Week 3 Preview

Bad News Bagels > Brewballers @ Lyons West, 5 p.m.

I’m only noting this here because I don’t know where else to. In my first team previews posts, I predicted Bad News Bagels to start 2-5. This was in error—I meant 3-4, but by the time I caught it (when resident wildcard Cody L. pointed it out), changing it was out of question. So, yes, I’m picking against my own prediction—I did mention not proofreading, after all. I deserve a collective wuh-wuh.

Anyway. The last two seasons, Brewballers have up 7 runs against Wildman Attack Force, and this year it was more because of its kicking than Wildman’s defense. Brewballers’ CF is legit, offensively and defensively. Bad News Bagels’ Game of the Week against the Screamers wasn’t the blowout people expected, but it was in control the entire game. A few costly errors early on allowed its speedy runners to capitalize. And while Brewballers’ outfield allowed some runs last week, Bad News Bagels is more about place kicking and speed than power. This could be a closer game than people think, but I have the Nice Guys and Gals Bagels winning confidently.

Note. I realize I mention Wildman a lot in my writing. There’s a reason for that: I’ve been on it for five years now, and every week I only get to really watch three games: my own, the game before or after, and Game of the Week. Out of the regular season, that’s only 30 games out of 160 (or 18.75%). My easiest point of reference, then, is against teams I’ve played.

Up to Eleven Late Fees > Space Pussy @ Lyons West, 7 p.m.

Few things are worse than opening the season against Das Boot. Playing the defending champs right afterward might rival that. This statement is applicable to both the Late Fees and Space Pussy, essentially. The Fees lost to the Po’ Boys then Das Boot; and Pussy got pounded by Boot then Po ‘Boys. It’s the battle of teams that have lost to the same teams!

Hotel Lobby > Bulletproof Tigers @ Lyons East, 5 p.m.

After perhaps the biggest surprise of last week, when Hotel Lobby narrowly beat the Kunt Punts 3-2, expect the big-booted team to try and, pardon my non-journalistic vulgarity here, blast the shit out the Bulletproof Cougars. Hotel Lobby scored two in the 1st inning then not again until the 9th. The Tigers had its own small victory last week—it fielded a full team. If it can adjust its lineup and solve its defensive lapses, this could be a close game. But after last week’s lowest scoring KVKL game for as far as I can remember, Hotel Lobby looks to find its groove again.

Happy Shirt > Rockets @ Lyons East, 7 p.m.

Last year’s early season darlings, the Rockets, looked to be darlings again this season. But after losing to Basil Ride 9-7, it could be a repeat of last season. If the Rockets can hang with Happy Shirt, that’d be huge. But Happy Shirt has only allowed 4 runs in two games, and is tied for first place in run differential (+47, tied with Das Boot). The Rockets’ defense can limit Happy Shirt’s offense, but that’s no easy task. If the Rockets can keep the score under 10, it has a shot at pulling off the upset.

Chalmersiz > Channel 6 @ Holcolm Right, 5 p.m.

So far, Chalmersiz has the best defense in the league, allowing only two runs in two games. It also has the best winning percentage (94.12%). Channel 6 has scored 22 and allowed 12 (64.71%). The Toe Pokes struggled against Murda, Inc. last week, but an upset is entirely possible—its major problem is the inconsistency on both offense and defense. I expect a low-scoring game, under 10 cumulative runs, in favor of Chalmersiz defense.

Love Garden Squids > Jazzhaus @ Holcolm Right, 7 p.m.

The Jazzhaus is a much improved team from last season with primarily the same players, while the Love Garden Squids have significantly changed its personnel. Whether or not it has improved is yet to be seen, having played the Ghosts and Harper Valley PTA. The Jazzhaus is coming off a relatively close loss to Sacred Sword (15-10) and could definitely build on that. The Squids should win relatively easily, but a few defensive lapses could make the result look closer. Jazzhaus captain Rick McNeely has gotten his team to play together, so expect improvement as the season progresses.

Merchants of Death > AsteroidHEAD @ Holcolm Left, 5 p.m.

The quote of the season from the KVKL podcast last year was “This game could go either way.” This may be the first legitimate time so far this season that statement is accurate. Having only watched a downpour-laden AsteroidHEAD game and no innings from the Merchants of Death, it’s tough to say either way considering how evenly matched they are statistically. Merchants has a slight edge, though, having allowed less runs and a better win percentage (-15 vs. -19 and 20% vs. 22.86%).

Also, how badass is this: Merchants captain Ryan G. had a triple-play. Now, I’ve only been in the league five years meow, but I’ve never seen nor heard of a successful triple-play. Regardless of its result last week, Ryan earns my coveted—so coveted its italicized—Player of the Week award on that alone.

Sacred Sword > Ghosts @ Holcolm Left, 7 p.m.

The Ghosts are 2nd worst in runs allowed this season, averaging 31 per game (only Space Pussy has allowed more, 63). Sacred Sword is averaging 13 runs scored per game, while allowing 7.5. While injuries and absences have affected Sacred Sword, its offensive output will need to drastically improve over the coming weeks as it prepares for the Goats and Squids. The Ghosts, meanwhile, could stand to put up some runs in the next couple weeks just to show that it can. I wouldn’t expect a blowout, but, like last week, Sacred Sword could have a closer game on paper than it anticipates.

Murda, Inc. > Taco Tuesday @ Holcolm Red, 7 p.m.

After a good victory against Channel 6, Murda, Inc. looks to get above .500 against Taco Tuesday. Murda, Inc. has a close run differential at +2 (16/14). Taco Tuesday has the 2nd worst in the league so far, at -47 (4/51). Of course, Taco Tuesday has played two of the best teams (Happy Shirt and Chalmersiz) whereas Murda, Inc. has played two of the better 10-20 teams (Rockets and Channel 6).

Rats > Hurtz Donut D-Holes @ Holcolm Gold, 5 p.m.

The Rats look good this season. The D-Holes look pretty good, too. Rats are the second best team defensively so far, allowing only 3 runs. Hurtz has allowed 10. The two teams have shared the same opponents, as well—AsteroidHEAD and Merchants of Death. This should be the Game-of-the-Week-that-isn’t. Hurtz has the experience and speed, but the Rats have something that’s hard to place, and not wanting to go against my original predictions (again), I have the Rats on this one, albeit awfully closely.

Das Boot > Terrebonne Po’ Boys @ Holcolm Gold, 7 p.m.

Holcolm Gold is the place to be on Sunday. Immediately following the Rats @ Hurtz Donut D-Holes is Das Boot at the reigning champs Terrebonne Po’ Boys. In the first two games, Das Boot has put up more runs than any other team (52) and have only allowed 5 total. Against the same teams (Up to Eleven Late Fees and Space Pussy), the Po’ Boys have put up 37 and allowed 7. Injuries and inconsistency early on have me taking Das Boot over the champs. Three years ago, Boot handed the then-Star Bar Barracudas its last loss of the season before Star Bar went on to win the championship. These two teams have met every season since, in both Pool Play and the tournament last season.

Wildman Attack Force vs. Screamers @ Holcolm Blue, 5 p.m.

After Screamers came up short in its rally against the Bad News Bagels in last week’s Game of the Week, it looks to do battle with #mericasteam Wildman Attack Force. Wildman will be playing without its error-filled, over-the-park-home-run-less CF Simon, so it might actually play better this week.

Screamers played well last week, though, and aside from a couple costly errors, the game against the Bagels would have been much closer. All but one Wildman player scored—including four players with home runs—whereas the Screamers only had five. As a team it got on base frequently, it just couldn’t capitalize.

Los Matadores > Kunt Punts

Los Matadores have only allowed 7 runs in two games. The Kunt Punts have only scored 6. While still a loss, holding Hotel Lobby to only 3 runs is a small success. But Los Matadores looks really good—a legit Final Four contender, as it has been for the past couple years. Winning the William S. Burroughs division is entirely possible for this squad, but the Kunt Punts are improving with each game.

Red Lyon > Free State Growlers

The Free State Growlers hung with the Goats for most of the game until it allowed 7 consecutive runs in the 6th inning. After that, the Growlers only got on base four times. It’s going to have to adjust against the veteran-laden Red Lyon, who have put up 48 runs in two games, which is a three-way tie for 3rd most in the league. If the Growlers can contain the top of Red Lyon’s lineup—it scored 12 runs alone—then it has a chance, but it has to score more than its collective 9 runs in two games to win.

Basil Ride > Where’s My Pitches?

Basil Ride’s surprise win over the Rockets shouldn’t come as much of a surprise as it was. It’s a good team, but it has struggled. And the exact same thing can be said of the Rockets, in spite of all of its off-season pickups in the past two years. Where’s My Pitches?’ scoring drought may come to an end tonight against a Basil Ride team that’s allowed 23 runs so far, but to win any game you’ve got to score more than once. The big stage could certainly help Where’s My Pitches?, though. Basil Ride wants to win big—don’t expect it slow down.