Match #1: Rodych vs. Orne
Two teams separated by a large gap in the standings as we enter the season's final week, these two will be playing for only pride (and point money). Team Orne have won 4 of 5 while Team Rodych have lost 5 straight, although they have been more competitive in those losses than they were earlier in the season. It's the top of the lineup, where Team Orne have a whopping 66-pin advantage in the first and second positions, that makes them the favourite here.
Key Matchup Lexie Sutherland has returned to the 3-spot where she faces off against Linda Orne in what should be a great matchup. Lexie has struggled the last few weeks but does still have a 232 average and if she can return to form a bit this week, she may be able to help her team overcome the disadvantage they face at the top.
Tyson's pick: Team Orne
Trevor's pick: Team Orne
Match #2: Cook vs. Youzwa
Team Cook kept their slim A-side hopes alive with a 25-6 win last week but they are still 12 points out so they will need a big week here. Team Youzwa have lost two in a row and have been somewhat inconsistent all season. When at their best, they are very difficult to beat so Team Cook may have to hope they catch them on an off-night here. However, they have been on fire lately. Jayson May is averaging 243 in second going back to February with only one loss in that time, and Alyssa Campbell and Trevor Cook are as good a 3-4 as you'll find in the league. Team Cook does control their own destiny in a sense, as they could surpass Team Youzwa on the A-side with a 26-5 win or better, but that is a very tall order.
Key Matchup I'd probably put this as Jayson May vs. Jenna Gillrie in an ordinary match, but with Team Cook having very little room to give points away, it's going to be Trevor Cook vs. Colton Youzwa instead. Trevor will need to be at the top of his game because to get his team onto A-side, it's probably going to take at least a 4-point night against one of the top bowlers in the league.
Tyson's pick: Team Cook
Trevor's pick: Team Cook
Match #3: Enns vs. Lourenco These two teams are almost evenly matched - both in the half and the aggregate standings. Even in their last five weeks, just 3.5 points separate the two teams so this should be a good one. There is a slight advantage at the top to Team Lourenco but the veteran duo of Craig Enns and Glen Howarth will hope to counter that at the bottom of the lineup for Team Enns. Overall it's a pretty difficult matchup to predict and one of the most evenly-matched we have seen all season.
We will be watching the anchor battle between Glen Howarth and Ethan Buckman here, with Glen probably needing to do a little more than Ethan in order to give his team the chance tonight. They are, like everything else here, closely matched and both also capable of playing much better than their season averages bear out.
Tyson's pick: Team Lourenco
Trevor's pick: Team Enns
Match #4: LaMonica vs. B. Jeffers With aggregate all but sewn up, Team LaMonica wraps up the season against 6th place Team B. Jeffers. Tyson Nelson has not been at the same level the last few weeks as he was earlier in the year, though he still is posting a 260 average and 6-pin edge on his nearest competitor. This team's position in the standings has been pretty reliant on their anchor though and Team LaMonica's well balanced lineup has them in a good spot to take advantage.
Key Matchup I think Team B. Jeffers' shot at pulling off an upset here hinges on keeping it close at some key positions before anchor. Can Scott Saunderson keep up with Cyndie Barnett despite the 14-pin average cap? Ben Jeffers faces a similar differential against Andrew LaMonica in 3rd. Those matches could quickly turn this match towards Team LaMonica if Scott or Ben have an off night.
Tyson's pick: Team LaMonica
Trevor's pick: Team LaMonica
Match #5: Cousins vs. Hurd For all their inconsistencies this season, Team Hurd have managed to clinch their spot on the A-side (which realistically is where they belong). Team Cousins are hoping last week's 26-5 win marks the end of a cold streak; although they are locked into the B-side it's always nice to head into roll-offs on a positive note. Chad Hurd, Kevin Naugler, and Brett Hendrickson in the 2-4 slots has been a problem for teams all year and will probably continue to be one tonight.
Key Matchup Cindy Cousins vs. Brett Hendrickson in anchor is a good place to look here as Cindy's 226 average is deceiving. Team Cousins will need a big night from their captain in order to end the season on a winning note.
Tyson's pick: Team Hurd
Trevor's pick: Team Hurd
Match #6: C. Jeffers vs. King Tonight the season comes to a merciful end for Team C. Jeffers, whose entire team probably feels they should've been a lot better this season, but not without one last chance to play spoiler. They take on Team King who are currently holding onto the last A-side spot. Team King has won four straight weeks and had a pretty strong half overall with 238.5 points so far. They keep getting strong play from their bottom 3 positions so we'll see if any of Al Bristow, Tim Hooper, or Anthony Novak can find the big nights to counter them.
Key Matchup Tim Hooper's last two weeks have been against Alyssa Campbell and now Karen Armstrong, a rough set of back-to-back matches to find yourself in while playing 3rd. He's going to need to come up with a big week to beat Karen but if he can do that, the matchup between the two teams suddenly gets a lot more interesting.
Tyson's pick: Team King
Trevor's pick: Team King
Match #7: Devenney vs. Bartram It's a battle for 14th place between these two teams as they both just hope to start getting on a roll in time to make some noise in the B-side rolloffs. Both teams have quite a few players who are capable of better than they have done this season although Team Bartram's new addition, Chelsea Kehler, gives them a very good 3rd that might be enough to turn the tables in their favour.
Key Matchup What might be a big difference maker here is the play of Colton Harris who has been much more comfortable as the season as gone on. His season average looks like a weaker 2nd bowler, but his play in the last couple of months has been that of a very strong 2nd and that could be enough to turn the tide in this matchup as he takes on Mike Devenney.
Tyson's pick: Team Bartram
Trevor's pick: Team Bartram
Match #8: Gelardi vs. Stevenson A big match here between two teams that are set to make some noise in the A-side of the rolloffs. Team Gelardi have been one of the best all year and Team Stevenson are getting rolling at the right time, with a 10-1 record going back to Week 19 and seven weeks of 20+ points in that span. In team Stevenson we have a team that's right up there with Team LaMonica and Team Orne for the most balanced lineups in the league, while Team Gelardi is a little less balanced (still quite well rounded overall, mind you) but stronger in the anchor position with the league's 4th-best average and 2nd-best win percentage player in their captain, Dwayne Gelardi. This is a true heavyweight tilt and the headliner of Week 30.
Key Matchup I think the big question in this one is going to be what happens in the matchup between Dwayne and Dylan Stevenson. Dylan's entire team has been playing really well as of late and if he can overcome some of that 21-pin average gap between him and Dwayne, this starts to look like it could be a favourable outcome for their team. On the other hand, if Dwayne takes control of this match it could be a big hill to climb.
Tyson's pick: Team Gelardi
Trevor's pick: Team Stevenson