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Bite v Cavalry: the fight for finals
Can the Bite keep their season alive in Canberra?
01/10/2018 6:57 PM ET
Greg Mosel leads the Bite into Canberra and will start Game 1 against the Cavalry.
Greg Mosel leads the Bite into Canberra and will start Game 1 against the Cavalry. (Ryan Schembri/SMP Images/ABL Media)

An unchanged line-up heads to Canberra as the Adelaide Bite, proudly presented by SA Power Networks, fights to keep its season alive in Round 8.

A series win, or even a sweep, would put the Bite right back into contention for fourth place, meaning this Canberra adventure will definitely be full of action.

After going 4-for-9 with three runs and two doubles on the weekend, Karl Hoschke retains his spot while Tom McGarry also gets another chance to play after a comfortable 2-for-8 return.


Pitching: Mosel, Koura, Powell, Hutchings, Brebner-Russ, Williams, van Mil, Chambers, Lee, T. Day, Chappell

Hitting: Quiroz, Nooij, McArdle, T.S. Chang, K.J. Chen, Ayarza, Lohr, Roeger, D. Day, van der Linden, Hoschke, McGarry

Better hitting, better Bite

This one is a little stat heavy, but finally some stats are starting to go Adelaide's way. From a team hitting average of .208 at the All-Star break, to .236 there has been considerable improvement in the line-up. There's still some catching up to do, but the last two weeks have seen a far more damaging Adelaide on the field.

Canberra is another hot-hitting side - something we've been repeating the past few weeks. Just like Brisbane and Perth they have an even spread of hitters, and are spearheaded by two of the best in Jay Baum and David Kandilas.

Baum, a former Seattle Mariners Minor Leaguer, is hitting a league-leading .444 from 22 games with 40 hits, 12 doubles and 24 RBIs. It's unbelievable form and alongside Australian outfielder Kandilas, who's hitting .346, the Cavalry are charging.

Leading the way for Adelaide right now is Chang Tai-Shan, and his past 10 games have seen him hit .425 - and average rivalling the best of the best. Whatever doubts there may have been, Tarzan is now hitting home runs, consistently driving home the runs, and making great plays at first base.

Add in the consistency of Stephen Lohr and Matty (Kuan-Jen Chen) and this will be a battle of big guns.

Look out for the WHIPs

WHIP. One of those odd stats that can be ignored, but what does it actually mean - walks + hits/innings pitched. Basically, the lower it is, the better, and anything under 1.00 is dominant, while 1.00-2.00 is still very, very good. This season, out of all starters it's Canberra's Brian Grening who is dominating with an 0.95 WHIP. How is it so good? Well last week he threw a complete game shutout against Melbourne with just three hits and no walks (and you can read more about that game, here).

Cavalry teammates Fran Gailey and Lake Bachar have been just as impressive all season, although no complete game shutouts from there, and the key to victory will be beating those starters.

The best for Adelaide in terms of WHIP is Greg Mosel with 1.27. He's pitched 15 walks and 33 hits in 37 innings which puts him just behind the likes of Bachar and Gailey. Against a top rotation he will need to be at his best and so will Adelaide's offence.

Who wins?

The stats stack up against the Bite, and so far they haven't been able to turn the tide despite promising signs. Still, a series split in Brisbane suggests away form is strong, so there's no reason why another split is not on the cards. It's the safe bet, though, and sometimes safe is easy.

There's nothing easy about a trip to Canberra against a dominant side, but the team looks strong at the moment and a breakthrough will happen - plus we all love an underdog and an upset.

3-1 series win.

You can catch Thursday's opener and the Sunday finale on the Canberra Cavalry MixLr, while will show the Friday and Saturday night blockbusters.

This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.