7:00 PM
On the other end of the forfeit spectrum, these two teams benefited from lineup issues from their opponents, but have yet to actually record a win on the field in Rank Play. If either of these teams goes 1-4 in the #3’s, with their only win by forfeit it will be very interesting to see how the board seeds them. A 5-0 team from the #4’s would likely jump them, but would a 4-1 record be enough too? It seems like they probably should, but there’s an argument to be had. As for this game, I think Kicking Assets has the talent to get this win pretty handily and keep themselves firmly in the 15-16 seed range come tourney time.
Kicking Assets – 14
Drop Stoppers – 7
Johnny’s Tavern(5-3/3-0) vs. Jazzhaus (5-3/3-0)
YSC #4, 5:00 PM
As long as neither of these teams stumble in Week 9, we are in for a doozy of a matchup to decide the winner of the #4’s. Johnny’s won the #4’s last year and are 13-0 in Rank Play since their inception in ’16, while Jazzhaus took a slight step back this year, dropping from the #3’s to the #4’s. This is also a rematch of last season 16-17 matchup in the playoffs, won by Johnny’s. There are going to athletes galore on the field for this one, and the winner has a chance to hurdle a couple of teams in the #3’s. I’m going to go with the veteran team here.
Johnny’s – 16
Jazzhaus – 12
Bunt N Grind (3-5 / 1-2) vs. Reboot X (4-4 / 2-1)
Holcom Left, 7:00 PM
Assuming Bunt N Grind can get by the Ghosts in Week 9, the winner of this game will likely finish third in the #4’s. Bunt N Grind will need to pick up their defense, as they have allowed double digit runs in six out of their eight games thus far. Reboot has had a few offensive explosions this year, scoring over 20 twice already, and if BNG doesn’t tighten things up, this one could get out of hand.
Reboot X – 14
Bunt N Grind – 9
Ghosts (2-6 / 0-3) vs. Repetition (2-6 / 0-3)
Lyons West, 5:00 PM
The battle to stay out of the basement of the #4’s is going to be fierce. The Ghosts got their premier win of the season in Week 4 when they surprisingly took down AsteroidHead, while Repetition beat Rockets in a fantastic GOTW in Week 5. It’s been tough sledding ever since for both teams, combing for an 0-6 record thus far in Rank Play with a combined run differential of 114 – 48. My pick is the team that has played a bit better of late, The Ghosts, but both of them are in real danger of getting jumped by the winner of the #5’s.
Ghosts – 13
Repetition – 9
Lucky Berry (3-5/2-1) vs. Free State Growlers (5-3/3-0)
YSC #3, 5:00 PM
Lucky Berry has been playing quite a bit better as this season has gone along, winning two in a row and holding the high powered AsteroidHead to nine runs in their previous game. Free State has the second longest winning streak in the league behind KTC, winners of five straight and outscoring their opponents 71-16 in that stretch, including a win over Pawsh Wash that continues to look better and better. If Free State wins here they lock up the #5’s, but their sights are set much higher, looking to finish 5-0 and jump as many as three #4’s. I’m not sure that a team has ever been placed above three teams from a pool above them, but because of common opponents there is an argument to be made.
Free State Growlers – 13
Lucky Berry – 7
Corksuckers (4-4/2-1) vs. AsteroidHead (2-6/1-2)
Holcom Left, 5:00 PM
Corksuckers have had a very solid season, only allowing double digit runs in two games all season, while AsteroidHead has only held two opponents (Grandstand and Screamers) under 10 runs, so this will truly be a game of conflicting styles. Normally I choose the defensive team, but Holcom Left plays to AsteroidHead’s strengths, and last time Cork played on a small Holcom field they gave up 17 runs in their worst showing of the season, so I’m calling the upset on this one.
AsteroidHead – 15
Corksuckers – 11
Nick Lerner’s “Homies” (2-6/1-2) vs. Screamers (1-7/0-3)
YSC #1, 5:00 PM
Without the benefit of a forfeit, this would be a matchup of two winless teams in Rank Play with a combined season long record of 2-14. That being said, there are some very solid kickball players on each team. They’re both averaging about 5.5 runs/game over their last three games, so don’t expect this to be a shootout, but rather a tight, low scoring affair. As Cougar would say, “Homies by one.” These two teams must have their eye on winning The Boot.
Brewballers (2-6/2-1) vs. Sacred Sword (3-5/3-0)
YSC #1, 7:00 PM
Brewballers are the only team other than Sword with a chance to win the #6’s, and they’ll need to bring their A-game (and a full lineup) to do so. They should be 3-0 too, but “lost” on a forfeit, so this really is the heavyweight fight in the #6’s. Brewballers have outscored their opponents 30-23, while Sword has gone 42-12, so they look like the favorite in this one. Again, these two teams could easily end up playing for the Cougar Cup in a few weeks.
Rockets (2-6/2-1) vs. Leafy Greens (0-8/0-3)
Lyons West, 5:00 PM
This looks like Leafy Greens last best hope to get a win in the regular season, but unfortunately for them the Rockets look like they figured out their offense last week, Hate Fuck Kickballing™ their way to 32 runs against Grandstand last week. The Greens have some decent players, and only lost to Brewballers by four last week, so there is hope, it’s just gotta happen this week.
Rockets – 15
Leafy Greens – 9
Grandstand (1-7/1-2) vs. Liberty Hall(1-7/1-2)
Lyons East, 5:00 PM
Both of these teams have a win already, so they’re playing with house money. Liberty didn’t put on their best performance at GOTW, but they were missing a few key players so I don’t put too much stock in that loss. Grandstand has never won two games in the regular season (dating back to 2012) so a win here would be monumental.
Grandstand – 9
Liberty Hall – 7