Season Preview – Part Two

We’ve kept you waiting long enough, but before we give you our predictions for the top 3, we have to update you on some trades that have happened.

Trade Update

Falcons trade Hussain Habib & 1.2M to the Owls for Jaffer Kermalli
Eagles trade Abbas Allidina to the Tigers for Abbas Chagani
Eagles trade Mehboob Ajwani to the Falcons who trade Sam Valimohamed to the Tigers who trade Mohamed Walli to the Eagles in a 3-way trade

Alright now that the trades are finished, let’s get on to the rankings, like last time, we start at the bottom and work our way to #1

TIGERS

Captain Hussein Allidina made a pre draft deal that would land him the first overall pick, with it he picked our commissioner, Miqdad Jaffer. While many would cry foul, especially some that felt that they should’ve been the first overall pick – Hussein was clear in his reasoning

We needed someone to put out the bases and Ali Manek didn’t know how and wasn’t going to do it, Miqdad was the logical choice.

Just this past week, the Tigers made a trade with the Eagles to acquire Abbas Allidina. While this was a trade that may have improved the Eagles more than the Tigers, Abbas brings back the chemistry from last year’s Red Sox team – though they finished in 3rd so who knows how much value that really is. The tigers also traded to acquire Sam Valimohamed, who by all accounts improves the Tigers from an on and off field perspective and may add some much needed power to this lineup. This team is being built on chemistry and with one practice already underway this team will have fun, if you don’t mind all the second hand smoke.

This team is not built on power, in fact as far as we can tell they won’t have more than 5 home runs for the season as a team. What they will do is chip away single after single until pitching staffs across the league begin to wonder if they’ve hit the mercy limit already, it’s going to be a lot of small ball. If bunting was allowed, you better believe that this team would be practicing it. However, defensively this team will be strong. It will be difficult to score runs against them as they have capable players at nearly every position, expect a lot of low scoring games as a result.

Though this team is made up of 6 new comers to our league, regulars like Maysum Jaffer will return to his favored rover position. Now without the threat of an errant concussion from former teammate Imran Ebrahim, he should feel safe and secure and able to take the same risks he did last year. Still, our advice to the rest of the Tigers players – Call the ball!

Pitching wise the Tigers bring in another regular in Hasnain Kara, and while they lost their backup pitcher in a trade, the newly acquired Abbas Allidina should be able to step in when needed. This team will likely look to have someone like Minaz Noormohamed learn the pitching position as well just to shore up some depth.

The captains, Hussein Allidina and Bobby Bharwani, have been clear what they want to achieve this year – food at every game – we’re glad they’re being realistic.

Strengths: Defense at every position, consistency
Weaknesses: Lack of HR ability
What to look for: Ability of 6 new comers to figure it out on the field, Mahmood Kara developing a home run swing
Prediction: 7-6 (3rd)


WOLVES

Getting to the final two now, and believe us we flip flopped these positions a number of times. However, we finally settled on the Wolves in the 2nd place spot. The wolves drafted smart, making sure that they kept their average age to a minimum 20.5 years old. Captain Ali Merali who is taking on the captain duties for the first time put in a lot of time and effort into constructing his ideal team, but during a late night of video games with co-captains Imran Virji and Imran Nasser, the strategy was clear – relive the glory of high school.

With a whopping 8 new comers, this team is built on potential and youth. They’re going to have a lot of fun on the field and they’ve got a good mix of power, speed, and agility. That said, what they lack is experience and infielders. Most of the players on this team are athletes so we think they’ll figure out what they need to do, but we don’t think they’ll put it all together until the playoffs. That said, the chemistry on this team will carry them through and you can expect to see a lot of late game rallying and likely a rally cap or two.

The good thing is that this team has outfielders and any team planning on hitting it out there better be ready for a surprise or two. Co-Captain Imran Virji is a regular highlight reel out there catching anything and everything that stays in the air long enough. We’re curious to see how they put together their batting order because it seems like all the parts are interchangeable.

Pitching is a major concern, the Wolves came in with the mentality that anyone can pitch. They’re in for a rude awakening once they realize that it’s not as easy to hit a 2′ x 3′ rectangle from 50′-60′ away as they thought it was – expect a lot of walks early on. We have no idea who will pitch for them, but we think that Iqbal Jessa may get the start while they figure it out.

Strengths: Speed, Balance, Youth
Weaknesses: Lack of Experience, Pitching
What to look for: Highlight reel plays in the outfield, 8 new players figuring out how to play together
Prediction: 8-5 (2nd)


FALCONS

We know what you’re thinking, the Falcons really? And yeah, as much as it pains us to write it, we think that the Falcons bringing back the core captain team of Imtiyaz Kara and Mohez Kamalia and finals MVP Abbasali Kermalli is still the team to beat. They added 2nd overall draft pick Ali Manek to the mix, and you read that right – second, not first. And while Ali Manek is usually busy making jokes or tweeting, when he wants to he’s one of the best players in the league and a complete player. This will be a difficult team to play against, they have very few weaknesses in their lineup. Of course the one thing they have the most of is experience. So while the Wolves may have the youngest team, the Falcons definitely have the oldest. However, other than the smell of bengay from the bench, that experience will make this team one to reckon with.

Hitting wise they have multiple power hitters, Abbasali Kermalli and Ali Manek should do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to homeruns but don’t be surprised if players like Hasan Razvi get in on the HR action as well . There are some unknowns on this roster, Riaz Champsi is one that we expect to be a player, but nobody has seen him on the field so it’s tough to tell what we can expect. Fielding wise, they seem to be infielder heavy but there’s no reason to panic since they have enough players that can play dual roles. Also, the trade last week that added Jaffer Kermalli should shore up the outfield responsibilities.

Pitching is likely the only concern for this team, Altaf Champsi will likely pick up the starters role, but should he get in trouble or not be able to make it they may need to find a regular backup. Look for this team to practice pitching in the month leading up to the season in order to add some depth here.

So last year’s captain core keeps the top spot, let’s see if the rest of the league can dethrone them, until then, they’re our favourite to repeat this year.

Strengths: Experience, Balance, Power
Weaknesses: Pitching
What to look for: Big innings with 6 runs offensively and 0 runs given up defensively
Prediction: 9-4 (1st)

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