2019 – Week 6 – Preview

Second last week of the season upon us and with the top 4 teams going at each other, this one has major playoff implications. Kick back, let’s take you through all the scenarios and walk you through what could happen when all of the dust settles after Sunday. Since we’re in the second last week, we’ll reveal a couple of things you may not have known about each team #stats. For this article, we’ll make our prediction and then post a series of stats. The stats may make us change our opinion, or ignore them all together. We want to see if a subjective approach matches the objective one and whether a couple of data points are enough to change our opinions.

Game 1 – Bucks vs Falcons

So we built up all that hype and this game features the current 5 seed versus the current 7 seed. The fact that you don’t know which is which can you tell you a lot about who should be favoured in this game. The Bucks are this season’s enigma. One week they get beat by 11, the next week they lose by one to that same team, only to follow it with a 10 run win. In a season that has been full of close games, the Bucks are the consistent outlier. Nobody really knows what to expect when they step on the field, and unfortunately for captain Ali Raza Nasser, he’s not too sure what to expect himself. Meanwhile the Falcons sit in last place, they have a reserve, Zane Hussain, that has played in more games than many full time players but they’re only back by 2 points from the Bucks. Their run differential tells a story of a lot of close games and a cursory glance of their past games says they’ve only lost by more than 3 runs once. We think they’re due for a big win.

Bucks Season Team Average: 0.516
Bucks Average against the Falcons: 0.492
Falcons Season Team Average: 0.470
Falcons Average against the Bucks: 0.443

Stats don’t seem to support the story, but that’s why the games are played on the field.

Prediction: 10 – 8 Falcons

Game 2 – Owls vs Falcons

Captain Kumail Meghani was heard to have said that his team just put up a bad game offensively last week. With just 3 full time players batting above .500 the stats seem to support that narrative. This team should have all the pieces to be really competitive, but it doesn’t seem to be translating onto the field consistently enough. It’s hard to hold a team like this down though, so we expect that they’ll eventually pull through. The down side for them is that their run differential is the worst in the league at a depressing -14. The good news is that most of that came from last week’s loss to the Bucks. Otherwise, most games have been close. With the Falcons on a back to back, we think that the heat gets to them a little bit and they let this game slip away. Owls will come through, but it won’t be easy for them.

Owls Season Team Average: 0.449
Owls Average against the Falcons: 0.424
Falcons Season Team Average: 0.470
Falcons Average against the Owls: 0.432

Another two teams that play well against each other, no clear advantage but we went with the lower average last time and looks like we’re going with that again.

Prediction: 11 – 9 Owls

Game 3 – Bucks vs Owls

Last game amongst the teams in the bottom of the standings, but make no mistake this is a chance for these teams to propel themselves forward and give themselves the match up they need. While first place may be out of reach, getting a better draw and first round opponent is still likely. The pros in this game for the Owls is that they’ll likely be warmed up, and if we’re right coming off the momentum of a win. The cons are that they’ll be playing a Bucks team that just thrashed them the week before, and will be playing with a lot of confidence against them. While we don’t expect Irfahn Khimji to go a blistering 4 for 4 with 4 RBI in this one, we do expect the Owls to lose. This game is about confidence and the Bucks will come in with a lot of it. We’re going to go against the norm on this – we usually call close games so that we don’t really upset a lot of people, but we’re calling for a blowout in the one.

Owls Season Team Average: 0.449
Owls Average against the Bucks: 0.443
Bucks Season Team Average: 0.516
Bucks Average against the Owls: 0.492

Seriously?! Even with 16 runs they can’t put up an average higher than their team average – who do these guys out perform against??! For a change the stats are on our side.

Prediction 14 – 5 Bucks

Game 4 – Wolves vs Eagles

With the Eagles sitting in 4th place, 2 points separate them from the Wolves. Meanwhile the Wolves are looking to make a push for 1st place and to give themselves a chance to maintain control of that place in their later game against the Lions. The Eagles are without their two captains – Asad Hussain is injured, but healing well and Ali Manek is going to be at a wedding. Despite his efforts to dissuade people from attending this week and cancelling it entirely, the show must go on. The Eagles will bring a roster that will play with a chip on their shoulder, knowing that nobody expects them to win. That makes them dangerous. The downside is that not even the glare from Riaz Champsi’s freshly shaven head will distract us from the fact that they don’t have their two biggest bats, so unless Hasanain Panju and Imtiyaz Kara come through with huge games, expect the Wolves to take this one easily.

Wolves Season Team Average: 0.478
Wolves Average against the Eagles: 0.269
Eagles Season Team Average: 0.491
Eagles Average against the Wolves: 0.600

Alright so what do we know. Based on the stats, the Eagles severely out perform the Wolves when they play each other. It’s a really big difference…enough to change our opinion. Go Eagles?

Prediction: 7 – 6 Eagles

Game 5 – Wolves vs Lions

The battle for first place, these two teams are separated by a single point. The Wolves have lost twice against the Lions so far this season. Last week was a low scoring affair with a final score of 5-2. However, the confidence level coming from the Wolves side has not waned – they believe they weren’t beat by the Lions, just that they beat themselves. The Lions efforts were merely just the wrong place wrong time as it were. For the Lions they get back their captain, Miqdad Jaffer, but they may actually be down to a short handed roster, meaning a lot of space in the outfield. Pros are that this means more ABs for Imran Nasser who has been on a tear recently and is batting with a renewed sense of confidence – as if he needed it. While last week was a low scoring one, expect this one to go the opposite direction and some runs to be put up. End of the day, we still have to go with Lions as it appears they’ve owned this match-up to date.

Wolves Season Team Average: 0.478
Wolves Average against the Lions: 0.516
Lions Season Team Average: 0.513

Lions Average against the Wolves: 0.333

We don’t understand the stats anymore – the Lions won twice, but sport a pathetic 0.333 against the Wolves. Maybe the Wolves have cause for their belief that they beat themselves, it certainly looks that way statistically speaking. Alright, we’ll change our minds again on this one. Wolves take this one, and control of first place.

Prediction: 12 – 10 Wolves

Game 6 – Tigers vs Eagles

In this one, you would expect to have a close game. However, when the team has to ask the question this week “can we play with 7”, you know this one is going to be a bad one. Apparently many of the Eagle players have to make their way elsewhere and they’re leaving their seeding hopes up to 7 players.  Likely they’ll leave 2B open or they’ll have 2 outfielders to cover everything. Neither option is good and either option leaves many giant holes in the field for the Tigers to take advantage of. If the Tigers lose this one, then they don’t really deserve to be in conversation for anything in the playoffs. No pressure…

Tigers Season Team Average: 0.511
Tigers Average against the Eagles: 0.467
Eagles Season Team Average: 0.491
Eagles Average against the Tigers: 0.621

We don’t care what the stats say, yeah it looks like the Eagles usually perform better, but with 7 players on the field, expect this one to get out of hand early.

Edit: Since the time of writing this, we’ve gotten word that Asad Hussain might play this one. That changes things a little bit, but not enough for the Eagles to get the win. He’s still not quite at 100%.

Prediction: 13 – 4 11 – 8 Tigers

Game 7 – Lions vs Tigers

So the good news for the Lions is that the Tigers are playing on a back-to-back, and based on how few players the Eagles will have, they’ll likely have had a lot of XBH. Also the weather promises to be a humid 30+ degrees outside. Also the Tigers have an average age higher than their team batting average. The Lions get a game off, get to re-hydrate and will come out strong against the Tigers. Last time these two teams faced off, the Tigers made the blunder of listening to Abbasali Kermalli who advised that they intentionally walk Miqdad Jafferthat means he gets second base. Then an error allowed the runner from 3rd to score easily. Altaf Champsi pitched that one and held the Tigers to a very low number. This one looks like it’ll be close on paper, but because of the scheduling and the weather, we don’t expect the Tigers to have any juice left. Though they can probably borrow some e-juice from the Lions as post trade it seems like more than half of this team now smokes – just make sure you keep it off the field.

Tigers Season Team Average: 0.511
Tigers Average against the Lions: 0.452
Lions Season Team Average: 0.513
Lions Average against the Tigers: 0.333

Stats tell a sad tale, Lions seem to be facing off against two teams this week who have their number. Had the conditions been favourable, it looks like the Tigers probably take this one. I guess those are the breaks, we’re staying with the Lions winning this one.

Prediction: 6 – 5 Lions

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