Decisive fortnight facing all ABL clubs
With just eight games remaining - for most - until the halfway point of the Australian Baseball League, the next two weeks will be vital to each club’s prospects of post-season action.
Especially important will be this week’s games, where Melbourne (7-13) will again play host to Perth (11-9) and Sydney (7-11) will be at home to Brisbane (12-8). While the Aces and Blue Sox will be desperate for a series win, the Heat and the Bandits both have much to gain.
At home to Adelaide, Canberra Cavalry (13-7) will be keen to hold top billing – although the Bite (8-10) has a real chance of closing on the leading three.
WEEK SIX AUSTRALIAN BASEBALL LEAGUE PREVIEW
25 November 2015
CANBERRA CAVALRY versus ADELAIDE BITE (Narrabundah)
Thursday 26 November, 7.00 AEDST
Friday 27 November, 7.00 AEDST
Saturday 28 November, 7.00 AEDST
Sunday 29 November, 12.00 AEDST
Last series – The Bite were unable to get on a roll against the Bandits, winning the second and last game of the series to earn a split. The Cavalry suffered the reverse fortune, dropping the second and final game to take a split against the Aces.
What’s coming – Adelaide are in desperate need of their first away series win of the year, while Canberra will be looking to make the most of their third home series in the last four weeks, where they have combined to go 5-3 to date. The Cavalry hold a slim lead at the top of the standings and know that a series win may be the only thing good enough to keep them there, while the Bite are at risk of falling further off the pace if they can’t get results.
Pay attention to – How quickly the Cavalry start. The league leaders are yet to lose a series this year and a win in the series opener will hold them in good stead to continue the streak. The Cavalry are 4–1 while the Bite are 2-3 in their series openers. The men from Adelaide are going to need to buck the trend to come away with the goods this weekend.
Prediction – The Cavalry are going to bounce back from their second straight split series to claim victory against the Bite. Home field advantage will carry the Cavalry across the line in what should be a high scoring series.
SYDNEY BLUE SOX versus BRISBANE BANDITS (Blacktown Sportspark)
Thursday 26 November, 7.30 AEDST
Friday 27 November, 7.30 AEDST
Saturday 28 November, 6.30 AEDST
Sunday 29 November, 1.00 AEDST
Last series – Brisbane started fast against the Bite and will be disappointed they didn’t come away with more. The Blue Sox travelled west, earning a split against the Heat after demonstrating their dominate hitting early in the series.
What’s coming – This is the first meeting between the two squads this summer. Similarly to the Bite, the Blue Sox are in desperate need of a series win to stay in touch with the playoff picture. The Blue Sox are 3-7 in their last ten games where the Bandits are 5-5. To put that in perspective the Bandits have only lost one more game all season than the Blue Sox have in their last ten games.
Pay attention to – The long ball. Brisbane have given up the most Home Runs in the league this season (19), while Sydney have given up the fewest in the league (7). The Blue Sox have also managed to outscore the Bandits to date, and will need to continue that trend to get results this week.
Prediction – The Bandits have shown over the last fortnight that they aren’t far away from being able to outplay anyone on any given day. The visitors to take three of four against their traditional rival.
MELBOURNE ACES versus PERTH HEAT (Melbourne Ballpark)
Friday 27 November, 7.05 AEDST
Saturday 28 November, 6.05 AEDST
Sunday 29 November, 1.05 AEDST
Monday 30 November, 11.00 AEDST
Last series – Both sides needed a win in their respective series finales to take a split after dropping the first game of the series.
What’s coming – The Aces are on the verge of another season of being lost to missed opportunities. The Aces have been unable to fire on all cylinders and that is why they are where they are. They’re second in the league in Batting Average (.266), yet have a pitching staff who are last in Earned Run Average (4.68).
Pay attention to – As obvious as it seems this series is going to come down to which Heat outfit turn up at Melbourne Ballpark. The Heat have shown flashes of brilliance this season but have lacked the killer instinct that has been part of their dynasty.
Prediction – The Heat will be repeating the treatment they gave to the Aces a fortnight ago when they took the series 3-1.
Image: Australian Baseball Alumni