Round five preview: Bandits at Bite

THE two teams that met in the final game of last season clash for the first time since seemingly going in opposite directions.

Brisbane (7-9) – which defeated Adelaide in last season’s ABL Championship Series – have fallen into a rut and won three of its past 10.

The Bite (8-8) on the other hand are building momentum and have been winners in four of their past five and last weekend collected just a second ever series won in Perth.

The sides meet for a four-game set in Adelaide with the Bandits looking to arrest their form slump

The series is the first of two straight between the sides – who will clash in Brisbane after Christmas – and a chance for one side to push its claim for a top-three spot.

The Bandits will have to shake off their recent struggles.

Across their past 10 games their pitching has ranked sixth in the league for ERA and home runs allowed, while its offence has recorded a fifth-ranked on-base percentage.

The result has been a 3-7 record and being outscored by 13.

Adelaide has slowly been building momentum and returns home to its new ballpark at Adelaide Shores for the second time.

Its last series at home resulted in a 3-1 victory over Melbourne.

At the time it did not look overly impressive – with Melbourne then still carrying that road hoodoo.

But the Aces have taken off and occupy top spot and that series win three weeks ago suddenly carries a bit more esteem.

 

Series schedule:

Game 1: Friday, 7pm ACDT

Game 2: Saturday, 4pm ACDT

Game 3: Saturday, 7pm ACDT

Game 4: Sunday, 1pm ACDT

 

TV: Check out the ABLtv.com schedule

Tickets: theABL.com.au

 

Expected starters :

Friday: Justin Erasmus (1-0, 3.26) at Steve Chambers (1-1, 3.63)

Saturday, G1: Rick Teasley (1-2, 6.20) at Taylor Hawkins (1-1, 8.62)

Saturday, G2: Dan Nilsson (0-1, 8.31) at Jack O’Loughlin (2-0, 2.04)

Sunday: Kramer Champlin (1-1, 4.56) at Nathaniel Roe (0-0, 0.00)

 

What you need to know:

  • Brisbane has allowed the most home runs (19) while Adelaide has conceded the fewest (5).
  • The Bandits are 3-7 over their past 10 games and the Bite 6-4.
  • Adelaide won its only home series this season 3-1 over Melbourne.
  • Only 23 runs were scored in the four-game series between the Bite and Aces at Adelaide Shores.

 

Series prediction

Brisbane is too good a side to be held down for long. But Adelaide is trending in the right direction and looking to build a home advantage like it did at Norwood at Adelaide Shores. If the Bandits can get a few solid outings from their starters it could be a tight, low scoring, series.

Split 2-2.

 

Follow David Penrose on Twitter at @David_Penrose

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