It’s time for another episode of Merlin’s Picks! Fifteen games are on the schedule starting Wednesday with the Rio Grande Valley Barracudas visiting Soles de Sonora and ending Sunday with the Ontario Fury visiting the San Diego Sockers. So many games, so let’s get to it!

As stated earlier, the Soles face Rio Grande Valley. Sonora is one of the hottest teams in the league right now, riding a four-game winning streak, after handing the Milwaukee Wave their first loss of the season. King Franck Tayou and Company will continue their streak beating the Barracudas (EDITOR’S NOTE: Merlin made this pick on Tuesday).

On Thursday, two games are scheduled: Milwaukee comes back to the Midwest to face the Cedar Rapids Rampage and San Diego travels to Ontario to face the Fury. Both teams will be facing struggling opponents, with Cedar Rapids on a four-game losing streak, and Ontario losing two out of three last week. Will Milwaukee bounce back after their West Coast trip, where they gave up double digit goals in back to back games? Will San Diego continue its unbeaten streak away from home? Yes, and yes!

Friday will feature three games, two of which are Eastern vs. Central division, and the third is a Pacific vs. Southwest showdown. The Kansas City Comets start their road trip with a visit to the Baltimore Blast. Kansas City blew out the Harrisburg Heat last week, while Baltimore edged out an overtime victory against the Syracuse Silver Knights. Baltimore will find a way to win this one; they always find a way to win close games. That’s who they are.

The Family Arena will have a special guest Friday night as the St. Louis Ambush host Syracuse. I could quite possibly be the only Knights fan in attendance, but it doesn’t matter to me! For those of you that will be there, I will not be wearing a wizard hat. Fun fact: Syracuse was 0-2 in February when I watched them play the Florida Tropics in Lakeland. Will a repeat performance happen this weekend? I hope not. Let’s break down the Silver Knights entire weekend: First stop: St. Louis. The Ambush are coming off of a 7-5 comeback victory against Florida in Lakeland (by the way, thank you Ambush for helping us out!). Syracuse was 16 seconds away from beating Baltimore. This is a HUGE road trip for Syracuse, and if I were Coach Ryan Hall, a 2-1 record after Sunday’s match against St. Louis, should be labeled as “successful”. Now, back to Friday’s match. Syracuse wins this, based on their defense. Next stop: A 1 PM EST (Noon CST) kickoff against Milwaukee. Another Fun Fact: In their last three games in Milwaukee, the Knights are 3-0. Unfortunately, history will not repeat itself, as Milwaukee will beat the Knights, in their Spongebob Squarepants and Patrick jerseys. On a side note, the Wave have my vote for most unique specialty jerseys this year. Final stop: St. Louis on Sunday. Syracuse travels back to St. Louis to face the Ambush once again. If St. Louis were to steal this game from Syracuse, I wouldn’t be surprised. Am I picking them to beat the Knights? No. Syracuse finds a way to edge the Ambush, giving them a 2-1 record on this road trip.

The final game on Friday has El Paso facing the Turlock Express. Both teams can’t catch a break these days. The Coyotes, after starting off on fire, have lost five straight, putting them out of the playoff picture right now, while Turlock is 2-12. El Paso should break their losing streak at home. Give me the Coyotes!

So many games, so little time! I’ll make the weekend games short and sweet. Blast, Comets, Stars and Sockers will win their respective games. If the Soles plays like they did against Milwaukee, they could absolutely beat San Diego. But, my gut is telling me San Diego has been here before, and will prevail.

On Sunday, give me Monterrey, Rio Grande, and San Diego again!

So to recap:

WEDNESDAY:
Soles > Rio Grande Valley

THURSDAY:
Milwaukee > Cedar Rapids
San Diego > Ontario

FRIDAY:
Syracuse > St. Louis
Baltimore > Kansas City
El Paso > Turlock

SATURDAY:
Baltimore > Harrisburg
Milwaukee > Syracuse
Kansas City > Florida
Tacoma > Rio Grande Valley
San Diego > Soles

SUNDAY:
Syracuse > St. Louis
Monterrey > Tacoma
Rio Grande Valley > Turlock
San Diego > Ontario

MASL Nation, I hope you have a wonderful weekend! I will try to stay warm in St. Louis. If you go to the games, stop over and say Hi! I’ll probably be the only one in the arena wearing Syracuse gear.

Last week was rough, going 6-5. Maybe I’m losing my touch! Let’s hope this week goes better for yours truly.

LAST WEEK: 6-5

OVERALL: 75-22 (.758)