The Little League World Series is underway and already there are a few teams who have stood out as favorites in this tournament.
Today's schedule will see two teams from Pool A battle, two teams from Pool B, and two teams from Pool D, one of which is undefeated.
Pool A: West, Waipahu, HI (1-1) at Great Lakes, Hamilton, OH (1-1)
Game time: 4:00 p.m. EDT
The West team dropped their tournament opening game, against Southeast, by a 6-2 score, but got themselves together and came back with a strong performance in a 3-1 win over Mid-Atlantic on Sunday.
Great Lakes let out a roar in their tournament opening game with a 16-6 win over Mid-Atlantic, but may have rested a tad on their laurels, getting shutout 6-0 at the hands of the Southeast team.
The Great Lakes team will come into this game as the stronger team offensively, batting .351 as a team, but will face a West squad that has a combined 2.73 team ERA.
Prediction: West 5 Great Lakes 1
Pool B: Northwest, Auburn, WA (2-1) at Southwest, Pearland, TX (2-0)
Game Time: 8:00 p.m. EDT
The Northwest squad will come into this game winners of two of their last three games, including a split with the New England team. They lost the first 3-1 on Friday, then took the second 9-5 last night.
Southwest is unbeaten and has been one of the strongest offensive clubs thus far, averaging 12 runs per game. They won their first game 10-8 over the Midwest team on Friday and had a 14-1 blowout of the Northeast squad on Sunday.
What the Northwest team can use to their advantage is having played last night, while the Southwest club has been off since their game on Sunday. If the Southwest offense gets going, it might be a long night.
Prediction: Southwest 8 Northwest 5
Pool D: Latin America, Chitre, Panama (2-1) at Asia-Pacific Kaohsiung, Taiwan (2-0)
Game Time: 6:00 p.m. EDT
Latin America had a disappointing opening act, dropping a 4-2 decision to Canada, and took out their aggression on Middle East and Africa, shutting them out 13-0 on Sunday. They would get their revenge against Canada two days later, taking that game by the same final as their first meeting, 4-2.
Asia-Pacific comes in as the most prolific scoring team of the tournament, averaging 20.5 runs per game, while their pitching has been flawless, not allowing a single run so far. They shut out Middle East and Africa 18-0 on Saturday before Canada ran into them and got the worst end of that as well, 23-0.
These two teams might be a better match up than one might think. Asia-Pacific has the best offense (.564), as well as the best pitching (0.00), but Latin America isn't much worse. They're hitting .371 as a team and have a combined 1.50 team ERA.
Prediction: Latin America 9 Asia-Pacific 4