Travis Rettenmaier was on the Dink’s podcast and discussed the possibility of some changes coming to MLP scoring system in the next 12 to 24 months, maybe earlier than that. As we have mentioned, from the players perspective, there are problems with the format from a best team winning point of view. There are probably ways that the scoring can be improved, and we’re open to MLP working through that considering our initial skepticism with the current system in place. However, the purpose should not be the to create the format that guarantees the fairest results. If that was the case, then just go with traditional scoring. The other aspect that quietly goes into these Tuesday showcases is how much all these players are getting paid to participate. The early events featured some real money being gifted to the players and, even though it is not publicized, we expect that is continuing for all of these events. The players are certainly aware of these non-PPA players getting paid to play what amount to competitive rec games. Food for thought. It’s a very strong line-up this week too.
Dylan Frazier / Julian Arnold v. Rob Cassidy / JW Johnson
JW Johnson is playing a ton of pickleball these days and we’ll expect that Rob and JW come away with this one. As we have learned though, trying to predict a singular match under this format is not advisable. The outcomes are too close with the way the scoring works as a relatively high percentage of matches are decided within the two point margin. Nevertheless, Julian Arnold is still growing his doubles game so with JW on other side with a seasoned doubles veteran, you have to expect that this match will go the way of JW/Rob.
We’ll take Rob and JW.
Lauren Stratman / Mary Brascia v. Jorja Johnson / Cierra Gayten-Leach
Cierra Gayten-Leach is filling in for Maggie Brascia and maybe all for the best for older sister, Mary, who may not want to go full force in this format. If this match is played straight up, Stratman/Brascia should be favorites but Gayten-Leach is someone we very much thought could have been drafted for MLP. It will be interesting to see how she holds up in this one and we are now more curious to watch tonight.
We’re taking Lauren and Mary.
Julian Arnold / Lauren Stratman v. Jorja Johnson / Rob Cassidy
We have the bae’s back together as they get geared up for the APP So Cal event this coming weekend. Arnold/Stratman are going to be a hot and cold team that we would slightly favor over the hot and cold Rob Cassidy. You don’t want to be on the wrong end of a Cassidy or Julian Arnold hot streak. We’ll be curious to monitor how the team dynamics for the Arnold/Stratman couple shake out as the year goes on. Contrary to real life, in pickleball, the couples that play together do not often stay together.
Nevertheless, we’ll go with Arnold and Stratman here.
Mary Brascia / Dylan Frazier v. Cierra Gayten-Leach / JW Johnson
JW is so good but Dylan is no slouch. In this type of matchup, we give the team with JW the edge simply because JW is there. However, we also like Cierra/JW because Cierra has shown she can beat high level competition and JW will be by far her best mixed partner to date. Mary is showing to be a legit competitor and we’ll be watching her more closely on this California tournament swing to see how her game has progressed since last year.
Still, we’re picking Cierra/JW by a hair.
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