Week 10 Preview- Royals, Gold, Leland try to chase down the Emperors

After a week 9 rain-out, and a week off to celebrate the 4th of July, it seems like Stickball has been off for a month.  But the wait will be worth it as stickball is finally back with some make up games added to the schedule. Here are this weeks matchups:

D’Backs vs Emperors- The Emperors have been the best team in the league so far this year, boasting the leagues best offense and defense, and have separated themselves from the pack.  The D’Backs, on the other hand, are win-less in their last 9 games, and what looked to be a promising season has taken a turn for the worse. Maybe 2 weeks off is what the D’Backs needed to recharge and refocus their energy.  They will need to be at their best if they want and chance at upsetting the Emperors.
Saints vs Brew Crew-  The Saints have settled in the middle of the pack and their offense has cooled off scoring just 9 runs in their last 5 games (5 in one game).  Scoring runs has been a problem for the Brew Crew all season, and their defense hasn’t been any better. A win over the Saints could boost their confidence in time for the stretch run.  The Saints will need every win they can get in order to avoid falling further behind the top 4 teams.
Emperors vs Gold- This normally volatile and exciting rivalry hasn’t lived up to the hype this year, as the Emperors have handled the Gold easily the last two match-ups.  The Gold however seem to be hitting their stride as they have won 5 of 6 and are starting to plat like the Gold of old.  The one loss however came against these Emperors.  The Gold have put themselves back in the top 4 with their recent good play, and will look to keep climbing.
D’Backs vs Brew Crew-  The D’Backs are only 3 points ahead of the Brew Crew, and a loss would put them closer to the bottom of the standings.  The Brew Crew does not like sitting at the bottom of the standings and would love to have some more company down there.  What better way to do that then to beat the D’Backs.
Leland vs Ravens- Leland once again finds themselves in the thick of thing and are just 4 points behind the Royals for the second seed.  Leland’s defense has not been what we are all accustomed to seeing, but their offense remains as dangerous as ever.  After showing some life in week 7, the Ravens find themselves on another losing streak and tied with the Brew Crew for worst record in the league. They will need to play better defense as their offense has struggled to put runs on the board.
Royals vs Saints- The Royals have struggled to put runs together this year, but their much improved defense has kept them in the 2 seed for much of the season.  The Saints are always looking to knock off the Royals and have battled them tough all season.  The Royals lead the season series, but the Saints have been close to knocking them off, twice battling to ties. This game could be anyone’s for the taking.
Gold vs Ravens- The season series is tied at 1 between these two teams, but the way the Gold has been playing lately, combined with the Ravens recent slide, has the Gold licking their chops.  But the Gold know better than to look past the Ravens after already losing to them once earlier this season.  
Royals vs Leland- Up until recently, Leland had dominated the Royals in pretty much every game they played.  But the Royals have turned the tables of late and played much better against Leland.  The Royals lead the season series and will look to extend their 4 point lead over Leland.  But a win by Leland will make the standings at the top and the race down the stretch much more interesting. 
Week 9 Make-up games
Royals vs Emperors- The Royals have 2 loses this season, and both have come at the hands of the Emperors and both have been in blowout fashion.  The Emperors will look to continue to dominate the Royals, while the Royals will be playing for pride in this one. They know they are a much better team than they have shown the previous 2 games, but they will have to prove it, as the Emperors have simply been on another level this season. 
D’Backs vs Leland-  The season series is tied at 1 between these two team, but they have been on opposite paths since Memorial Day, with Leland clawing their way back to the top 3, and the D’Backs free-falling near the bottom.  A win against Leland could provide the spark the D’Backs need to save their season, but Leland will be out to make sure that doesn’t happen.
-Ruben