2021 Spring Playoffs- Round 1 Matchups
Best of 3 Series
(6) Alford's Iron Pigs vs. (3) Miller's Mariners - Field 2
Season Series: Tied 1-1
Analysis: These two teams met in the week of head-to-head double-headers with each taking a game. Game 1 was a close 8-6 victory by the Mariners that saw league home-run leader Ryan Driggers hit two bombs into the wind on field 4. The Piggies battled until the end but came up just short. Game 2 was throttling by Alford's squad with a 14-3 victory. The power-hitting squad of Miller scored just 3 in the first and didn't score again. This weekend they will meet on field 2 which should be much more of a hitter's friend.
Keys to Victory: Pigs- In order to pull the upset here, the Pigs will have to navigate that top of that daunting lineup carefully. Making the routine outs will be paramount, as extra outs will surely be fatal against that offense. If they can tighten the screws on defense and apply some late-inning pressure, this could be a tight series. Never doubt a team led by captain Ryno because you know they will come ready to play and give you all you can handle. Mariners: To get this win and advance, they will need to use those big bats and the hitter friendly field to build a big early lead. They have the bats to make for a long day for opposing teams, but can they be consistent. They can mask some defensive flaws with heavy offense, but in the playoffs defense becomes magnified. they will have to be solid here to advance to the next round.
Prediction: Mariners in 3
(5) Buhrow's Bats vs. Silverman's Rangers
Season Series: Tied 1-1
Analysis: After starting the season slow, the Rangers came on strong after the return of Kelly Alexander on the mound. The first matchup was a 14-7 victory by the Bats on Field 2 as the Rangers played with just 10 players. Ariel Rodriguez held slugger Ryan Richardson and the rest of the G'ers squad homerless in a sound victory. The Rangers bounced back in game two on field 4 with a 20-19 victory. Despite winning the homerun battle 4-1, the bats fell late and went into a six game slide to fall down the standings. They battled their way out of the mini's with a solid win against the Marauders, allowing only 3 hits in a shut-out. This matchup will take place on Field 4 and put an emphasis on defense. If history is any indicator, the Rangers could struggle to hit the long ball on this field. Richardson will get his, but how will the others fare? If they hit 1 homer in two games in this series, it will spell trouble. The field really makes this an interesting matchup with the Bats playing good defense coming in.
Keys to Victory: Bats- Duplicate what they did during the season series and keep them in the park. Richardson had zero homers in two games. If that happens, the odds of a win skyrocket. Make the bottom of the order beat you. Use defense to control the pace of the game and frustrate them. Use the speed element to push the bases when they can. Rangers- Don't get impatient with the long balls. Use their strong pitching to control the offense of the Bats and score consistently. Runs on this field will come at a premium so smart base-running is critical.
Prediction: Rangers in 3
(6) Prim's Brewers vs. (3) Unell's Clowns- Field 1
Season Series: Tied 1-1
Analysis: The Clowns have been a true Jekyll and Hyde team all season. They outperformed expectations early due to the emergence of Joe Calvano and Luciano Villanueva but were up and down all season. At times they looked like a contender and other times like a pretender. The big question will be who pitches? That seems to make a big difference with this squad, but Captain Unell has a history of making deep playoff runs. On the other hand, the defending champs Prim's shocked the league last weekend with a dramatic nine-inning victory over the Legends. Donald Prim has been in beast-mode all season offensively and little bro Ryan Prim has been solid. Brooke made her debut this season and has been rock solid on defense and Hathcock is stellar as always. The first meeting of the season between these two teams was on field 2 and resulted in a 12-8 victory by the Brew Crew. the second meeting was much different, as the Clowns broke out the big sticks in a 22-6 beat down on the very field they will play on Sunday. The Clowns were the second-highest scoring team in the league, while the Brewers were dead last in runs scored. This will be a tall mountain to scale, but if anyone can do it, it is Brooke and Donald's crew.
Keys to Victory: Brewers- The key to beating the Clowns is to be persistent. Weather the storm early, keep the game close and pressure them at the end. They need to attack the right side of the field and hit the timely homers to stay close. Defense will need to be flawless to win this series. Clowns- Score consistently and void the stretches of scoreless innings. Avoid giving free passes on the bases, especially to the bottom hitters. Build a big early lead and stay focused for seven innings.
Prediction: Clowns in 2
(5) Hauf's Colt .45's vs (4) Casper's Red Sox - Field 4
Season Series: Tied 1-1
Analysis: This will be the game of the week and should be a great one to watch. Casper's squad started red hot before the injury bug depleted them. After a rough stretch, they rebounded to earn a spot in the playoffs down the stretch. Despite all the injuries, they finished the season with the most runs scored and second in team batting average. Defensively, they don't have many holes when healthy. Casper has done an amazing job navigating all the challenges and still being in this position with a chance to win it all. On the other side, the Colt .45's have been pretty steady. They are top 5 in team average but near the very bottom in homers. They have a very strong top 4 in the lineup before it evens out a little. On paper this seems like a mismatch, but the Colts just grind you out through a game. They keep it close and make you earn it. Captain Hauf will have his guys ready to rock. The first meeting between these two was a 10-2 victory by the 45's. The Sox returned the favor in the second meeting with a 17-13 win. This is sure to be an entertaining game with some memorable moments.
Keys to Victory: Colt 45's- They have to keep the game close and apply pressure throughout the game. They absolutely MUST make the bottom of the Sox order swing the bat and put the ball in play. The top of that order is so deadly that the bottom can really do some damage if they get on base. Make the routine outs and force them into station-to-station hits as the element of speed won't be much of a threat. Red Sox- They will have to win this one with defense. The long ball may be limited on Field 4 so they will have to use their advantage on defense to control the game. Pitching MUST be solid and force the ball to be put in play. They have to keep the Colts at arms length and close strong at the end.
Prediction: Sox in 3