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Mid-season Report: Ayyubids, Seljuqs, Nasrids & Abbasids

Everyone loves an underdog and we have seen teams rise up from the bottom to contend for the title. The 2015 championship game had two teams that were in the bottom half during the break. It doesn't matter how you start the season but how you end it. Guest writer Shahid Dawoodi breaks down the final four teams at the break:

Ayyubids

Quick-Hits

Record: 3-0-5
Charity Represented: Islamic Relief Canada
GM: Umer Jabbar
Captain: Umair Jabbar
Top Performer: Ali Jabbar
Second-half Sleeper: Faraaz Alvi
Biggest Surprise: Ali Jabbar
Remaining Schedule: @ Sultans, vs Abbasids, @ Nasrids, vs Seljuqs, @ Mughals, vs Mamluks

Offense


Team

OFFENSIVE STATS

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

HR

XBH

Runs/G

Ayyubids

0.409

0.482

0.565

1.047

9

17

9.3

7th

5th

6th

6th

5th

8th

7th

 

Preseason Batting Rating: C
Mid-season Batting Rating: B-

Ayyubids’ failures this year are a direct result of misfiring superstars. While Faraaz Alvi has largely been on the cusp of breaking out, failures of Umair Jabbar, Omer Dhaduk and Umer Jabbar remain the sticking points on Ayyubids stats card. Ali Jabbar and Atif Akhtar have kept Ayyubids’ offensive boat afloat so far with good consistent hitting. Dhaduk also looks to be on the verge of breaking out as he smacked three homeruns last game week. The Ayyubids’ resurgence is directly proportional to the offensive resurrection of their stars.
  

Defense

Team

DEFENSIVE STATS

Errors

Runs Given/G

Unearned Runs Given/G

Ayyubids

36

11

2.4

8th

4th

4th


Preseason Infield Rating: B-
Mid-season Infield Rating: C

Preseason Outfield Rating: B-
Mid-season Outfield Rating: B-

Ayyubids’ defense this year has been sloppy and there is little surprise that they find themselves as the worst defensive team after half way through. Absence of a superstar in the infield has been touted as the main reason for their defensive woes. Ayyubids’ mid-season priority should be to tighten up their defense to complement and sustain their pitchers’ success at the mound.

 
Pitching

Team

PITCHING STATS

ERA

Homeruns Given/G

SO/G

BB/G

Ayyubids

10.1

1.1

1.1

1.2

4th

3rd

5th

1st


Preseason Pitching Rating: A
Mid-season Pitching Rating: B+

Ali Jabbar has been a standout this year with both bat and ball in his hands. Even though his overall pitching efficiency has been down from previous years, you can count on him to level it out by end of the season. Jabbar will demand greater consistency from his defense as he aims to shut down the oppositions.

 
Intangibles & Future Outlook

The upsurge of Omer Dhaduk at the plate seems well timed but it is important that Dhaduk is able to sustain this good performance. Umair and Umer Jabbar will look to take a leaf out of Dhaduk’s book to ensure they keep the Ayyubids from the shores of relegation. Defense will also need to tighten up to give Ali Jabbar the support he’s been demanding.  

Seljuqs

Quick-Hits

Record: 2-1-5
Charity Represented: Nisa Homes
GM: Ibrahim Sardar
Captain: Imran Merchant
Top Performer: Ibrahim Sardar
Second-half Sleeper: Michael Arlitt
Biggest Surprise: Haris Mallick
Remaining Schedule: vs Mughals, vs Mamluks, vs Ottomans, @ Ayyubids, @ Sultans, @ Abbasids

Offense


Team

OFFENSIVE STATS

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

HR

XBH

Runs/G

Seljuqs

0.460

0.489

0.659

1.148

8

27

10.3

1st

2nd

4th

4th

6th

4th

6th


Preseason Batting Rating: B-
Mid-season Batting Rating: B

Seljuqs have lived up to their billing of being slow starters. This can be largely attributed to attendance issues as they've had their top players missing for prolonged periods. Imran Merchant and Ibrahim Sardar have carried their team offensively in the first half of the season with the support of Haris Mallick and Taha Iqbal. While Seljuqs have been one of the top OBP teams, their cleanup hitting trio of Merchant, Fancy and Iqbal have struggled with men in scoring position, averaging .250, .300 and .500 respectively in such cases. If Seljuqs are to cut the flow of bad performances, it has to start from their sluggers.


Defense

Team

DEFENSIVE STATS

Errors

Runs Given/G

Unearned Runs Given/G

Seljuqs

21

12.3

2.9

2nd

6th

6th


Preseason Infield Rating: C
Mid-season Infield Rating: B

Preseason Outfield Rating: A
Mid-season Outfield Rating: B+

As expected, Seljuqs has had one of the staunchest defenses in the league with errors second only to the Ottomans. Defensive reading for Seljuqs could have been even better had their top fielders not been forced to the mound. Another thing working against the Seljuqs has been their players' vacation schedule. Regular absences have had the management scratching their heads to adjust their defense on the go.


Pitching

Team

PITCHING STATS

ERA

Homeruns Given/G

SO/G

BB/G

Mughals

5.97

0.8

1.5

2.6

1st

1st

2nd

4th


Preseason Pitching Rating: B
Mid-season Pitching Rating: C

Pitching has been a nightmare for Seljuqs this year. Their first-choice starter, Shoaib Gaya only lasted 1/3 innings which forced their first choice third baseman, Taha Iqbal to take up pitching. Iqbal has been largely inconsistent on the mound, walking 10 batters per 7 innings pitched. With Ibrahim Sardar also appearing in a few relief appearances, Seljuqs pitching future looks highly uncertain.
 
Intangibles & Future Outlook

Seljuqs have some immediate challenges to address if they plan on reviving their fledgling season. Their pitching decisions and consistency at the mound will dictate how they fare for the remainder of the season. Indications are that the Seljuqs will continue to be impacted by absences from their top players which if true, might spell the end for them. They kick start the second half of this season with tough games against the Mughals and Mamluks this Sunday.

Nasrids


Quick-Hits

Record: 2-0-6
Charity Represented: ICNA Relief
GM: Kashif Waheed
Captain: Nirvaan Latif
Top Performer: 
Osman Buttar
Second-half Sleeper: Kamil Haider
Biggest Surprise: Salman Ahmed
Remaining Schedule: @ Abbasids, vs Sultans, vs Ayyubids @ Ottomans, @ Mamluks, vs Mughals

Offense


Team

OFFENSIVE STATS

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

HR

XBH

Runs/G

Nasrids

0.423

0.473

0.563

1.036

6

27

11

6th

6th

7th

7th

7th

5th

5th


Preseason Batting Rating: B-
Mid-season Batting Rating: C

Nasrids have generally been poor, apart from random spikes of brilliance. Mughals were at the receiving end of Nasrids’ best and if they’re able to replicate what they did against the Mughals then there would be few who’d consider their legitimacy as contenders. Osman Buttar has yet again been the lynchpin of the Nasrids’ offence. He has received able support from Nirvaan Latif, Zaid Ghansar and rookie, Salman Ahmed. It is Nasrids’ inconsistency that has proven to be their worst enemy over the years and if they can guard against sudden ebbs in performance, they’d be a force to be reckoned with for the rest of the season.
 
Defense

Team

DEFENSIVE STATS

Errors

Runs Given/G

Unearned Runs Given/G

Nasrids

23

12

2

3rd

5th

3rd


Preseason Infield Rating: B+
Mid-season Infield Rating: B+

Preseason Outfield Rating: B+
Mid-season Outfield Rating: B

Nasrids defense has been solid through first half of the season and is led well by defensive stalwarts Usama Mahmood and Nirvaan Latif in the infield and Osman in the outfield. There are still weaknesses in the field which opponents will look to target in the coming weeks.
 
Pitching

Team

PITCHING STATS

ERA

Homeruns Given/G

SO/G

BB/G

Nasrids

12.7

1.8

1.3

2.8

6th

6th

4th

5th


Preseason Pitching Rating: B
Mid-season Pitching Rating: B-

After failed pitching experiments in two previous seasons, Nasrids’ expectation from AK was of greater consistency and AK has delivered on that expectation for the most part. AK’s experience at the mound will come into play as he looks to improve on his performance from the first half – There is a little caveat though, can AK maintain his good attendance for the remaining games?
 
Intangibles & Future Outlook

Nasrids’ have shown great unpredictability about their play during the first half. One moment they’re amazing and next moment they’re pedestrian. It’ll be interesting to see which Nasrids side will turn out for remainder of the season. For their sake, they need to come off the blocks motivated and hungry.

Abbasids

Quick-Hits

Record: 1-2-5
Charity Represented: 
Hospital for Sick Children
GM: Ahmad Hussain
Captain: Ahmad Hussain
Top Performer: Rameez Siddiqi
Second-half Sleeper: Omer Chaudhry
Biggest Surprise: Rameez Siddiqi
Remaining Schedule: vs Nasrids, @ Ayyubids, vs Sultans, @ Mamluks, @ Ottomans, vs Seljuqs

Offense


Team

OFFENSIVE STATS

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

HR

XBH

Runs/G

Abbasids

0.319

0.468

0.537

1.005

6

24

8.4

8th

8th

8th

8th

7th

7th

8th


Preseason Batting Rating: A
Mid-season Batting Rating: C

Coming into the season, Abbasids looked to have all the right pieces needed to challenge for a playoff berth. Their dream came crashing down on them as they have gradually capitulated. Number one draft pick, Omer Chaudhry has had a horrid run, contributing to the overall failure. With only Rameez Siddiqi averaging over .500, it is no surprise that Abbasids are at the bottom of the standings. Big names like Chaudhry, Hussain, Afif, Irshad and Qureshi will need to step up if Abbasids are to progress to the knockout stage. With weak defense and pitching, Abbasids only hope of reviving their season will have to be through offence.
 
Defense

Team

DEFENSIVE STATS

Errors

Runs Given/G

Unearned Runs Given/G

Abbasids

35

15.5

3.4

6th

8th

7th


Preseason Infield Rating: C
Mid-season Infield Rating: C

Preseason Outfield Rating: B
Mid-season Outfield Rating: B-

Weak defense has been at the forefront of Abbasids’ struggles this year. Early season injuries resulted in players fielding out of position, weakening the already weak defense. In the absence of defensive superstars, it is hard to fathom the thought of Abbasids turning things around in the field.
 
Pitching

Team

PITCHING STATS

ERA

Homeruns Given/G

SO/G

BB/G

Abbasids

18.3

1.9

1.4

7.1

8th

7th

3rd

7th


Preseason Pitching Rating: C
Mid-season Pitching Rating: C

Although Rameez Siddiqi has revived Abbasids’ flailing pitching fortunes to a certain degree, Abbasids’ overall performance in this department has been disappointing. If Siddiqui can bring command and consistency to his pitching, he might be able to offer Abbasids a glimmer of hope.
 
Intangibles & Future Outlook

Abbasids’ key to success is through their offensive resurgence. If this strong batting lineup can transform its fortune, the rest of the league will be forced to pay more respect to the franchise. Pitching and defense doesn’t seem to have much to offer but the key would be to stay in the games, sustain pressure and give enough support to the offense to close out tight games.

Are you ready for the second half now? We sure are. Can't wait till Sunday. Let's play ball