Our resident bookmaker and Minors rep Neil Weyman takes a look at the three minor divisions ahead of the season start and should hopefully offer a bit of help with your Pick 6 selections.
Minors 3 is always an unknown based on the strength of new teams entering the basement division. The development teams are getting stronger and stronger despite some seasonal variance, so it will be very exciting to see how Game of Throws get on. They put in a solid performance at Lastball and should sit comfortably in mid table.
Despite Mescalitos Banditos and Knight Sliders immediate relegation from Minors 2, both will have gained valuable experience and nous from their brief stay in the higher division. They will be the teams to beat in 2016.
Meanwhile, The Jetchos have sneakily gone incognito this year, renaming themselves the Jets. They will look to build on a fun and encouraging first season.
Raiders Silver have disbanded, and given the annual player draft it’s impossible to know the strength of the Raiders Orange side until the first couple of results come in. Will the new squad of players be able to gel? They could be the dark horses if they can combine some of the squad who helped Raiders Silver finish 3rd last season.
Disco Inferno were the Pick 6 favourites after getting off to a flying start last season. All eyes will be on them again this year with their charismatic captain Rocco at the helm. Likewise, Bat to the Future will also be eyeing promotion after eight wins last season.
Golden Sombreros suffered a stressful 2015, but a strong recruitment drive over the cold winter months and rumours of training sessions could be the key to kick start the gold and blue carnival now they are established at Blackhorse Road. The bolstered squad could be a banana skin for many sides, and a potential sleeper in the Minors 3 title race.
Prediction – Banditos and Sliders will benefit from playing higher grade ball and should be too strong for Bat to the Future and Disco Inferno.
Mescalito Banditos 2/1
Knight Sliders 5/2
Disco Inferno 3/1
Bat to the Future 7/1
Game of Throws 8/1
Raiders Orange 8/1
Golden Sombreros 20/1
The Jets 25/1
There are four new teams in to the division this season, two from Minors 3, one from Minors 1 and one from nowhere. After Comer’s Homers disbanded there was a reshuffle across all six divisions with even Minors 2 experiencing the aftershocks. Soft Boiled were absolutely delighted to fill the void after neither the two relegated sides, nor any Minors 3 teams wanted to play at the higher level. Under Russ Davies, who is well known on the indoor scene they will be a test for any side. A strong start from both the eggs and Mouse Rat is to be expected.
Mouse Rat were exceptional last year winning every game bar one. Stacked with big hitting girls and boys, they will be the team to beat. Under Ben’s cool leadership, they have it in them to go the season unbeaten.
Comets Yellow had a stinker last year losing their first 8 games of the season. However, if they can start with a couple of victories, you shouldn’t rule them out from bouncing straight back.
The Pimlico Parrots were promoted thanks to a playoff victory last season. This will be a major step up with an overhauled squad and are the rank outsiders to join their sister team in Minors 1 next season.
From the remaining teams, it will be The Voodoos fourth season in this division, and they have really stabilised at this level. They look too good to go down, but not quite good enough to go up, given the strength of the new teams in the division.
Tecumsehs were very unfortunate not to be promoted, losing in a playoff to the Tornadoes and will be aiming to go one better this year. Tigers and Raiders Green will once again be battling for wins and a mid table spot.
Prediction – Mouse Rat should make it back-to-back promotions. It will be interesting to see who takes the other spot, a toss up between Soft Boiled and Tecumeshs.
Mouse Rat 4/5
Soft Boiled 5/1
Comets Yellow 7/1
London Tigers 10/1
Raiders Green 16/1
Pimlico Parrots 50/1
On paper, this looks like the best division in the GLSML. It is comprised of eight evenly matched teams, who can beat each other on any given day.
Raiders Red drop down from the Majors after a three year stay whilst the Kamikazes will be looking to build on a perfect 14 and 0 record last year. If they can keep the core that propelled them to the Minors 2 title they could be promoted once more and enter the Majors head first.
The Knights were granted a stay of execution for the second season running and will looking to stave off relegation once more. On the other hand, the Tornadoes made it back-to-back promotions last season and will be going for a third piece of silverware. Despite a small amount of personnel churn from last season, they should slot in comfortably mid table.
The four remaining teams (Pirates, Meteors, Badgers and Cheetahs) will battle it out, no doubt taking points off each other as the season progresses.
Badgers have an excellent blend of youth and experience that should keep the future of this long established team burning bright and give them every chance to launch an assault on the title. Meanwhile the Pimlico Pirates have targeted a top 3 finish under Majors rep Chris Carr. After initially struggling last year they finished strong and could be the team to beat after recruiting strongly this summer.
The Meteors and Cheetahs are also two very strong teams so picking your pick 6 will be very tough this year. Eenie meenie miney mo…..
Prediction – It’s hard to rule out any team or make a strong case for any. Meteors and Pirates will be right there and I fancy Raiders Red to be there or thereabouts after 14 games.
Meteors 3 3/1
Pimlico Pirates 3/1
Raiders Red 3/1