Waynesborough has been given even odds (1-1) this year as their team is intact from last season and have the highest ranked player in MAPTA as a Sub, just in case. Captain Safford has never failed to shock and amaze the opposing teams with his varied line-ups. While no one expects them to run the table, matching last year’s 30 points for the 16 regular season weeks is not out of the question. Much of their success last season came down to an undefeated 3rd court which was filled by 8 different players.

Wallingford at first seemed to catch lightening in the bottle to start their season but then contended for the crown through the end of the season. While no one can predict who Captain Derek has recruited this season, rumor has it that he may have recruited a player whom has been ranked let’s just say very high on the ATP tour in both singles and doubles. The only question is can this team keep its talent hungry for 16 weeks again this season. Vegas odds have them at 2-1 and the under/over is 24 points.

Aronimink had a very natural let down last season after going undefeated in both regular season and play-off play in 2010/11. They still finished in third place and made it to the finals of the play-offs last season which is no easy feat in itself. Captain Andy has some rough waters he needs to wade through with some upcoming younger talent vying for spots on his premier team while his veterans and not quite yet ready to hang up their D1 paddles. Will we continue to see Mr. Friel on Court 3 as he was seen in the semi’s and Finals of the play –offs last season? Vegas has them at 3-1 odds and the under/over is 22 points.

P-Country finished off the past season very strong and lost in a tight match to WCC in the semi-finals. A pre-season injury to Pat Jr. could put a damper on the squad at the top, but he is expected a full recovery before the Holiday Break and give them plenty of time to move up for the final rankings. P-Country also will be displaying their new fourth court this season which will allow this feisty squad to get their party started much earlier than in the past. Look for them to sweep the after-match hut party this season. Due to Pat’s injury, Vegas has P-Country’s under/over point total at 20.

Martins-1 is led by none other than Mr. Falatek and can put a beating on any team in this league on any night. With the Pat’s out at P-Country, the F&F combo at #1 could pull a 16 week sweep. On the flip side though, Mr. Pickle ball Dan Wheeler after coming off a national victory in 2012 and winning 10 league matches with his steady partner Greg Donches suffered a season ending injury pre-season. Rumor has it that Brian Aguilar is going to attempt to fill Dan’s shoes but few believe that he can pull that off. Vegas is much confused with this squad and has their under/over point total at 20.

Merion had a tremendous second half of the season, putting a beating on the bottom six teams. Unfortunately for them, this was their third consecutive bottom 6. Rumor has it that they placed Greg Eger on waivers after his very disappointing season and that he may show back up at Overbrook again in that never ending revolving door policy that they have. Unless Merion scouted out some new talent, look to Merion once again finishing in that 6th to 7th spot at the end of the 11 weeks. Vegas has Merion with a 22 under/over point total for the season.

Similar to Merion, P-Cricket has also finished in the bottom six for the past three seasons and then rally’s the troops for the final 5 weeks to stay out of a potential elimination. Do not count this once dangerous squad out of a top six finish this season as they are hungry to earn a spot in the play-offs. The under/over for this squad is 17 points.

Greenville finished in the top 6 after 11 weeks, but then found the going got tough the last five matches with the big guns every week. Their new addition of Nationally ranked Ben Zink gives this team one of the strongest 1-2 punches in the league and considering that they won court 4, 11 times, gives them an excellent chance to rack up some points if all are healthy and their travel schedules line up. Greenville still maintains the finest hut in the league and possible on the East Coast as well. With the maturation of Zink and the depth of this squad, Vegas has their under/over point total at 22.

Overbrook won 4 of their last 5 matches which included their play-off loss to Waynesborough-1 to conclude their past season. They also feature the league’s most improved player in Steve Hall. If the rumor is true and Mr. Eger is returning to the roost, Overbrook could be set to battle for a top 6 spot this season. Without Eger, this team will most likely finish in the Bottom 6 again but competitive in their final 5 matches. Vegas has them finishing with 19 points with Eger and has no line without him.

Martins-2 completely imploded in the second five weeks of the season but eked out a spot outside of the bottom 2 saving their D1 spot for this season. Their 25% winning percentage combined on courts 1&2 is going to have to improve if they want to be written up in next year’s D1 season preview. You can bet that Captain Dan and his crusty Phillies hat and green sweater will be out on the courts doing all he can for his team and keeping them out of the bottom 2 for as long as he can. To be honest, unless the Martin’s teams reshuffle, they will be hard pressed to fight another fight next season. Vegas has them with an under/over of 10 points this season.

Huntingdon Valley marks their return to D1 for the second time and this time with the hopes of staying with the big boys. If it wasn’t for some key injuries during their maiden season in D1, most believe that they would have stayed out of the bottom 2. After making a mockery out of D2 last season, Vegas has them coming in at 16 points, doubling their point total for 2010-11.

After surviving a very controversial secret triple/double probation, Picket Post is setting sail in D1 with the hopes of not being a one season wonder (wonder if we really belong here). Unless they do some heavy recruiting, Picket Post is going to suffer the same fate of the smaller clubs in that they will have a hard time winning courts at the #1 and #2 position but probably match up well in the other two spots. Vegas put out a ridiculous line in that the odds of the Mayan’s 2012 calendar being accurate is better than the chances of Picket Post not only winning the championship but also staying out of the bottom 2 at the end of the regular season. I am sure these odds will inspire the PP Paddlers this coming season.

D1 Week 1 Philly Paddle
D1 Week 2 Philadelphia Men's League

Keith Studnick