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week 15 Boston Cannons vs Ohio Machine Credit Jeff Melnik 2015

2015 MLL Predictions: Week 15

Week 15 of MLL Lacrosse promises to be an important, confusing, and, in some cases, meaningless set of games this weekend!

Week 15 promises to be confusing and, in some cases, a little meaningless. In other cases, there is a LOT on the line in terms of hosting a playoff game, so make sure you catch the big contests this week in Major League Lacrosse’s final regular season weekend for 2015!

Photo Credit: Jeff Melnik

Last week I got 3 right, and one wrong. Denver did me dirty and beat up on Florida on Sunday to ruin my perfect week of picks. ARRRRGGGHHHH. My picking record now sits at 29-18, which is respectable… but I don’t care for respect. I WANT THE WORLD. 4-0 for week 15, here I come!

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Yeah, sure…

But first, here is some BTB to BTB action courtesy of the Denver Outlaws:

2015 MLL Predictions – Week 15

New York @ Denver – Saturday, July 25th, 5pm ET – New York has secured the #1 seed and home playoff game on August 1st. Denver is out of the playoffs in 2015 after winning the title in 2014. Based off of results and current positioning in the league, New York should walk away with this game. Add in that they want to get things back on track before the playoffs start and you have a compelling argument. Therefore I’m picking Denver. The Outlaws have been scrapping, and this is their last lacrosse before golf, so expect them to bring the pain at home.

Boston @ Ohio – Saturday, July 25th, 7pm ET – Boston and Ohio both need a win in week 15 to secure the other home playoff game, but Ohio can secure the #2 seed with just a win, while Boston needs Rochester to lose to Florida. My money is on the Machine here as they know they control their own destiny, and have been playing great team ball lately. I also think Ohio can score against Boston in particular for some reason, and Boston’s offense can be a no-show at times. It’s a tough pick, and the CLEAR game of the week, but I’ll take Ohio in the end.

Charlotte @ Chesapeake – Saturday, July 25th, 7pm ET – Charlotte and Chesapeake are both out, so this game is really about pride. At home, Chesapeake will want to put on a great show for their fans, who came out in droves this year, so I’ll take the Bayhawks to win this somewhat meaningless game.

Rochester @ Florida – Saturday, July 25th, 7pm ET – Rochester needs to win, and have Ohio lose, to gain the #2 seed, but that means they have a LOT more to play for than the Florida Launch. I’m not saying guys are going to pack it in, but there is a difference in mentality between when your season is practically over and when you are prepping for the playoffs. I’ll take Rochester on the road for week 15!

MLL Attendance Notes

Franchise – 2015 Attendance Average (+/- change from last week)
Denver
– 10,011 from 10,980 (-969) Their numbers dipped back down a bit this week, but they will finish with 10,000+ per game.
Chesapeake – 6,569 from 6,294 (+275) – Averaging over 6k fans per game will be great for the Bayhawks. One more good weekend to go to make that happen.
Boston – 6,061 (same) – Boston had a good run in Gilette in 2015, but they’ll want to get to Denver numbers next year to fill the stadium a bit more.
New York – 5,293 (same) – The Lizards have struggled with attendance often, but this new ownership group seems to be doing a lot of things to change that.
Ohio – 2,730 from 2,450 (+280) – If Ohio can get another great turnout (last weekend the place was pretty packed!), they could crest a 3,000 person average.
Charlotte – 2,282 (same) – Charlotte’s smaller venue makes these numbers ok, but for the league’s longterm sake, they need to get to the 3k+ level, and stay there, soon.
Florida – 1,610 (same) – Can pro lacrosse work in South Florida? The response has been tepid two years in… will that change? Hope so!
Rochester – 1,187 from 1,161 (+26) – There should be fans in Rochester. Fewer than 1200 people per game is not acceptable. These numbers really need to go up and more direct community involvement is required.

The top 4 attendance franchises are all doing well right now, and if there were eight of those franchises, the league attendance numbers would look great, but that is only half the story. Charlotte and Ohio seem to be building something, and I am hopeful there, but Rochester and Florida cause me some concern.

The Rattlers have a great core of players, and they have plenty of local products on their roster. How more people aren’t on the Ratz train baffles me. I’m not sure what needs to happen there, but something needs to change before next year to avoid another season of lackluster numbers.

Florida is a relatively new lacrosse market, a very new pro lacrosse market, and much smaller than many other existing markets, but they have Casey Powell AND the Thompsons. And a goalie with personality. And the best US defender right now… they have star power. But they don’t draw people in. Maybe it’s a lack of local players, or the heat, or something else, but Florida can’t last long with continued low attendance numbers.

I don’t want to be too tough on Roch or FLA, but the fact is, if people aren’t coming, those franchises are likely in trouble. Those are Hamilton-esque numbers, and we all know how that worked out. In the end, MLL needs time to grow, but there is also a base level of expectations that must be met almost immediately. It’s a tough road out there!

LONG LSM Bomb!

How sweet was this Steven Waldeck goal? Must have been from 17 yards. Low to low. With a longpole. SMOKE!

Tso’s Random Trivia

I watched a documentary about General Tso’s Chicken (I know, really?), and it turns out it was invented in 1955 in Tapei by a man called Chef Peng. I always wanted to know that.

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