There’s only three more days until the Opening Day Tournament, and the bracket has already been drawn. The seventh installment of this preseason tournament will feature many old faces on new teams. Here’s what to expect:
Game 1: Freaky Franchise vs Tubemen (?)
Prediction: Freaky Franchise
Reports say that Suhre may change his name before this game, but it shouldn’t matter. The key to victory for either team will be to get to the starting pitchers, presumably Tomkins and Suhre respectively. If the Tubemen grab an early lead, they’ll hope that Bigler can be on. Otherwise, it’s a guarantee that Ryan Bush will be.
Game 2: HTML vs Lil Pens
Did you know that Doug Bush has never missed an Opening Day Tournament final? This might be the year that it happens. The Pens have by far the toughest road to the finals, followed closely by their opponent here: HTML. This game will be closer than the talent spread suggests, but as much as I hate to bet against the ODT masters, I am.
Game 3: Game 1 Winner vs Pavlov’s Dawgs
Prediction: Game 1 Winner (Freaky Franchise)
The Franchise’s road is pretty easy assuming they play at their top level. The problem is that their first two opponents will see a lot of Justin Tomkins, trying to save Bush for the finale. This is another case of “whichever team gets an early lead”, and another case of “the opponent hopes ___ is on.” In this case, that’s Ari Knill, but I still think the Franchise have this.
Game 4: Game 2 Winner vs Wagrupp Dynasty
Prediction: Game 2 Winner (HTML)
Another team I hate to bet against, but I don’t think HTML will make the same mistake they made last year in the regular season against this squad. The improvement of Coyk on both sides of the ball have been measured, the only factor now is how much did Tommy and Mitch improve? If they matched Coyk, this could go the other way, but I think HTML wins a tight one.
Game 5: Game 3 Winner vs Game 4 Winner
Prediction: Game 4 Winner (HTML)
Chris Roeder has never won an OCWA tournament. I think that trend ends this weekend. This HTML squad is a combination of his two best teams: The Southern Nevada 96er’s and the Strong Tough Dudes. Even if Bush goes full in this one, I suspect Roeder will too. It then comes down to who can push one across first, and my money is on HTML.