So it seems like weeks since our 4.0 season ended but one more week to go until we get our party started. I am looking forward to getting on the court as I am sure the other 7 teams are, see you there. I mentioned earlier that I think the flights are pretty solid and even but the tougher flight I believe is the Blue Flight so let's look at that one:
Blue Flight: HP/Bob, Greenhill, BH-Cliff and BH-Burt
Longshot: BH-Cliff (Odds 25 to 1)
In order for this team to make it I believe they will have to sweep doubles each time out. The thing is they have strong enough players to make that happen with Helterbrann, Mattes, Moore, Renzewiki, Barr, Smith and Olivier. I don't know if they will trust in that strategy but in my mind it is their only hope because they have struggled at singles but they are dangerous team who won 13 out of their 15 last matches, so we will see if their fire has died after a 3 week layoff.
In the mix: BH-Burt (Odds 12 to 1)
I know they went undefeated but as I mentioned they are in a tough flight against some deep teams. They do have a luxury of some great singles talent in Powell, Jenkins, Parekh and Renwick. They will need Brooks/Renwick or whatever Burt deems his top doubles duo to show up big and then their odds become very strong to win this flight.
Very close but I just don't know: Greenhill (Odds 7 to 1)
I will be honest I wasn't upset when they missed our flight. With singles talent like Contreras, Windham and Durand they will be a threat in every match and that is why I like them more than Burt's team because Fernando is along with Jean Nguyen the best singles player in this flight. Their achilles heel might be doubles although mid season add Lance Lockhart will help as well as John Hagen who has converted from singles to be a very solid doubles player. They play HP at 6p on Friday so this flight might be decided early if my hunches are correct.
Favorite: High Point/Bob: (Odds 2 to 1)
Hard to bet against Bob's crew even if their makeup is much different than previous seasons. Also there is most likely no chance even if they win that they can retain 70% of their players because these players will move to 4.5 (Newman, Voss, Nguyen, Kemp x 2) although they will be on the border at 68% if that prediction is correct and Doug Smith is borderline as well which would put them way out of reach of retaining the required amount of players. But because of that reason they have a set of previous mentioned players that should carry them to Sunday morning. They have had issues at singles though and not sure Dreskin and Taillat can carry them in this tourney, Nguyen will have to hop in there but that does take away a strong doubles player. Not sure if Terrell (the Springpark transfer) can help but he is solid.
Red Flight: HP/SWAT, Lifetime, OC and Lakes
Longshot: Lakes (Odds 25 to 1)
Sorry Rockettman, I like your team but was hoping you all would be in the blue flight for matchup reasons for you all. It is tough to judge since the Lakes has 80 players on their roster but that seems to be part of the issue like in the Spring it came to playoffs and their doubles teams seemed to not step up against the teams that had played more together. With that said this is still a good team with Tran, Holt, Jobe, Richardson and late add Fix they will be dangerous.
Upset special: OC/Smith (Odds 15 to 1)
I know better to sleep on this team since they beat Bob's team but the reason they can't be a favorite is depth which got exposed against the Village B team and almost cost them a playoff spot. The seem to just be using Kelley and Ahner and hoping to get a split each week and that will probably work for them next weekend again and they have some solid doubles play from Hughes, Barnhard, Webb and late add Garcia (hate those late adds, mystery players). I do like they way the bounced back after a bad loss and beat a good LBH team and then swept the Springpark B team, that shows they have some fight.
Co-favorite: Lifetime (Odds EVEN)
Ok why not since the LTF'ers are the most ardent posters and more importantly because Eddie and his team have moxy I have to consider them up at the top of this flight. Feuille has been on a roll but did lose to Tikashi and then Osorio took him out in the Masters final last weekend but he is still one of the top singles players that will be playing next weekend. Enough about Forrest though, Lifetime's strength is in doubles with Kennedy, Harris, Myers, Morrison and Asako. I am looking forward to our Saturday morning matchup. Good luck team Eddie, I will make sure and play that match against you all.
C0-favorite: HP SWAT (Odds EVEN)
I am not going to lie I love my team and win or lose next weekend I will still love my team. The reason I like my team is much like Eddie's team we have some guys who are scrappy and in the end playoffs usually come down to the points where one guy is just willing to come up with one more shot.
Finals Prediction: HP SWAT v. HP Bob
I would love to see this happen and I am sure my guys would as well.
Prediction: PAIN. SWAT wins 4-1