OPENING Day is one the most anticipated days in sport.
All teams start with a clean slate – a 0-0 record – and a great deal of hope.
There are expectations. There is excitement. And then the opening pitch is thrown.
Have you wondered which team has the best shot at opening its season with a W?
In the short history of the current ABL it is the Sydney Blue Sox (4-1, .800) who have the best record in season-openers.
The Blue Sox are also 5-0 in home-openers.
Brisbane Bandits and Melbourne Aces have found season-openers to be less rewarding.
The Bandits and Aces are both 1-4, with Brisbane on a four-game losing streak.
Here are some Opening Day notes and statistics to give you hope … or take it away.
Brisbane Bandits @ Canberra Cavalry
- This will be the second time the Bandits and Cavalry have met in a season opener. The Cavalry shutout the Bandits 6-0 in November 2011 at Canberra before splitting the four-game series.
- This will be the fifth-straight season the Cavalry has opened the season at home.
- The Cavalry are 2-2 when opening the season at home.
- After winning their first Opening Day contest the Bandits have lost the past four.
- The Bandits are 0-2 when starting the season on the road.
- Brisbane and Canberra have both been shutout twice in season openers.
Sydney Blue Sox @ Melbourne Aces
- This will be the second time the Blue Sox and Aces have met in a season opener. The Blue Sox walked-off 3-2 in November 2011 at Sydney and won the series 3-1.
- The Sydney Blue Sox (4-1) have the best record in ABL season-openers.
- This will be the fourth-straight season Sydney has started on the road.
- The Blue Sox are 2-1 when opening the season on the road.
- Melbourne is 1-4 in season openers and 1-1 when starting the season at home.
Adelaide Bite @ Perth Heat
- This is the third time Adelaide and Perth have started the season against each other. Perth won 6-1 at Perth in November 2011 and 9-3 at Adelaide in November 2012.
- The Heat are 6-0 in season-opening series against the Bite.
- This will be the third-straight season Perth has opened the season at home.
- The Heat are 2-1 when opening the season at home.
- This will be the third-straight season Adelaide has opened on the road.
- The Bite has won the past two and are 2-1 overall when opening the season on the road.
- Perth (32 runs) and Adelaide (31) have scored the most runs in season openers.
Past Opening Day starters
Adelaide: Paul Mildren (W), Dushan Ruzic (L), Zac Fuesser (L), David Holman, Matthew Williams (W)
Brisbane: James Albury, Simon Morriss (L), Justin Staatz (L), James Albury, Steven Chambers (L)
Canberra: Steven Kent, Mike McGuire (W), Brian Grening, Brian Grening (W), Brian Grening (L)
Melbourne: Adam Blackley (L), Kevin Reese, Adam Bright, John Hussey (L), Tim Brown (L)
Perth: Liam Baron, Benjamin Moore, Virgil Vasquez (W), Mike Ekstrom (W), Shawn Sanford (L)
Sydney: Chris Oxspring, Craig Anderson, Chris Oxspring, Craig Anderson (L), Craig Anderson (W)