2016/17 ABL R9 – Sydney v Canberra
20 Jan 2017 19:30 AEST
Round 9 of the 2016/17 Australian Baseball League season features Sydney v Canberra.
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CANBERRA (17-15) at SYDNEY (12-19)
The 2016/17 rendition of the Hume Highway Cup rivalry concludes this weekend in Sydney, as the Blue Sox host the Cavalry for the penultimate round of the season. The Cavalry lead the season series 3-1, after winning in the capital back in Round 2.
That series, which featured a 21-11 Cavalry win in the series finale in Wollongong, was one of the moments early on in the year that made us say “wow” about this year’s Cavalry offence. While their pitching hasn’t been spectacular, Canberra’s hitters have occupied nearly half of the top 10 slots in the league, beginning with the Perkins brothers at the beginning of the season and continuing recently with import Scott Kelly and River Stevens, who rank first and third, respectively, in the league in batting average right now. Boosted by this overpowering offence, the Cavalry still don’t have a playoff spot clinched but can make February a more clear certainty with a series win this weekend.
In addition to the playoffs, the Cavalry also have a legitimate chance of breaking their own team batting averge record of .295, set in the historic 2012/13 campaign in which they won both the Claxton Shield and the Asia Series. Through the first 32 games of this season, Canberra have a .297 team mark, .002 ahead of their record and, better yet, .003 away from the elusive .300 team batting average, a feat that’s never been accomplished in the history of the new ABL.
Players to watch: Scott Kelly (CAN), Kyle Perkins (CAN), Chris Oxspring (SYD), Tucker Neuhaus (SYD)
Series prediction: Canberra win, 3-1
Reason: Feel free to beat me to death with sabermetrics and how unimportant batting average is all you want, but I’ll still say that maintaining a team batting average that flirts with .300 is pretty amazing.