If Hollywood met Bollywood, they would still not have been able to put together the drama, action, excitement and tension that the BAWP ML brings this Saturday alone. We have #1 v #2, #3 v #4, #6 v #7, #8 v #9 and #5 v #10. Unlike last week where there was no movement on the standings, this weekend much can happen.
So, lets start with the BIG ONE.
The two big guys Bothasig vs Bellville at Bellville.
There is so much to say on this and yet nothing at all, as both teams leave it all out on the field, both teams play hard, both teams have good coaching with depth, both teams have a bullpen, both teams have hitters, so what is going to bring out the winner.
We can look at the bullpens, here Bothasig must have the upper hand with the relentless development of pitchers at all levels. however, Bellville have their own mix of young and old with a smattering of experience at their disposal. Bellville have only given up 12 runs so far – less than 2 a game but Bothasig have only given up 20 at just less than 3 a game.
We can look at the hitters, here Bellville have a bit more experienced players that could make a huge impact but Bothasig have a batting lineup from 1-9 of young and experienced, Bothasig certainly have the ability to hand a hurting to any team as is shown with the 110 runs scored in 7 games. Bellville having scored only 72 to date.
So, what do we look at – over the years, these two have duked it out at every level and consistently, Bellville holding the lead on wins with these two teams but have not had things their own way recently. On Sunday, Bothasig has the tougher fixture, against Westridge at home, while Bellville host Van der Stel also at home, but we do not think that Sunday will effect this game much at all.
This is going to be one heck of a game with all that baseball has to offer and unless Alan Phillips can get his experienced campaigners to lift up their game and play real hard, we think this one would go to the overbearing pressure that constantly comes from Ray Tew’s dug out. (We think Bothasig will take this by a run or two at the most)
Then we get another mouth watering game of Crusaders, who are on fire this year vs VOB who are on a 4 game winning streak. WOW. The teams have almost identical numbers – both won 4, GPC scored 58 VOB 60, GPC let in 61 VOB 64. RD of -3 and -4. If that does not say how close these two teams are, then I do not know what to say. Both teams have face the giants so that does not come into the fore. We think that perhaps Sunday’s fixture will effect this game significantly more than the Bot – Bel game. VOB face Helderberg on Sunday, while GPC face Athlone who are hunting for wins and have pitching in abundance. GPC have found form and are doing everything that is required to be up in the #3 spot but VOB have found their straps and are fighting back after slow starts, VOB will not be too bothered by the double header due to a large bullpen being ably led by Mikey Scritten and Jayde Thorne, then Josh Rich, Kieran Moore and Andy Orfanakos before calling in any of the juniors or versatile older players and we think that this is going to be the critical point in this game. BOTH teams are hitting and are lively, both teams are defensively similar and both are young. So due to the longer bull pen and the likes of PB and JH we think this is VOB’s game. Having said that, it is going to be close and very close for a long time in the game.
If that is not enough, we move onto the Pitchers Duel that will be Athlone and Maitland. 4 or more of Cape Town’s best pitchers are going to be at this game. Both teams are struggling with the bat Giants have scored 18 more runs than Athlone. They are going to have trouble with the line up that Athlone can put together and now the hurler Shelton Trotsky is also in the mix. So Athlone is not really going to be bothered by Sundays game against Crusaders having 4 National pitchers in their mix (of different age groups). Maitland need to find their local pitcher to hold the 4 innings that they need to get through after Jaz and new comer Connor finish their 5 innings stint. Fortunately for Giants we believe the rules were recently changed that a foriegn pitchers can throw 5 innings in both games on a double header weekend. So Maitland will certainly go 5 with one of their imports and both will be a hand full for Athlone, Jaz with his Jazz and Connor a hard fast ball throwing lefty. So much depends on Giants 4 innings. The game will be won or lost here, as was the case last week when VOB only got their 1st hit in the 7th innings but managed to score 14 runs in two innings once they got the ascendancy. We think that this game will go the way of Athlone who need to just stay close and then jump on the pitching change.
But that is not all. Van der Stel face Durbanville and both teams are looking for a win. Durbanville on a 5 game losing streak vs VdS 2 game losing streak. Neither team has pitching for a double header outing, but VDS have the hitting even though they were uncharacteristically shutout last week. We think that VDS have enough in the bullpen and the batters box to take this from the very young and inexperienced Durbanville team that needs to take notes and learn as this team can develop into a very tough team in a couple of years. VDS have the nightmare of Bellville on Sunday while DbV have a tough fixture against Maitland (who may both be on the rebound). So we have Coaches Bles Kemp vs the new kid on the block Robert Smith. Going to be a creative and fun game to watch as these two try to grind out a win.
Finally we have Yankees vs Helderberg at Yankees fortress. This is going to be a tough day for Helderberg but as we say every week, Pirates can indeed make a dent in any ML team dreams, but not too many. Yankees should take this game and move on to have a hard day at the office themselves on Sunday vs Bothasig whereas Pirates host VOB at Helderberg, where they always play better than on the road.
Sunday reviews will be up shortly.