A new year, same old Merlin! I’m back with this week’s MASL picks. Ten games are on tap Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. What’s in store for your team? Keep reading to find out. Let’s get into the picks.
On Friday and Saturday, Milwaukee and Cedar Rapids have a home-and-home scheduled. Milwaukee is still undefeated after a 6-4 victory over Kansas City, while Cedar Rapids lost a heartbreaker against Baltimore. If Milwaukee was to lose one of these games, the game on Friday would be the night, as they’re playing in front of the Rampage faithful, but, Milwaukee won’t lose either of them. The Wave sweep this week, pretty much guaranteeing themselves a berth in the MASL playoffs, and we’re only halfway into the season!
Speaking of home-and-home games, Turlock and San Diego have one Friday and Sunday. San Diego has been soaking in the California sun for the last three weeks, while Turlock was pummeled by Ontario 14-4 last week. San Diego will also sweep this home-and-home, keeping them undefeated with Milwaukee and Monterrey (that is if I pick Monterrey to win this week…).
In a battle for the Pacific Division’s second spot, Ontario travels to Tacoma to face the Stars. As previously mentioned, Ontario handed Turlock a 10 goal loss, while Tacoma had the week off. In a closely contested battle, Tacoma will edge out the Fury in this one, especially if Nick Perera is playing for the Stars.
On Saturday, the Eastern Division teams will battle against each other as Harrisburg plays Baltimore, and Syracuse will make the trip south to face the Tropics. The 2nd through 4th of this division changes weekly, so anything is possible. Baltimore will have no problem extinguishing the Heat at home, so they will continue to be first in the division, and Harrisburg will remain in 4th. Now, the 2/3 matchup is very intriguing. Each team has taken one game in the other team’s arena, with the Tropics taking the last game against the Knights 9-4. Will the trend continue? I say it will. Here’s why: In a key game last week against Harrisburg, Syracuse played probably their best all around game of the year. They played great defense, and passed the ball very well, against a Harrisburg team that made the playoffs last season. The Silver Knights want this game badly, and will come through, winning in a close contest.
In a Central Division matchup, the Comets travel to St. Louis to face the Ambush. I’m on upset alert for this one. St. Louis is at home, and they’ve already beaten Cedar Rapids at the Family Arena this year. Kansas City isn’t the team they used to be, losing most recently to Milwaukee. Ambush fans rejoice, your team will win this game!
On Sunday, the Southwest Division is on display, as Rio Grande Valley faces Sonora, and Monterrey hosts El Paso. I’ll take the Soles on the road, and Monterrey at home. Rio Grande Valley does have a chance to beat Sonora, but as of late the Soles have come to life, and that’s not good for the rest of the division.
So to recap:
Milwaukee > Cedar Rapids (both games)
San Diego > Turlock (both games)
Tacoma > Ontario
Baltimore > Harrisburg
Syracuse > Florida
St. Louis > Kansas City
Soles > Rio Grande Valley
Monterrey > El Paso
Last week, I went 7-1, with the only loss, coming from Cedar Rapids, as Baltimore took care of business. MASL Nation, I hope your New Year was wonderful, and here’s to hoping your teams play well in 2018.
LAST WEEK: 7-1
OVERALL: 62-16 (.795)