The final week of Division Play gives us a handful of tantalizing match-ups, in some cases these are games we’ve been looking forward to since the schedule came out in May. Assuming time and distance aren’t factors in travel (like Game of Thrones!) this would be the perfect Sunday, July 3rd for a KVKL fanatic.
*Amelia Earhart Clusterfuck Aside*
I’m not going to get into all the tie breaking scenarios but just know that if all three teams win, as they’re favored to, then Muddy Waters gets the #1, Goats are #2, and Chalmersiz are going to lay waste to the #3’s.(In this scenario Chalmersiz finishes 9-1, with their sole loss on grass. Seeding that resume is going to be a nightmare, good luck Diana and fellow board members!)
Viewers Guide Times in Bold
Red Legs (4-0) @ Happy Shirt (4-0)
YSC 4, 5:00
It starts and seemingly always ends with Happy Shirt. They hadn’t given us a vintage Happy Shirt performance until last week when they stomped Where’s My Pitches 27-5, but the lineup looks potent and their typically stingy defense has not fallen off at all. Notably absent from the last couple of score sheets has been SS Tyler, who is Happy Shirt’s rock. Curious if he’s nursing an injury or just giving the rest of the roster a chance to gel.
Red Legs have played a few close games, and their average margin of victory sits at 5.0 runs per game, which is the lowest of any of the remaining undefeated’s . They’ve shown tremendous mettle in pulling a few wins out of the fire late in games and if they can keep it close through the first six innings against Happy Shirt then they’ll have to feel decent about their chances.
My pick for the Viewers Guide is to watch the first few innings of this game, because Happy Shirt is going to come out laser focused and try and crush Red Legs’ will straight away. In a matchup of the two time defending champs with mountains of big game experience vs. a new bunch, my prediction is Happy Shirt will jump out to a 5+ run lead and hold Red Legs at arms length for the rest of the game.
Muddy Waters (3-1) @ Leeway Franks (1-3)
Holcom Red 5:00
Congrats to Muddy Waters for winning the first ever 1-0 game in KVKL history, that’s some amazing defense on both sides. They should have no trouble dispatching Leeway Franks, but the offensive concerns are real, having only scored four runs per game over their last three contests. If Muddy does make it into the #1’s they have to defense to hang with anyone, but the offense will have to get better to compete.
Homies (0-4) @ Chalmersiz (3-1)
Holcom Right, 5:00
Shouldn’t be much a contest here, and if Chalmersiz does in fact end up in the #3’s I’ll be curious to see if they go the Wildman route and destroy everyone, or if they follow Red Lyon’s lead and have some fun over the next five weeks. As stated earlier, seeding this team with a potential 9-1 record coming out of the #3 pool is going to the the committees most difficult task.
Free State (4-0) @ Red Lyon (4-0)
YSC 2, 5:00
Once the news came out that Bad News Bagels were going to be in the midst of a major rebuilding year, these two teams have been on a collision course for the inaugural Deron Belt #1 Seed. Free State has put up the more impressive numbers so far, but Red Lyon has been playing hatball and generally easing into the season. That’s going to stop this weekend, where a potentially depleted Lyon will be looking to follow up back-to-back finals appearances with a berth in the #1 pool to further cement themselves as a bona fide powerhouse in KVKL.
Free State has slowly been building a solid team one athletic busser at a time (of the 10 males on the team, 8 have been bus boys at the brewery at some point), but a win over Red Lyon and an appearance in the #1’s would be a high-water mark for this normally lower to mid tier squad.
In a matchup of two veteran teams, mistakes will be few and far between, and as a result this game should go right down to the wire. Be sure to catch the last few innings of this one, it’s going to be close.
Ghosts (3-1) @ Wildman (4-0)
YSC 4, 7:00
Shoutout to the Ghosts for already locking in the #3 seed, they’ve shown some brass balls by winning a couple of close games and are currently my pick to win the Less Awesome Bracket. That being said, Wildman will most likely continue their scorched earth campaign (Current runs for vs. runs against, 101-6) so give this game a quick look if you’re out at YSC to see two teams who could potentially be hoisting plates/trophies at the end of the year.
Ladybird Harpies (2-2) @ Goats (3-1)
Holcom Left, 7:00
The Ladybird Harpies are my favorite story of the season so far. Coming into 2016 they had one division win in their history, and by week four they’ve already doubled that. I don’t think they have the fortitude to stay with the Goats, who are having a renaissance themselves after a bit of a down year in 2015, but of the three games of major impact in the Amelia Earhart division they have the best chance to pull the upset. Give this game a look before heading down to Hobbs for the main event.
Love Garden (4-0) vs. KTC (4-0)
Damn, as a KVKL fan I am genuinely excited to see this game. KTC made the biggest offseason pickup when they snagged Kenny from Los Mats and he only deepens their stable of athletes. Love Garden went the other way and cut some players from the squad and thus far it’s paid dividends. This game is definitely shaping up to be a defensive battle, the two teams combined have only given up 21 runs through the first four weeks of the season, and in all likelihood this GOTW will swing on a single mistake. No pressure.
Or this week will get rained out and we’ll all just get drunk instead.