Round five preview: Heat at Cavalry

CANBERRA can bounce back from its disappointing series loss to first-placed Melbourne when it hosts last-ranked Perth starting tonight.

The Cavs much raved about offence was silenced in a big way during the top-of-table series against the Aces but will return to the comfort of Narrabundah against the down-and-out Heat.

Canberra – which managed five runs across four games in Melbourne to drop to fourth spot – is 5-2 at Narrabundah this season and batting .333 as a team at the ballpark.

Last weekend the Cavs hit .164 against the Aces’ league-leading pitching staff.

They can expect to have it easier against a Perth outfit that despite a few improved performances ranks fifth for ERA.

The Heat are coming off a 3-1 series loss at home to Adelaide and would have to become the second team in ABL history to turn around a 5-11 start (or worse) and make the playoffs.

The form of Luke Hughes and starter Tom Bailey has been a positive for Perth.

 

Series schedule:

Game 1: Thursday, 7pm AEDT

Game 2: Friday, 7pm AEDT

Game 3: Saturday, 7pm AEDT

Game 4: Sunday, 12pm AEDT

 

TV: Check out the ABLtv.com schedule

Tickets: theABL.com.au

 

Expected starters :

Thursday: Conor Lourey (1-1, 3.86) at Louis Cohen (0-0, 1.50)

Friday: Nick Veale (0-3, 8.62) at Scott Cone (0-1, 10.24)

Saturday: Tom Bailey (1-1, 3.00) at Josh DeGraaf (2-1, 4.26)

Sunday: Dan Schmidt (1-2, 7.32) at Sean Guinard (0-1, 4.70)

 

What you need to know:

  • Perth is 0-4 in game one of a series this season. The Cavs are 2-2.
  • Canberra leads the league with 87 runs while the Heat are ranked last with 56.
  • The Cavs’ five runs last weekend were not a record low for a series. In 2011, Canberra scored two runs in a four-game series against Sydney.
  • The two sides have the worst starting pitching rotations. Perth starters have recorded an ERA of 6.04 and Cavalry starters 5.68.

 

Series prediction

Canberra area difficult proposition at home and it is hard to see Perth mustering anymore than a split. The Cavs bats should be too much to handle for a pitching staff that has seen its starters win just twice.

Canberra 3-1.

 

Follow David Penrose on Twitter at @David_Penrose

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