March 22

Florida Smash To Win MLP?!


This weekend, the entire pickleball world is eagerly anticipating MLP. The first MLP event was electrifying and arguably the most entertaining pickleball we've ever seen. It was also the first time all the big players could participate in MLP, as PPA players couldn't play last year. Key questions include whether King Julian will once again dominate, if Riley Newman can help Hard Eights step up, or if Big Ben Johns can lead his team to victory.

Let's examine each group, make predictions, and share my thoughts.

Group A consists of the Seattle Pioneers, Milwaukee Mashers, BLQK, and Clean Cause. I believe Ben's Seattle Pioneers will easily top this group, going 3-0 and only losing a game to the next best team, the Mashers. Ben and Tyler may not lose a game in the group stage, or even all weekend. The biggest question for them is how Etta and Megan will perform. They looked nearly perfect in Arizona, but faltered against Anna Bright and Lacy Schneemann in the semis. I predict that BLQK will come in second in the group, as they will be a tough team to beat in singles, and Federico's doubles performance with Dylan should help them triumph over the Mashers in a dream breaker. Despite being a strong team, I think the Mashers will underperform this weekend and struggle with consistency. Lastly, I predict Team Clean will finish last, as they haven't been practicing together, and their female players aren't very strong. However, I hope they make a dream breaker because it would be funny to see grandpa Matt play singles.

Before diving into Group B, let's discuss Group C, which features some exciting matchups. One key matchup is Florida Smash vs. Mad Drops, a rematch from the last MLP where they met up in the group stage and the playoffs. In that intense match, we saw the legendary duo of Jessi Irvine and Collin Johns face off against King Julian and Catherine Parenteau. This rematch will undoubtedly be full of energy and heated exchanges.

I predict this rematch will go the distance, culminating in a dream breaker where Collin Johns' double forehands will be a sight to see. Mad Drops have a strong singles game, so I expect them to sweep the dream breaker. I foresee Mad Drops dominating the rest of the group, while Florida Smash will be challenged by JW's team, ATX Pickleballers. However, Florida Smash's high energy should give them the edge over ATX.

My Group C rankings are as follows: Mad Drops first, Florida Smash second, ATX Pickleballers third, and St. Louis Shock last.

Now let's discuss the infamous Group B, also known as the "group of death," particularly for the Night Owls, who are predicted to lose every game this tournament. The groups were determined based on team performance, and with Riley Newman's return, Hard Eights finds themselves in a group with two strong teams. I'll predict the games for all teams except the Night Owls, as it seems like a rough weekend for them. However, they might surprise us and perform well.

The schedule isn't available yet, so we don't know the exact matchups. Still, we can talk about the electrifying and intense match that occurred at MLP Mesa, leaving fans gasping at every point and fan sections passionately supporting their teams. The Hustlers, owned by LeBron James, had a significant fan base partly due to Tyson McGuffin being a favorite player. The 5's, owned by Gary Vee, had the Vee Friends group show up for the quarterfinals, creating an unforgettable atmosphere. Fortunately, we'll get to see a rematch of this historic game.

I anticipate the general managers to engage in some serious shit talk and hype their teams for the win. In the first game, Anna Bright and Lacy will face Anna Leigh and Lea, with AL Waters and Lea likely securing the victory again. I expect the dynamic duo of Rafa and Tyson to excel and defeat Hayden and Big Papa Jimmy. The mixed lineup will be interesting to watch, and it's possible that Jimmy might play against his girlfriend, Anna Bright. I predict mixed games will be split, with Anna Leigh and Hayden losing and James and Lea winning. In the dream breaker, James will likely outperform Rafa in the key match up and AL taking down Tyson Mcguffin, giving the 5's the win.

In the matchup between the 5's and Hard Eights, I predict the 5's will take the women's game while Riley and AJ will defeat James and Hayden. The mixed games could get exciting if Riley and Lindsey face James, and I believe they will take the win, with AJ and Mary defeating Big H. With these predictions, Hard Eights would win 3-1.

Finally, in the Hard Eights vs. New York Hustlers matchup, I see Hard Eights going 2-0 in gender doubles, with a tight men's match and Riley and Mary slowly grinding Anna and Lacy down. In mixed games, Riley will likely dominate and lead his team to a 3-0 victory, making them Group B winners.

Based on the predicted group stage outcomes, the quarterfinals and semifinals matchups are as follows:


  1. Mad Drops vs. BLQK

  2. Florida Smash vs. The 5's


  1. Seattle Pioneers vs. Winner of Quarterfinal 1 (Mad Drops)

  2. Hard Eights vs. Winner of Quarterfinal 2 (Florida Smash)

In the first quarterfinal match, I predict Mad Drops to dominate BLQK, with Catherine and Irina winning the women's doubles, King Julian and Thomas Wilson triumphing in men's doubles, and Julian securing the victory with Catherine in mixed doubles. This sends Mad Drops to the semifinals against the Seattle Pioneers.

The second quarterfinal match between Florida Smash and The 5's promises to be intense, with fast points and exciting exchanges. I expect AL and Lea to win a hard-fought battle against Jorja and Jessi, while Rattlesnake and Collin Johns secure the men's game for Florida Smash. In mixed doubles, Florida Smash could potentially take both games, and I predict that they will, leading to a semifinal matchup against Hard Eights.

The first semifinal match between Florida Smash and Hard Eights will be thrilling. Florida Smash will likely win the women's doubles, while Riley and AJ take the men's doubles for Hard Eights. Mixed doubles could go either way, but I believe Collin and Jessi's steadiness will prevail against AJ and Mary, while Riley and Lindsey will defeat Travis and Jorja. This will result in a singles tiebreaker, where I favor Florida Smash to pull off an upset and advance to the finals.

In the second semifinal match between Mad Drops and Seattle Pioneers, I predict Mad Drops will sweep the women's doubles, but Ben and Tyler will hand Julian and Thomas their first men's doubles loss. Ben and Etta will win their mixed game, but Tyler will fall short in his. This will lead to a dream breaker, where Mad Drops' superior energy and singles depth will give them the advantage, sending them to their second final this year.

So, the predicted final matchup will be between Florida Smash and Mad Drops, promising an exciting conclusion to the tournament.

The finals between Florida Smash and Mad Drops could indeed turn out to be a match for the ages. With both teams bringing high energy and some existing tension between Collin and Julian, this showdown promises to be anything but quiet. Both teams have their share of fiery players, and they'll be eager to make their presence felt on the court.

The women's doubles will be a tough battle, but after three losses to the Mad Drops duo, I predict Jessi and Jorja will finally secure a victory for Florida Smash. In men's doubles, I anticipate Julian and Thomas will maintain their strong performance and defeat Travis and Collin, tying the overall score at 1-1.

In mixed doubles, Florida Smash might send Collin and Jessi against Julian and Catherine. Despite the odds, I predict Collin and Jessi will create some magic and pull off an upset against the formidable pair. With the score at 2-1 in favor of Florida Smash, Travis and Jorja will face Irina and Thomas in the final mixed doubles match. Although Mad Drops might still be favored, I believe the "MLP magic" will work in Florida Smash's favor, and Travis and Jorja will clinch the victory, making Florida Smash the MLP champions in their home state.

Keep in mind that these predictions are purely speculative and may not necessarily reflect the actual outcome. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoyed this analysis and feel free to share your own predictions in the comments. The tournament is sure to be full of exciting matches and unforgettable moments.


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