Tyson Nelson: 87 – 49 – 0 Previous Week: 6-2-0
Trevor Cook: 84 – 52 – 0 Previous Week: 6-2-0
Match #1: Cook vs. B. Jeffers Team Cook have picked up back-to-back wins as they try to hunt down Team King for the final spot on the A-side, currently sitting 8.5 points back (and 12.5 points back of Team Youzwa in 7th). Over the past two weeks the team has finally been playing like Captain Trevor Cook envisioned, with Jayson May shooting 976 and 996 and Alyssa Campbell shooting 1096 and 903 over those two weeks (complementing Trevor's 1115 and 1131 scores). If they can play that red hot again, they will have a shot against Team B. Jeffers, who remain one of the league's top teams. The paper matchups favour Team Cook in the middle and B. Jeffers at the top and bottom, so we will see how this one plays out.
Tyson and Trevor are concurrently on the league's two best 4-week runs by any player all season, with Trevor shooting 4540 over the past 16 games (283.8 average) and Tyson shooting 4588 (286.8) over the same span. Tyson has given his team a big advantage in anchor all season long so Trevor will need bring his A-game tonight, but if anyone in the league can negate that advantage it just may be him. Trevor's pick: Team Cook
Tyson's pick: Team Cook
Match #2: Bartram vs. Rodych These two teams have sttled into their positions at this point in a matchup that would just be for draft lottery positioning, if our league worked that way - both teams are well back of the A-side battle at this point. On a positive note for Team Bartram, they finally have a full-time regular in their 3rd position. However, they still haven't won a match in the second half. Team Rodych has Lexie Sutherland back this week and she's been on a roll this season, while Matt Rodych is starting to pick his game back up to a more normal level for him.
This is another matchup where the anchor position will play a key role as the two teams are pretty evenly matched throughout the lineup. Matt Rodych may provide an advantage for his team in the 3rd position but the question here will be how well Lexie plays after a few weeks off. If she continues her strong play from previously, I think Team Rodych has the edge here.
Trevor's pick: Team Rodych
Tyson's pick: Team Bartram
Match #3: LaMonica vs. Enns After a bad start to the half, Team LaMonica is back in business with 4 straight wins while Team Enns, though 4-3 in the second half, have been inconsistent (two of those losses have seen them pick up 7 or less points). On paper, Team LaMonica have an edge at every position as, while Team Enns is pretty well rounded, so are Team LaMonica and it has been a consistent strength for them all year long. We will have to see if Team Enns can find an answer somewhere in the lineup tonight to make this one interesting.
Key Matchup Cyndie Barnett is cruising along with a 208.95 average and 66-39 record this season, the strongest leadoff bowler in the league so far. We have seen Dwight Hurd show the capability of some big nights when challenged so let's see what he comes up with tonight as if he can do something to negate the 15-pin average difference, that will go a long way in helping his team make a run at the upset.
Trevor's pick: Team LaMonica
Tyson's pick: Team LaMonica
Match #4: Youzwa vs. Hurd Team Youzwa continue to be plagued by inconsistency as they have less than 10 points in 3 of the last 4 weeks after at one point pushing themselves into the league's top-5. Team Hurd have lost three straight now, though they have managed to grab at least 14 points in all 3 losses so they have certainly been competitive. Last week's match was an ugly one for them with their 3-4 positions shooting a combined 1527. I wouldn't expect a repeat of that but Team Hurd have also been a streaky team all year and they will need to reverse that trend against a team that can throw some very, very big numbers.
Key Matchup Team Youzwa have started to become somewhat reliant on whether or not they can get big games out of anchor Colton Youzwa, and while that is usually a fairly safe bet, they will need to provide some help against a lineup that has been one of the league's most balanced ever since Ryan Bannerman found his game. Ryan's averaging 212 over the last 8 weeks and that makes Team Hurd a team with no weakness. Chloe Fleming is probably the best shot to provide that help so let's see what she can do up against Kevin Naugler this week.
Trevor's pick: Team Youzwa
Tyson's pick: Team Hurd
Match #5: C. Jeffers vs. Devenney Team Devenney almost had a sniff of victory last week but unfortunately for them, the losing skid ultimately continued in a 17-14 loss to Team Lourenco. After a week in which Team C. Jeffers just barely managed to prevent a 31-0 loss by taking a point in the last game, they bouned back with a 16-15 win against Team Hurd but the consistency still has not been there for them. I think this looks to be a pretty tight matchup overall but the form of Team C. Jeffers, who do have four wins in the second half, might give them the slight edge here.
Key Matchup With two teams that are pretty close on paper, we have to look to the leadoffs here where the matchup of Al Bristow and Neil Stewart could set the tone for the entire match. Al has boosted his average up to 201 with some strong play as of late (he even got some time in the second position) and Neil is hovering right around 200 himself, so if either leadoff can make a play here it would give their team an edge for the rest of the lineup to work with.
Trevor's pick: Team C. Jeffers
Tyson's pick: Team C. Jeffers
Match #6: King vs. Cousins Team King (well, sort of - they had two spares and an absent bowler) delivered a 27-4 beatdown last week to establish their position as the favourite in the battle for the 8th spot on the A-side as it heats up in the final quarter of the season. Team Cousins had a decent night but was overshadowed by a big night from Team Cook in their match, losing their second straight. We have seen Team King be one of the better teams in the league since around the middle of the first half, and they will enter this matchup as favourites thanks to a strong 3-4 position and a good matchup in the second spot, as well.
Gillian LaMonica faces off against Chris Fedorchuk in the leadoff spot tonight. Overall, Gillian had a slow start in the return from the covid break, but has gotten better as the season has gone on. This hasn't necessarily translated to Fridays yet but I think a breakout is due at some point and, for Team Cousins, this would be a good a week as any as they would really benefit from having a lead to work with here.
Trevor's pick: Team King
Tyson's pick: Team King
Match #7: Lourenco vs. Stevenson Once members of a 4 or 5-way battle for the final A-side spot, Team Stevenson has reeled off 4 straight wins and 70 points in the past 3 weeks to put some distance between themselves and the teams chasing them, even surpassing Team Youzwa (who have only picked up 39 points in that time) in the process. They are on a roll facing off against a desperate Lourenco team tonight that is barely hanging on in that A-side race - sitting 29.5 points out with 8 weeks to go. With 4 wins in their last 5, it's go-time for Team Lourenco. The two teams make a pretty good matchup on paper with no huge advantages or disadvantages on either side. It's hard to pick a favourite here, but based on recent play and just having a generally better ability to close out matches overall this season, I'd have to lean towards Team Stevenson.
Ethan Buckman (approximately 231) vs. Jayden Nickerson (approximately 222) represents the biggest average differential between these two teams. Jayden's capable of some big ones himself but when you look at Ethan's stats you have to wonder how he hasn't found a little more success this season - kind of like the Lourenco team overall. If they can take advantage of this position, that would go a long way in helping Team Lourenco keep themselves alive in the hunt for an A-side spot.
Trevor's pick: Team Stevenson
Tyson's pick: Team Stevenson
Match #8: Orne vs. Gelardi A big-time matchup here between two top-3 teams in the league so far. These are two well balanced teams with Team Gelardi possessing an advantage at the bottom but Team Orne having the edge in the middle of the lineup. One thing that tends to go in Team Gelardi's favour is their ability to close out matchues, with both Mitch Dubell and Dwayne Gelardi posting win percentages among the league's very best. Team Orne has gotten that too out of David Wastle and Linda Orne, and their entire team has winning records. This is a real clash of the titans and the match to watch this week, but I think Dwayne might give his team a slight advantage overall.
It might be in the anchor position between Dwayne Gelardi and Darren Maxwell, but I'd also look towards the second spot where David Wastle takes on Wayne Wolanski. Wayne has a 44-31 record himself but David has been on an absolute tear as of late, on a 12-week run with no overall losses and a 45-15 record while averaging 233, prior to last week. Team Gelardi will need to find a way to compete with that, and it might be the anchor position battle.
Trevor's pick: Team Gelardi
Tyson's pick: Team Gelardi