And they’re off! The first round of games is in the books. After an early shift of blowout 2-game wins, we got some excitement late with three games going the distance. Mitch Cumstein was the early star of the playoffs with a 700 series leading Guac to a win over XXX Club. Easiest 10-0 predictions ever! Now we have a great slate of Sweet 16 games, and even one quarterfinal in B. On to the lines.
A: #9 Shake N Bake (-1) vs #8 Dirty Half Dozen: I’ll start off with one of the toughest matchups to call. DHD has a team that shouldn’t be affected too much by the layoff, but they did lose their seeding game and I don’t know if Doc Moose is around. Eh, he probably is. S&B has Tango and Lala in full vacation mode having to leave the lake to come in for the game. I’m wagering on that leading to relaxed, comfortable throwing, rather than dazed, vacation throwing. We know Glossy’s good for a 260-140. Squatch is fired up for the A playoffs. I’ll go with Glossy’s one huge game being enough to pull out a close one.
EDIT: Doc Moose just walked in to practice. Too late to rewrite the lines though.
B: #12 Mindz in the Gutter (-1) vs #5 Hazzard: Upset alert! Hazzard has had an interesting season in B. They’ve developed and sent on great BoPo talents in Herb’n Legend and Cerrano, then this year decided to just take ‘er easy in Thursday B. Well now it’s playoff time and they still have that old edge. Uncle Jesse and Luke have been in many a playoff scrap together, and Daisy’s Jeep is unflappable. All that said I’m going with the Noyes Boys, for one reason. They thought they were eliminated in the seeding round. They were stoked to find out later they were still alive, and will play like immortals. MIG in another nailbiter, always take the #12 over #5 game.
B: #2 FC Portland (-1) vs #7 Wrecking Balls: There’s a whole lot of BoPo experience in this one. I’ll have to check the old boards to see if Die Gassenjungen ever played the Wreck in the playoffs, hold on. Nope. But they did knock Saucy Posse out of the playoffs in 2009. Shoutout to Ichtanzegern, and wow has the league changed. Back to the matter at hand. Ram Rod has been on a mission from day one of the season. Oolie will be in his comfort zone against familiar faces. The Wreck are no pushover. The recently engaged Xander Rolle will be in the mix for top point every time. Swanny is as motivated as any Captain and wants to keep this ride going another week so he has a reason to bowl this weekend. The Dude is the wildcard here. I’ll go with the higher seed in a coin toss.
A: #6 My Balls (-6) vs #11 S.O.D.: SOD survived the first round but got taken to the limit by a feisty Leisure Rolls squad. They got a huge night from Booth coming in cold. Couch helped get them across the finish line, but unfortunately for SOD, it was Couch’s last game. I’m sure Pineapple and Kabowlski will give it their best shot, but hard to replace the team ace. My Balls should cruise in this one. Expect a barrage of ‘Whammos’ as Frankie A gets his team to a potential match with Mrs. Brady so he can confront her about her last name.
A: #1 Body English (-5) vs #16 Hexy’s Hooligans: The Hooligans are looking to dominate the 2008-2011 playoffs. They took down 2008/2011 champs OC, now they get 2010 champs BEER. (If only 2009 champs Binga’s was in! Zingas!!). Clam Hands and Flatline have looked strong after the layoff, and last night Tommy Torpedo was crushing strikes as they held on for a 9-6 win that wasn’t fully over til the final frame. They’ll look to Baltimore-Maryland County the top seed Body English. BEER had a franchise record night in the seeding round, now they just have to hope they held a little in reserve. Herb and Hungus both cracked 700 and rolled 279’s, but Rick Vaughn was the revelation, rolling a couple 200’s. I expect a game 3, but ultimately Brandy and Slow Roll grab enough points as BEER advances.
A: #3 Skol (-5) vs #14 Average Bros: The Bros had to put in some work Tuesday to put down a 3-player Bowl Thugz squad. Shout out to Hot Gravy averaging 213 in the loss. Ultimately The Dentist and Soccer Dad turned it on and crushed some dreams. They have the potential to put a scare in Skol. That said, Skol will be fairly focused after losing out on the #1 seed. Gunz averaged 250+ that game, that’s pretty good. Mrs. Brady and Viqueen will be too much for the Bros. Skol cruises.
A: #15 Saucy Posse (-1) vs #2 Y&B 2: Ok now I’m really putting that perfect picks record in danger. Crazy pick here. Let me try to explain. Nut Sauce is just nasty. She’s going to average 220-230. I think she’s got the edge vs Crackerjack in this one, she’s already fully dialed back in to bowling. Walter opened the playoffs with 5 strikes and just seems to have playoff magic these last few years. I think he can at least hang with All Day Lemay or Ding Dong. T’Mater and Shirley are going to have a handful of decent games, enough to battle Senator ITZ. I also think Y&B2 is missing Pistol Pete. (If he’s back in the mix then I think their depth wins out and the line flips to YB2.) So the pieces are there for a close one, and I often like the underdog in a tight match. An underdog with Nut Sauce anchoring? Give me my crazy upset pick!
B: #9 Bayside Burners (-1) vs #9 Bowled and Beautiful: B&B was having an interesting season. They had a great start to the season and ended in a 3 way tie for first with an 8-2 record. They are a veteran laden team who would love to get a playoff win under their belt and feel good about their tournament chances. I’m just going to pick the Burners for the pure energy they are bringing to the lanes. Don’t let that haunting picture of Shooter McDabbin behind a window in the latest Maine Mag fool you, he’s excitable. He’ll be triply amped up on playoffs and froze. The Chameleon and Spladam are playoff guys too, and Taygod ties it all together. I think they advance.