So far I’m 5-4 with my 2015 MLL game picks this year, which is not bad, but also not great! I need to get all four game picks right this weekend to get back over the magic 2/3s correct count! Being above .500 is ok, but being at .666 or better is… well… better. Let’s recap last week quickly and then get to this weekend’s predictions for 2015 Major League Lacrosse Week 4! All eight pro teams are in action, and we have FOUR great games coming up on Sunday.
Plenty of sweet, sweet action from Week 3!
2015 MLL Predictions – Week 4
Florida @ Rochester – I don’t feel great about this pick, as both of these teams have some holes, and both can be exploited, but I really did like the fight Rochester put up against the Lizards last week. This is NOT a team that wants to lose three games in a row early on, and I like the Rattlers to play to win, and to also actually win.
Ohio @ Chesapeake – I’ll take Chesapeake as I’m not quite ready to #OilUp in 2015 MLL just yet. Chesapeake has impressed me with their coherent schemes and good team play so far, while Ohio still seems to be missing a couple of pieces and added depth. If the Machine can shoot better overall, they have a chance to prove me wrong here.
New York @ Boston – How can you not pick New York here? They own a 3-0 record (vs Boston’s 1-1) and they have a deadly offensive group, while Boston’s defensive middies haven’t been great just yet. I’m going New York by a couple goals. This will be a theme in 2015 MLL game picks.
Charlotte @ Denver – Charlotte should be able to keep this game close, and if they can, anything is possible in terms of an outcome. Denver is the favorite here, especially playing at home, but I like Charlotte to pull off the “upset” win out in Colorado as the Hounds should be able to capitalize on some of Denver’s less tenured and experienced players who see more time early in the year when NLL guys are still unavailable.
Other Week 4 2015 MLL Predictions
Last week, I said Gibby would continue to score. He has. I said there would still be 5 Lizards in the top 15 for league scoring. There are. I said Max Seibald would get an assists, and according to the league stats, he got one. Did he though? I didn’t think so, but I’ll take it, I guess! I said Spallina would top the penalty chart. That one was easy!
So let’s make some NEW predictions for Week 4 in what should continue as a glorious 2015 MLL season!
Will Miles Thompson play in the last regular season game for the Minnesota Swarm on Saturday and then play in the Rattlers’ game on Sunday? Or will he just play on Sunday? My guess is he plays on Sunday somehow. But that’s not important. What’s important is that Miles plays with Ty, and we get our first Thompson to Thompson point of the year. Jeremy is also on the Rattlers roster now as a practice player.
I like Drew Adams to stay atop the goalie leader board in Goals Against Average. A strong offense and Gurenlian winning draws limits other teams’ chance. Adams does the rest and does it well, and can still make a big save after long periods where the ball isn’t on his end of the field.
We will see more power play goals this weekend! And by more, I mean a higher percentage of man ups will be converted. While it’s still early, only Boston and Ohio really seem to have this figured out right now, as both teams are scoring on 40% of their chances. But Chesapeake, Rochester, New York, Denver, and Charlotte all need a lot of work here. The FIVE franchises are a combined 8-for-51 on man up so far. NOT GOOD. Unless you’re an MLL defense, then this is good news!
LongStickMiddie.com Play of the Week
A great LSM can be a real game changer in Major League Lacrosse, so each week we’re focusing on this position with a short highlight video. My man Malcolm Chase has organized this video series with the league, and it’s a great way to pay homage to the guys putting in the work between the lines. It’s a must watch video each week!
With college lacrosse still raging, and many youth and high school seasons in full swing, one might expect attendance numbers at MLL games to dip to dangerously low levels, but that really hasn’t been the case so far. While no one is truly packing the stands, these are historically decent numbers for early season MLL games:
Franchise – 2015 Attendance Average
Chesapeake – 4,639
New York – 4,100
Boston – 3,948
Charlotte – 2,276
Ohio – 2,273
Florida – 1,873
Rochester – 1,107
TOTALS: 28,265 total fans from 9 total fans, for an average of 3,140 per game across the league. When you look at it that way, it’s pretty good, and is actually a larger average than what D1 NCAA lacrosse games get in the early season (maybe 1,000 fans per game).
While the league may seem to be growing very slowly, this is not unexpected. Many of the hyper-successful pro leagues of today (NBA, NFL, MLB, MLS, NHL) all started small and took decades to grow. We have SOME full-time pro field lacrosse players in only five years. I’d say the league is actually doing quite well! So get out to see a game, and check it out for yourself! If you want to hear more about the league, its past, and its future, check out this podcast I did recently with Jake Steinfeld, founder of Major League Lacrosse.