Our other semifinal matchup pits the second seeded Dynasty against the third seeded The North. This matchup should be a doozy as both teams are so evenly matched. This is a rematch of last Falls Finals where in two epic games The North won the championship over Dynasty. Since then both teams have restocked their team and have their teams playing at the top of their games.
The marquee matchup will be played at 8:30am this Sunday at Cantiague C. Both teams have players with ability to clear the fence and the home run limit will be pushed to the limit. Can Dynasty finally vanquish their demons and get one step closer to that elusive championship? Or will The North rise to the challenge and make it to the Finals in their first Summer season as a rookie team?
How They Got Here:
Dynasty didn’t know their first round matchup until Saturday night when MonStars beat Black Mambas. Going into Sunday morning, there was a uneasy feeling that the favorites Dynasty were primed for an upset. It looked even more dire when MonStars won game 1 by the score of 20-11. Giving up 20 runs was a shock. But in Games 2 and 3, captains Sajid and Sonu made great in game adjustments and they pulled out two nail-biters. Game 2 they won 11-2 and Game 3 they won 5-1.
Giving up only 3 runs in the last two games proved how good of a defense they have. During the regular season, Dynasty finished second in offense and second in defense. The team can win in multiple ways, which bodes well for them thus Sunday.
The North had the easiest First round matchup at the end of the day. They faced a hot Shooter McGavins team who were on 12-4 streak. But North swept them in two easy games with the scores of 18-1 and 11-4. They weren’t challenged by Shooter McGavins at all. But The North did what they needed to do and their middle of the lineup of Steve Galante, Charley Robinson and Nicolas Timpone led the offensive barrage.
The North finished with the 4th best offense and third best defense. They dealt with some attendance issues but seems to have their top players all playing at the same time at the right time. The lineup is pretty deep starting with Pops at top and a bunch of speedsters in the middle of the lineup.
Dynasty will have Ali Ghumman at Pitcher. Savages counter with Yasar Bokhari. These are two big time big game pitchers that have matched up many times over the years. At catcher Dynasty has Ariel Arvelo who has some legit pop. The North went with Pops at catcher last week and he is a spark plug at the top of the lineup.
At Left Field the matchup is Omar Hernandez and Irfan Musliwala. Omar had a MVP type season while Irfan had a solid season himself. Edge goes to Dynasty here. At LCF we have Mike Liang vs Shawn Abraham. Both are outstanding fielders with great arms and speed. The difference is Mike’s bat is a little better than Shawns. Advantage goes to Dynasty by a hair.
The big advantage The North has is at RCF where Nicolas Timpone is a legit middle of hitter with an elite glove. Kunal Oak has improved and is leaps and bounds better than past years but Nick makes more game changing plays. At Right field Dynasty can go with David Poon for defense and DH Yamin, or have Yamin play the outfield. Last week putting David in for defense changed everything so we think he will play. The North has Saeed Anwar who is a former all star. His line drive hitting at the back half of the lineup is crucial to turn the lineup over.
Advantage: The North.
From 3B to 1B, Dynasty features Milan Patel, Amit Bhasin, Adrian Polanco and Sonu Bhasin. That is a solid group with Adrian providing the power and Amit providing the steady dose of line drive singles. Milan is a very underrated player on both sides of the ball. Sonu has played better or late and has a very solid glove at 1B.
The North features two elite athletes in Charley Robinson and Steven Galante on the left side of the infield. They are both 5 tool players and are being tasked to carry the team. On the right side Akil Gubbi is at 2b and he has been one of the more improved players this season. At 1B, The North has an option to go with Anwar Sadat or Adeel Ahmed. Both are solid players who can get the job done.
Keys To Winning:
1. Clutch Hits: Both pitchers and defense are elite. Who can get the clutch 2 out hits during the rare times the bases have base runners.
2. Mental Toughness: Dynasty will need to learn a thing or two from The North and try to have fun during the games. They need to try to push the narrative of choking in big games out of their minds.
3. Turn The Lineup Over: It is no secret most of The North offense comes from the middle of the lineup. Can the bottom get on base via hits/walks to turn the lineup over?
4. Umpire: Both pitchers have a tendency of arguing with the umpires on the zone and calls. Which pitcher can move forward when a bad calls get made?
The North are very top heavy and will need their other players to contribute but last week they looked like world beaters. Dynasty beat The North in the regular season and are coming in with confidence after their first round win. This may make us look foolish in the end but we are going with Dynasty in 3!