Match #1 -- LAMONICA vs. LOURENCO
Both teams were involved in very close matchups last week, with Team LaMonica winning 18-13 thanks to a 15-point team total win, while Team Lourenco lost 16.5-14.5 despite winning their team total by 26 points. LaMonica leadoff Cyndie Barnett took all five points while the combination of Jeff Bradshaw, Andrew LaMonica, and Sam Gelardi is a very strong 2-3-4 when they’re on. That might give them the edge but the Lourenco team has a lot of bowlers that pound the middle and Ethan Buckman played great last week.
Key Matchup: Ethan Buckman vs. Sam Gelardi Ethan was one of six players to shoot 1000+ in Week 1, while Sam struggled. You can probably expect Sam to play much better than he did last week, but Ethan is showing early that his 238 draft average was good value and if he keeps it up, this will be a fun, close matchup.
Author’s Pick: Team LaMonica
Match #2 -- DEVENNEY vs. ENNS
Mike Devenney’s 395 game was one of the stories of the league last week and now he gets to play 3rd against captain Craig Enns. Team Devenney is currently tied for first place with 24 points after winning in Week 1 by almost 500. These two teams match up pretty well on paper, with the Devenney team holding an edge in 2nd and the Enns team holding an edge in 3rd - although if Mike keeps his form from last week, that edge won’t be any longer. These are two fun teams with good chemistry and it should be a tight one.
Key Matchup: Mike Devenney vs. Craig Enns As touched on above, Craig has the edge on paper here but this will come down to whether or not Mike can find his form from Week 1 because if he does, that will wipe out the main advantage that Team Enns has.
Author’s Pick: Team Devenney
Match #3 -- COUSINS vs. YOUZWA
Each team saw some sparkling performances from their youth in Week 1, with Colton Youzwa putting up a 386 single and 1063 quad and Friday Night rookie Gillian LaMonica bringing in 4 points in her league debut with a 334 single and 965 quad of her own. If she’s playing second all season, Gillian will give Team Cousins an advantage at the top over almost everyone in the league. Colton and third Chloe Fleming, however, are a 3-4 duo that is a tad inconsistent but has as much big-game upside as 3-4 pairing in the league. Team Youzwa has the edge on paper, but Team Cousins’ top three matches up very well.
Key Matchup: Cindy Cousins vs. Colton Youzwa A matchup of the captains in the anchor position, Colton is quickly proving himself to be in the upper echelon of Friday Night bowlers. But the veteran Cindy has plenty of experience at the highest level of play herself and can match up with anyone on any given day.
Author’s Pick: Team Youzwa
Match #4 -- STEVENSON vs. RODYCH
Team Rodych looks for a bounce-back week after posting a team score of 2935 last week. The whole team knows they’re capable of more. Meanwhile, the Stevenson team got balanced scoring throughout their lineup last week, with leadoff Tyler Reynolds actually leading the team with his 861. These are two very young teams with an intriguing matchup as Team Stevenson has the edge in the top-2 but are countered by a strong 3-4 pairing for Team Rodych.
Key Matchup: Tyler Reynolds vs. Hailey Roberts The leadoffs will set the tone for this match. If either one can give their team an advantage, it’s going to make the bottom of the lineup’s job that much easier. Team Rodych has a bit of an edge at the bottom, so they are going to be happy if they can hold a lead early.
Author’s Pick: Team Rodych
Match #5 -- B. JEFFERS vs. C. JEFFERS
I don’t think either one of these teams is super excited with how their first week went - Team C. Jeffers struggled to a 2991 score while Team B. Jeffers managed to pull out a win, but primarily due to getting some fortunate points at the top of the lineup while 260 entry average Tyson Nelson only shot 898. The B. Jeffers side has the edge on paper, but Ben, Tyson, Chris, and Corey Chaikowski are all capable of putting up big scores and being captains in this league so it will be interesting to see how they rebound.
Key Matchup: Ben Jeffers vs. Chris Jeffers Although the anchor position is where the big average difference is this week, with the two brothers playing each other, it has to be the key matchup, right? Chris may have been a little rusty last week but it will come. Let’s see who reigns as “Better Jeffers” this time around.
Author’s Pick: Team B. Jeffers
Match #6 -- KING vs. GELARDI
Dwayne Gelardi went off in Week 1, with two games over 340 and a 1244 quad, easily taking 5 points from reigning high average Trevor Cook as his team engineered a 22-9 beatdown. Team King is well built with great chemistry and this week, they have Karen Armstrong bowling third - that’s a nice position for any team to be in. With the top of these two team’s lineups being similar, it’s the bottom that is the big difference - Team King has the edge in the 3-hole, while Gelardi has it in the 4-hole.
Key Matchup: Wayne King vs. Dwayne Gelardi Over the last few seasons we’ve seen Dwayne clearly establish himself as one of Manitoba’s best bowlers so it’s no surprise that he gives his team an edge in the anchor position, but the King team has a better 2-3 and Wayne never backs down from anyone. As long as he plays well, his team will be in a good spot.
Author’s Pick: Team King
Match #7 -- COOK vs. HURD
The Hurd team is coming off a squeaker where they won total by 40 to win the match 18-13 against Team Enns, and the Cook team is coming off a disappointing week where they got blown out and really failed to put up the scores their entry average would suggest they’re capable of. Alyssa Campbell was the lone bright spot, taking all 5 points in her Friday Night debut last week. Team Cook’s draft strategy set them up with a 3-4 combination that is nearly always going to give them the edge at the bottom, although the Hurd team is definitely not weak there especially with #1 overall pick Brett Hendrickson. Still, I think they have the slight edge (and I’m never going to pick against my own team…)
Key Matchup: Jayson May vs. Chad Hurd In theory, if you’re going to beat Team Cook you want to beat them at the top. Last week, Team Gelardi’s top two won 8-2 at the top of the lineup. Jayson and Chad are, on paper, a pretty close matchup with a slight edge to Chad. Neither had the opening night they were looking for so look for a better week out of both bowlers this time around.
Author’s Pick: Team Cook
Match #8 -- BARTRAM vs. ORNE
Team Bartram may have only won 17-14 last week, but you’ve gotta be impressed with how they did it. They had a big performance from their leadoff, Jeston threatened quadruple digits in third (998) and anchor spare Derek Orne bounced back from a 386-302 loss in Game 1 to win his match 1117-1063. They scored 3555 overall. This week they play … Team Orne, captained by Derek’s mom Linda. Similarly, although they are coming off a loss, they actually were a pretty complete team all-around last week with three bowlers over 885 and a 3467 total.
Key Matchup: Derek Sanderson vs. David Wastle Friday Night newcomer Derek is facing an experienced bowler who I once saw strike out to win a Teaching Masters’ Nationals, so you’re looking at a well-above-average opponent for the leadoff position here. David struggled last week but I’d expect him to play better this time around. Meanwhile, Derek is very competitive and always improving. These are two of the most complete/balanced teams in the league so whichever leadoff can give their team the edge will be huge.
Author’s Pick: Team Bartram