After a long road trip, the Mavericks return home on a two-game winning streak as they get ready to take on the Swift Current 57s tonight.

The Mavericks have started to play some serious ball as of late. They are 7-3 in their last 10 games, good enough to sit them second in the East Division (due to the tiebreaker over Moose Jaw). The Mavericks have a long stretch of home games coming up, as they will play at Athletic Park in each of their next five games. 

Swift Current also enters tonight’s game on a two-game winning streak, as they took down Brooks last night 5-2. There is still some hope as far as the playoffs go for the 57s, but it will take a long winning streak to catch the Saskatoon Berries, who they sit six games behind.

Keys for Medicine Hat

The July Mavericks have come around for the second year in a row, putting the WCBL on notice as they rapidly creep up the East standings. They sit just three games back of the first-place Regina Red Sox, whom they will see five more times this season. 

But let’s focus on what they have done recently and have to do against Swift Current. 

Pitching has been a question mark for the Mavericks, but it has come around. Dylan Runge has found his stride and is a dual threat for the Mavs. 

Whether he’s coming out of the bullpen as a long-term reliever or starting, Runge has taken full command. In his last start against the Regina, he allowed just one run on three hits in his six-inning masterpiece against the Red Sox. 

It will take more than just Runge for the Mavericks to dominate in the throwing department, but so far, Runge’s teammates have started to follow a trend he helped set.

Nick Thibodeau has returned to the Mavericks lineup as well, which gives the team a boost in the power avenue. Thibodeau remains near the top of the league in both home runs and RBIs despite being absent from the lineup. For the first time this season, it feels like the Mavericks are finally at their full potential batting-wise, largely because all their stars are in the lineup at once.

Keys for Swift Current

Deja vu is one way to describe what the last two games have looked like for the 57s. In both games, Swift has won 5-2, with key pitching performances from Lachlan Hockey and Kenny Jinks. Swift Current can keep themselves in games by playing small ball mixed with keeping the game tight and low-scoring. 

If they get into a slugfest with the Mavericks, the 57s won’t like their odds to extend their winning streak to three. 

The resurgence of Brody Alexandre has been a helper for the 57s, as he has moved his batting average from below .100 to .250. 

Marcus Graham has also been a key addition as the rookie with 26 RBIs on the year and sports a team-high.308 batting average. 

The 57s have also enjoyed a strong season from Demetrio Archuleta, who has batted around .300 all season and has been one of the few consistent bats in Swift Current’s lineup. 

He’s coming off a game where he had two runs on two hits, including a home run. If his name comes up on the lineup card, the 57s can expect a high offensive output from the Lamar CC Junior. 

Bottom Line

With both teams looking to go on heaters, they will first have to take on the heat as Medicine Hat will be under a heat warning with temperatures expected to be over 30. We are also very fortunate to have Sportsnet’s very own Jamie Campbell in attendance as he travels around the WCBL.