After a week break for al-Wahda, JMS is back for week four! As we are now back at Nobleton, the home run limit has been removed. Those who could clear the fence in King City may find that they only have warning track power at Nobleton. Are we going to see more pop flies? Are we going to see more swinging strikes as hitters go for the long ball? Are outfielders prepared to cover more ground? Swing for the fences with your week four preview!
Game 1 – Tigers vs Owls
Normally, an 8am game would mean that half the Owls would be struggling to make it on time. However, the Owls will have some extra zip in their step after getting walked off by the Tigers in their last meeting. The big question of this game is whether the Owls will go back to last week’s pitcher of the week, Mohamed Walli, or let Asad Nasser lead them to victory.
Prediction: 12 – 8 Owls
Game 2 – Falcons vs Tigers
For the first time this season, the Tigers are set to take on the Falcons. With Falcons captain Umair Ali swinging a scorching hot bat, the Tigers pitching needs to be on their game. A key difference for the Tigers is the switch to the Nobleton diamond. While the veteran Tigers can clear the fence at Nobleton, look for them to play a smarter game by aiming for the gaps instead of the riskier game in trying to go the distance. The exception to this would be captain Vick Vij who is always a threat to clear the fence. If he is back in the lineup this week, look for him to go shot for shot with Umair.
Prediction: 14 – 12 Tigers
Game 3 – Owls vs Wolves
Despite missing their captain, the Wolves have proven they can be a strong defensive team that puts up just enough runs to get some wins. Aadil Jaffer and Shane Nasser have really stepped up their games this season for the Wolves. Look for this one to be a very competitive game with tight defence from both teams leading to some quick innings.
Prediction 7 – 5 Wolves
Game 4 – Lions vs Falcons
Currently sitting tied for first, the Lions are looking to bounce back after last week’s poor showing. In another first meeting of the season, captain Miqdad Jaffer is looking to get his team a fresh start against a team they have yet to face this season. Can Miqdad get his pitching back on the rails? Will the rookies on the Lions be able to adjust to the larger field? Will Hussein Jiwan continue swinging a hot bat? This preview thinks so.
Prediction: 7 – 6 Lions
Game 5 – Wolves vs Bucks
In our third first meeting of the season, the Wolves are poised to take on the Bucks. With both teams coming in having won their last two games, both are hungry to snap the other’s win streak. After a hot start, Bucks’ captain Ali Raza Nasser has slowed down at JMS but had a great tournament at al-Wahda. Will he be able to keep the momentum going? This preview doesn’t think so, but with the rest of the Bucks team also rounding into form, the Wolves will have their work cut out for them.
Prediction: 11 – 10 Bucks
Game 6 – Eagles vs Lions
Fresh off losing in the final of the Al-Wahda tournament, both captains Miqdad Jaffer and Ali Manek are rumoured to be re-evaluating their softball decisions. While Manek is reconsidering his softball career altogether, Miqdad is having second thoughts about trading Imtiaz Kara to the Eagles. Each time these two teams have faced off it has been an excellent game with each being decided by one run. Something will need to tip the scales, so with three al-Wahda champs on the Eagles squad in Imtiyaz Kara, Hasanain Panju, and Asad Hussain, we’re going to give this tie breaker to the Eagles.
Prediction: 10 – 9 Eagles
Game 7 – Eagles vs Bucks
Our final game of the day has yet another first meeting of the season between the Eagles and the Bucks. This is one of the harder games to predict as both teams seem to have a lot of similarities. Both teams have players who have under performed but are poised for bounce backs such as Maysum Jaffer and Shane Worthington. Both teams have strong pitching in Azad Najfi and Riaz Champsi. Both teams have the same number of runs scored on the season. However, since the Eagles will be coming off an emotional tie breaker and the Bucks have a break between games, we shall give the advantage to the Bucks.