Author: Irfahn Khimji

2019 – Week 4 Preview

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.

Prediction: 10 – 8 Bucks

2019 – Week 3 Preview

Get ready JMS fans, we are now officially passed the start of the season.  These next few weeks will determine who are pretenders and who are contenders.  The notorious slow starters will gain steam, while those who spent too much of the summer warming up will start to fade.  Here is your week three preview!

Game 1: Owls vs Eagles

After a hot start, the Owls have been plummeting.  In trying to figure out the multi-positional defence, it seems that the Owls have forgotten how to hit.  Coming in against the Eagles, however, they have a chance to feast on some struggling pitching with both Riaz Champsi and Abbas Allidina off to a slow start.  This match is going to come down to a battle of the captains with Kumail Meghani and Noor Zia looking to hold their own against Ali Manek and Asad Hussain. After an angry loss last week, this preview thinks Manek and the Eagles are going to come out swinging.

Prediction: 14-12 Eagles

Game 2: Lions vs Owls

This match features the Owls trying to hand the Lions their first loss of the season.  If there’s one thing we’ve learned about Asad Nasser and Kumail Meghani over the years, is that they love to play with a chip on their shoulder and take down the Goliath.  Even though the Lions won both games last week, their bats seem to be starting to cool down. With the way the defence of the Owls is structured, if they can manage to play the entire game and not get walked off, this preview things the Lions get their first loss of the season.

Prediction: 8-7 Owls
Game 3: Eagles vs Lions

In last week’s first encounter between these two teams, the Lions squeaked out a nail biter.  Word has it that Ali Manek took this entire week off so that he could plan his revenge. If there is anything we can anticipate going into this match, it’s that it will be wildly entertaining.  Although some might call this match a coin flip, this preview thinks Miqdad Jaffer will never let Manek bask in the glory of victory.

Prediction: 10-9 Lions

Game 4: Tigers vs Wolves

While the Tigers have found their offensive stroke, the Wolves seem like they won’t be able to hit double digits in runs scored until captain Imran Virji comes back from his injury.  The big hope for the Wolves, however, is that they have Mikael Ratansi on the mound. Ratansi has the third lowest ERA in the league this season while having pitched the third most innings in the league.  As much as we think it won’t be enough to stop the big bats of the Tigers, it definitely will make for a closer game than expected.

Prediction: 9-8 Tigers

Game 5: Falcons vs Wolves

In softball, typically a team can get by if they are missing a key piece.  However, if there is one team that has an MVP upon whom they will be relying on all year, it’s the Falcons relying on Hussein Allidina.  With no clear backup pitcher, the Falcons will need Hussein to be sharp and in attendance throughout the year. Unfortunately for the Wolves, Hussein is expected back, so look for the Falcons to be back in the win column.

Prediction: 11-7 Falcons

Game 6: Bucks vs Tigers

This is the third week in a row that these two teams are facing each other.  The difference in this week is that it will be the Tigers playing their second game of the day, whereas the Bucks will be playing their first.  What throws a wrench into predicting this game is that the Tigers get a break between games, whereas in previous weeks the Bucks were on the second half of a back to back. Now we’re not trying to make excuses for the Bucks. Rather, captain Ali Raza Nasser needs to get more base runners in front of him and Irfahn Khimji in order to actually make their home runs worth the jog beyond the fence.

Prediction: 10-8 Tigers

Game 7: Falcons vs Bucks

We have one more rematch from last week to close out the day.  Whereas last week, the Falcons were short handed allowing the Bucks to take over the game, this week the Bucks are going to be short handed.  Will the Falcons be able to take advantage? It will be the first game of the season for the Bucks reserves, so look out for some rust. This preview thinks the Falcons really want to get back atop the power rankings.

Prediction 11-10 Falcons

2019 – Week 2 Preview

With one week in the books, we’ve had some injuries, some surprises, and some slow starts. Let’s try and take a look at what week two has in store! Make sure to check out the associated story on Instagram to make some predictions of your own.

Game 1: Lions vs Wolves

The Lions proved last week that they are up and ready for 8:30am games. With the team already at the field and warming up at 8am, the Wolves need be sure to get an early night sleep. Lions’ captain Miqdad Jaffer proved last week that he can be one of the top pitchers in the league, and we expect that to continue this week.

With the Wolves’ captain Imran Virji out 4-6 weeks, veterans Minhal Jaffer and Nadir Virjee will need to continue their hot starts. If Minhal is anything like his brother Maysum, he may not make the first early morning start against their brother Miqdad.

Look for the Lions to take game one.

Prediction: Lions 10-8

Game 2: Wolves vs Eagles

After plummeting to the bottom of the standings with two straight loses, the Eagles players are furious at their slow start. We are not sure if Captain Ali Manek knows this, because he is pretty sure that he is a champion right now, as he is busy lobbying Masai to have the Raptors parade pass by his house.

Look for the Wolves to bounce back from their game one loss and take this one.

Prediction: 9-7 Wolves

Game 3: Eagles vs Lions

This game has a little extra to it as it pits former 1A and 1B against each other for the first time this season. We expect the X-Factor of this game to be Riaz Champsi. He has impressed at the plate this year, and could potentially take over a few innings at pitcher. If the Eagles do, in fact, lose three straight, expect Asad Hussain to take the reins from Manek and carry the team on his back to hand the Lions their first loss of the season.

Prediction: 11-10 Eagles

Game 4: Bucks vs Falcons

Falcons’ captain Umair Ali is coming in hot with 9 RBI and 3 home runs already this season. The big question will be if and when the rest of his team will step up and contribute some offence. This might be difficult in game one as the Bucks are expected to field a full line up. How long will it take last year’s Most Improved Player, Damien Ramnauth, to regain his form? We think it will still be another couple of weeks.

Prediction: 9-6 Bucks

Game 5: Tigers vs Bucks

In a rematch of last week’s tie game, the Tigers are looking to pounce on the Bucks. With many of the Tigers already in mid-season form, we don’t expect Mahmood Kara to be too far behind. However, with a week of rust shaken off, we expect the Bucks hitters to be able to find open spaces in the field and let their youth and speed take over this game.

Prediction: 11-9 Bucks

Game 6: Owls vs Falcons

As the Falcons get ready to play their second game of the day, the Owls are looking to continue their undefeated streak. With Muzammil Jaffer a perfect 1.000 for the Owls, look for him to continue leading his team to win number three.

Prediction: 14-7 Owls

Game 7: Owls vs Tigers

The undefeated Owls seem to be the kind of team to fall into the dreaded trap game. With the Tigers getting a breather between games and the Owls on the back half of a back to back, this seems to be the perfect game for the Owls to take their foot off the gas. Asad Nasser always gets riled up playing against Abbasali Kermalli so look for the veteran team to have the mental advantage.

Prediction: 9-7 Tigers