More to be revealed as ABL season hots up

While it is very early days in an expanded season of fifty-six regular games, this week’s Round Two of Australian Baseball League may yet tell us plenty about where the six clubs appear to be at.

 

With one win apiece last weekend, Adelaide Bite and Brisbane Bandits will be striving to stamp some early authority when they lock horns in Brisbane – starting on Thursday night - while Sydney Blue Sox will back up from a series split in Melbourne by playing host to the ever-dangerous Perth Heat.

 

Generating early hopes for its long-suffering supporters, Melbourne Aces will be at home to Canberra Cavalry, which showed imperious early form to nail its opening series against the Bandits.

 

WEEK TWO AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE PREVIEW

 

Xavier Player

28 October 2015

 

MELBOURNE ACES versus CANBERRA CAVALRY (Melbourne Ballpark)

Friday 30 October, 7.05 AEDT

Saturday 31 October, 5.05 AEDT and 7.35 AEDT

Sunday 1 November, 1.05 AEDT

 

Last series – The Cavalry came out firing, beating Brisbane in their first three clashes before dropping the series final. For the Aces there was an opportunity to win the series against Sydney, but frequent errors in the final game consigned them to a split.

 

What’s coming – An Aces outfit who need to stem their defensive bleeding. A league-leading eight errors (including four in the series final) and a pitching staff who look to be short an arm come up against a team who had six different home run hitters in the first week of the season. William Wu was the standout for the Aces bullpen with the 18-year-old Taiwanese prospect making two appearances, earning a save and striking out two across three hitless innings of work.

 

Pay attention to – The concerns over the Aces pitching depth have already shown to be true. Only two of four starters (Larkins and Sano) got beyond the third inning. Wilson and Kennedy combined for 5.1 innings, also a smaller total than that thrown by Larkins or Sano. If the same problems arise this weekend it is going to be a long weekend for the Aces bullpen who allowed six runs across the four games against the Blue Sox.

 

Prediction – The Cavalry are going to continue their hot form at Melbourne Ballpark, where they are 7-4 since the Aces relocation prior to the 2012-13 season. Through the first weekend of the season the Cavalry are second in runs scored (24), while Melbourne are last in that category (14).

 

The Cavalry to win their second straight series 3-1.

 

LINKS:

 

ACES ROSTER

CAVALRY ROSTER

AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE                                    

LIVE STREAMING 

BRISBANE BANDITS vs ADELAIDE BITE (Holloway Field, Newmarket)

Thursday 29 October, 6.30 AEST

Friday 30 October, 6.30 AEST

Saturday 31 October, 6.30 AEST

Sunday 1 November, 1.00 AEST

 

Last series – The Bite travelled to Perth where they fought valiantly but were caught off guard in crucial situations, losing 3-1. The Bandits were also on the wrong end of a 3-1 series result, despite scoring more runs than their opponents and having the highest team batting average across Opening Weekend (.315).

 

What’s coming – Two teams who feel they deserve more than what they got during the first week of the season. This has the hallmark of being the series of the round, with both sides demonstrating their abilities to have their way with the league heavyweights.

 

Pay attention to – Ryan Searle working out of the bullpen. This is a move that has confused and angered many Bandits fans, with his appearance against the Cavalry just the tenth he has made out of the bullpen in his career (46 ABL games). The question remains on whether Brisbane are going to be able to replace such a quality starter, who has thrown six complete games throughout his career in Brisbane.

 

Prediction – The Bite were good against the Heat, they just weren’t good enough. The Bandits showed glimpses but left a league-leading 35 men on base across their four games in Canberra.

 

Brisbane will continue to use the long ball they found in Week One to push their way to a 3-1 series victory.

 

LINKS:

 

BANDITS ROSTER

BITE ROSTER

AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE

LIVE STREAMING

SYDNEY BLUE SOX versus PERTH HEAT (Blacktown International Ballpark)

Friday 30 October, 7.30 AEDT

Saturday 31 October, 3.30 AEDT and 6.30 AEDT

Sunday 1 November, 12.00 AEDT

 

Last series – The Perth Heat continued to build their legacy at home, taking three wins from the Adelaide Bite. It was a slow start for Sydney who lost just their second ever season opener but fought back to take a split from the Aces.

 

What’s coming –  Sydney have only won two of their last ten against the Heat at home – including being swept in the Preliminary Final series last year. If the Blue Sox are to finally break the hoodoo of falling at the penultimate hurdle, these are the sort of series they need to win. The Heat will be high on confidence after dismantling a strong Adelaide outfit.

 

Pay attention to – The Blue Sox BB/K ratio. On their trip to Melbourne the Blue Sox struck out 23 times across the four games (an average of 5.75 strikeouts per game), which was a league low. Sydney also worked a league high twenty walks (five walks per game). If the Heat staff can find a way to repeat their efforts against Adelaide (33Ks) the Blue Sox are going to have to work harder for their runs, tipping the advantage towards Perth.

 

Prediction – Two sides both coming off hot starts to the season.

 

The travel will kick Perth around early in the series but they’ll fight back to earn a split.

 

LINKS:

 

BLUE SOX ROSTER

HEAT ROSTER

AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE

LIVE STREAMING

 

 

 

Image:   Australian Baseball Alumni

 

 

Image:   Australian Baseball Alumni

 

 

Image:   Australian Baseball Alumni