In their first two games of the season, the Lions showed the league that they are going to be a defensive force this season. Allowing only 12 runs in two games is the lowest Runs-Against in the JMS. Run production needs to be addressed as no one really stood out in week 2. The Abbasali Kermalli – Mohammed Abdalla trade will be one we will watch all season so Abdalla with his home run last week has proven he is ready to prove critic wrong. This weeks battle of undefeated teams will likely come down to role players but the Bucks can score a lot of runs really quickly. Can the Lions hold them down? We think so but we give the edge to the Bucks in a low scoring affair.
X-Factors: The surprising Mehdi Hasan Najarali is batting .500 but also drew 2 walks in week 2. If he can continue to be an on-base threat, the Lions have a good chance to keep scoring. Muhammad A. is off to a slow start and but if he regains form and can get on base in week 3, the Lions may have the balance needed between their stellar defence and some run production.
Game 1: Bucks 8 vs. Lions 6
Imran Nasser is clearly trying to get out of the shadows of his MVP brother as their role were reversed and it was Imran who jacked 2 homers this week. And although the Bucks are touted to be the strongest power hitting team, they have been scoring runs with a lot of singles and doubles. Edging the Falcons last week and maintaining their undefeated record (3-0) have them motivated to keep going without making changes. The question is how long will Abbasali Kermalli stay off the Home Run charts and can guys like Daanish Jaffer and Kazim Merchant continue to get on base at the rate they are.
This week against the Lions we expect their strong defence to hold up against a balance Lions team giving the Bucks the edge. However, the Tigers will be adding key parts to their lineup and looks like it will be a high scoring affair that but that’s where the Bucks seem to do their best. Expect the Bucks to remain undefeated this weekend.
X-Factors: Shane Nasser is off to a great start hitting .500 and leading the team in runs scored (5). His emergence as another threat in the lineup will help the Bucks keep scoring a lot of runs. Fayaz Jiwan has an amazing start to the season and if he is back in the lineup contributing at his .750 Average, the Bucks lineup will live up to the reputation of being the deepest in the league.
Game 1: Bucks 8 vs. Lions 6
Game 2: Bucks 15 vs. Tigers 11
The unfortunate combination of not being able to score and allowing a lot of runs have the Tigers sitting with the worst run differential in the league. However, it shouldn’t remain that way, as on paper there are really few holes defensively on this team. With two games under their belt, the left side of the IF led by Shane Worthington and Nadim Rahemtulla should make it hard for the Bucks and Wolves. But with two hard-hitting clubs to play against, the team needs more than a total of 9 RBIs and 11 runs scored. Tigers are hoping to have Vick Vij in the lineup for the first time this season, which will be a huge addition.
With key offensive additions to the lineup, expect the Tigers to crack the strong defence of the Bucks however fall just short in a power matchup. The Tigers then face another hot hitting team in the Wolves who are coming off a 27 run game last week. 12 Runs wont do it against the Wolves but the Tigers are heading in the right direction.
X-Factors: Bobby Bharwani will need to continue to lead the way with an OBP of .750 if the Tigers are going to get some offence. His 2 RBI’s are tied for the club lead. If Bobby can keep getting on base and moving runners over, the Tigers will put up the numbers they need. The Ray Noormohamed / Arif Gulamhusein trade had mixed reviews but Arif is off to a really hot start. Ray will need to get his on base up this week to make sure the Tigers made a good choice by giving up on Gulamhusein.
Game 1: Bucks 15 vs. Tigers 11
Game 2: Wolves 16 vs. Tigers 12
The Wolves scored 32 runs this week but 27 of them came against an undermanned Falcons team. If they can keep up that kind of momentum, they are going to tear through the Tigers and Eagles. However, we think that we are more likely to see a balanced game and not a 22-run rout. Ali Merali, who leads the team with a 5.25 ERA, helped his own cause last week ripping out 9 RBIs while hitting for the cycle. 1st round pick Umair Ali got in on the action with his first home run of the season on route to 7 RBIs as well. But the real story was the unexpected emergence of Muzammil Jaffer as a serious power threat as he hit his first two home runs of the season. The hard-hitting Wolves will be looking to continue that pace coupled with some of the strongest outfield defence in the league.
The Wolves will need to continue to put up strong numbers as the Tigers will be looking to tack on some runs in a hurry. The Eagles will be harder to score as they possess a very strong outfield however, if the Wolves play more like their 2nd game instead of their 1st game, we are going to see them win both games this week.
X-Factors: Mohamed Railey on-base percentage of .714 will be a huge factor as he can tear the base paths with blinding speed. Runs will be harder to come by this week so Railey will be counted on to keep getting on base while some of the veterans figure it out.
Hussein Champsi’s team leading .857 OBP is a very important factor to the Wolves ability to get runs across. Champsi is also tied for 2nd in runs scored with 4 from last week so if they get a similar output from him this week, the Wolves will be extremely hard to stop.
Game 1: Wolves 16 vs. Tigers 12
Game 2: Wolves 15 vs. Eagles 8
The 0-3 Eagles only put up 7 runs in their loss to the Lions last week and while Maysum Jaffer was on fire batting 1.000, reports have surfaced that he has been losing sleep over the Miqdad Jaffer / Ali Manek trade after hearing Manek hit 4 homers last week. Having a hard time scoring was going to be expected as the team starts to grow together but on the upside, they only gave up 10 runs to a strong Lions club. Having an experience pitcher in Mohamed Walli will play a pivotal role in keeping runs off the board, but at the same time, guys like Minhal Jaffer will have to get it going to get this team their first win of the season.
The highly anticipated matchup between #1 and #1A Overall Draft Picks Miqdad Jaffer and Ali Manek will have to wait another few weeks as news has surfaced that Manek will be missing this game as he is on tour promoting his new Softball For Khoja’s publication. Expect the Eagles to pull off their first win of the season against the undermanned Falcons, however the stronger and more experienced Wolves should put the Eagles to rest rather quickly.
X-Factors: The battle of Chagani’s is also a topic being watched as Abbas Chagani was essentially traded for Salim Chagani of the Falcons. Abbas will need to improve on both his average and his OBP to help the Eagles put up some runs and give the edge to the Eagles.
Asif Ali Remtula’s huge triple and team leading 2 runs scored last week will be called upon again this week as the Eagles try to overcome a slow start to the season.
Game 1: Wolves 15 vs. Eagles 8
Game 2: Falcons 9 vs. Eagles 12
The undermanned Falcons were a tale of two teams last week as they got spanked by the Wolves by 22 runs but then lost a squeaker against the Bucks 20-19. The importance of a full lineup is very much appreciated in this clubhouse but while both Walli brothers will be back in the lineup, they will still be short. Khalil Sivjee’s pitching career has likely come to an end with a 14,000 ERA (not a typo) leaving a lot of pressure on Altaf Champsi who has vowed to come back this week with a vengeance after giving up 36 runs. And even if reports are correct and JMS home run leader Ali Manek is out this week, with Sivjee in the lineup, the Falcons are a very strong team and you can expect him to fill in perfectly as a defensive infielder or outfielder.
The Falcons will be in tough against a motivated and strong team in the Eagles who will be looking for their first win of the season. Expect the Eagles to put up enough runs to win against a defence that has allowed 24 more runs than any other team in the JMS.
X-Factors: Mohammedabbas Walli back in the lineup should prove to be a huge plus for the Falcons this week as they try to bounce back into the win column. Walli will need to regain some of his previous slugging numbers and hit for extra bases to help push runners across.
Hassanein Bhaloo’s 3 doubles and .667 slugging would be amongst the team leaders on other teams but with an average of only .333, Bhaloo will need to find his stroke quickly this week if the Falcons hope to pull off a victory against a primed Eagles team.
Game 1: Falcons 9 vs. Eagles 12