Now that rank play is here, I’m going to have to adjust the format of this post as there will be a potential for a grand slam of HOME RUN-quality games every week. Instead, I will try to cover the developments in each of the 1-4 races and feature the best match up each has to offer. Sorry 5’s, but anyone that wants to offer insight into the cellar race is welcome to do so. Keep those picks coming—person with the most picks this week also gets to pick their very own Santos’ booger.
Los Luchadores v Das Boot
Okay, the 1’s are going to feature a full slate of quality match ups every week, so I’ve got two this week. It’s hard to rank the top teams until they start playing each other, and all of the top teams frankly have a big of questions surrounding them. Das Boot is in a very impressive position in just their second year in the league, and I’m guessing I’m not alone in having never seen them play. They have solid wins against Mad Greek and Eldridge this year, but their body of quality games is still small. One thing is certain, any team that is one punch away from knocking Pita Pit out of the tournament has got game. We (or maybe it is just me), will know a lot more about DB after their game against the freakish KVKL Frankenstein that is Los Luchadores. Part Tellers, Astrokitty, Pita Pit, Eastsiders, a kidney from a city league team, and the hands of a retired Love Gardener (we love you, Tim!), LL has pieced together a team that can instantly compete for a championship, but they are still learning how everything works together and trying to figuring out how to walk, talk, have bowel movements, and holy hell how to breath under that ridiculous mask. PREDICTION: LL 7 DB 6
Pita Pit v Sacred Sword
On with the questions surrounding the 1’s. Pita Pit is, well, Pita Pit but we don’t know how much the loss of Deron and the Koester sisters will impact them, and we also don’t know how they will absorb the injury to their big off season acquisition and 1B, Vaughn, from First Blood. While they looked damn good in the GOTW against Yello Sub, it’s yet to be seen just how much Sacred Sword has matured (as a team, I mean—we all know we’re just big kids playing a school yard game) after their struggles last season, or how much their new all stars, CJ and Alexis, can improve their competitiveness. I don’t recall SS ever having a competitive game against PP, but I personally think SS has bounced back from last year with new life. SS sure wishes they had their CF and offensive weapon back from the World Cup, but I think their balanced offensive attack can score runs on PP’s defense. The bigger question is if the SS outfield can contain PP’s offense. PREDICTION: PP 11 SS 7
Screamers v Mad Greek – GOTW
This could be a dandy under the lights. The 2’s looks to be an exciting race, and here’s the way I rank it: Yello Sub, Screamers, Red Lyon, Mad Greek, Replay, Weavers. I’m looking forward to seeing the Screamers for the first time ever as well as the 2010 Mad Greeks, who I’ve been writing about nearly every week this season. Hats off to Mad Greek for leading the league in runs scored through pool play with an even 100. I hear they’ve even been kicking their “balls deep” to do it. I also hear that a regular SITP contributor, AP, is 20/20 on the season. Impressive.
But the statistic I think will decide this contest is the stingy 24 runs that the Screamers have allowed, which ranks them 3rd in the league. 12 of these runs were ceded to Los Luchadores in week 1, and the rest of their schedule included Rangelife and Jazzhaus. Can MG break the S’s defense or keep this a low scoring affair? PREDICTION: S 10 MG 7
Slowride v Eastsiders
These two teams are playing to become the top contender to Rangelife for the 3’s race. Here’s the way I rank it: Rangelife, Slowride, Eastsiders, Freestate, Liberty Hall, Channel 6. The Eastsiders are still rebuilding the pieces of their KVKL legacy team. They have a core group of veteran, skilled women who have kept the team together and recruited a bunch of young, athletic guys who have demonstrated a quick learning curve. Slowride is coming out of the “pool of death” battle tested and ready, with an impressive win over Jazzhaus, a narrow loss to Red Lyon, and a convincing win over interpool opponent Liberty Hall. PREDICTION: winner gets bragging rights on the podcast. Here’s for some Cougar trash talk E 9 S 8
Jazzhaus v Brew Ballers
Tosinator’s prayers to Phil the Kickball Scheduling God went unanswered. He was hoping this would be the rank-play finale to decide the top 4 team, but Tosinator apparently did some heinous act to elicit such a vengeful response. On the bright side, both teams have a winning streak after they were able to abrupt their pool play freefall with impressive week 5 wins. BB beat interpool opponent Red Lyon, while J beat death pool champ, Eldridge. I agree with Tosinator that this is the best match up of the 4’s, with West Coast looking to play their way into contention. I see it this way: Jazzhaus, Brew Ballers, West Coast, Murda Tang, Blue Collar, Wildman.
This looks to be an intriguing match up. BB utilize a well balanced offense, but J can make them one dimensional with strong outfielders and one of the best 3B in the league. J plays a kick away offensive style that can be stagnant at times, and BB can negate their strength with their 4 outfielder defensive alignment. The team that makes the most effective adjustments wins. PREDICTION: J 9 BB 6