The Big Bash is back from the Christmas break and it rolls on with two of the competition’s perennial finalists competing at the WACA.
Both the Scorchers and the Stars have big names back in their squads with Michael Klinger and Peter Handscomb being named in the XIII’s. Unfortunately for the Stars, Kevin Pietersen is out as he’s back in the U.K for a few days.
Let’s breakdown the best value Moneyball options by position so you can have the best shot at getting your hands on the prize money.
Glenn Maxwell ($8,700)
It’s strange to see Maxwell available as a batsman considering he is very much an all-rounder. The Stars essentially have a team of players who can bowl if needed though so Maxwell may not get too many chances with the ball. Despite that, he is more than worth the price tag as a batsman alone. He came in at four against the Heat, which is the perfect spot for him and while he underperformed, he’s too good not to bounce back.
Michael Klinger ($7,400)
Klinger is back in the Scorchers’ squad and if he plays, he should slot straight back into that opening position. You don’t have a great deal of options as far as batsmen go in this game and most teams will probably have Maxwell and Klinger for that reason. The veteran was dismissed cheaply the last time these two teams played, but has been one of the most consistent BBL performers in the tournament’s history. It’s up to you whether you match the majority of teams and pick him and Maxwell or go against the grain and look leftfield.
Will Bosisto ($4,500)
Bosisto looked quite promising opening for the Scorchers’ makeshift lineup against the Sixers and should hold his spot even with Klinger returning. Expect Josh Philippe to be the one who gets omitted. Bosisto made a quick-fire 21 from 20 balls last game and is the cheapest batsman who will play tonight – assuming Philippe is dropped.
Avoid: Rob Quiney ($7,600) – Quiney has been named in the squad, but he seems likely to be one of the players left out of the final team. Even IF he is named, the Stars’ top order looks pretty set and so he likely will bat at six or seven.
Smoky: Adam Voges ($5,100) – Okay, Adam Voges is not a smoky, he just happens to be the only other batsman who will play. He is an option you should consider, even though he batted at six in the last game.
Ashton Turner ($6,200)
Turner has emerged as the Scorchers’ most dangerous batsman in the absence of the Marsh brothers. He carried the innings against the Sixers and got them over the line with an unbeaten 52 from 27 balls. He’ll bat at five and it’s unlikely he’ll get much of a bowl, but he’s shown he’s in great form. Turner may emerge this season as one of the better middle order finishers in the game.
Marcus Stoinis ($5,700)
Well if you had Stoinis in the last Stars game you were certainly a lot closer to winning than those that didn’t. His three wicket and 99 run performance against the Heat was one of the best all-round performances we’ve seen in BBL history and yet he’s still sitting at $5,700. Expect Stoinis to bat at five again as well. He made an unbeaten 40 from 23 balls the last time these two teams played.
Hilton Cartwright ($3,000)
Cartwright at a base $3,000 price is very handy, even though it’s unlikely he’ll bowl. He should bat at four again for the Scorchers and he looked solid in game one, making 20 from 19 deliveries. There are better options in this category like Luke Wright ($7,300) and John Hastings $7,200, but Cartwright saves you some money and gives you a leftfield option.
Avoid: Evan Gulbis ($4,700) – If anyone is going to be omitted from the Stars’ side, it’s Gulbis. He just seemed superfluous to their needs as they already had enough bowlers and he wasn’t good enough as a batsman. A player who bats at seven or eight and bowls one or two overs isn’t going to score many points.
Smoky: James Faulkner ($6,800) – Faulkner is in this category because red flags went up after he only bowled one over in game one. His batting was superb, but Faulkner is primarily a bowler and if for some reason he isn’t able to bowl his overs, then he becomes more of a risky selection. Obviously we won’t know until after the Stars’ innings.
Ben Dunk ($7,800) or Peter Handscomb ($3,500)
You may look at this and immediately go with Handscomb because he’s an international standard batsman who should bat in the top order and is only $3,500, but Ben Dunk is great value too. Dunk has finished BBL seasons as the competition’s leading run scorer multiple times and he’ll open the batting again for the Stars. On top of that, Dunk will actually do the wicketkeeping duties for the Stars and Handscomb will need to adjust back to T20 mode, which mightn’t be instantaneous. Dunk will cost you a lot more, but he seems like the better of the two options.
Avoid: Josh Inglis ($3,500) – Inglis is the only keeping option available for the Scorchers, but he bats way too deep in the order to be of any point scoring value. There’s no chance you should be picking him over the Stars’ options.
David Willey ($8,400)
You’re spoiled for choice in this position, but Willey is the pick of the bunch. When you’re able to select a bowler who will definitely bowl four overs and bats in the top order, you’re getting serious value for money. Willey looked fantastic with both bat and ball against the Sixers and should be a strong option again. He didn’t play in last year’s game between these two teams.
Michael Beer ($6,600)
Beer may seem like an unlikely choice given the options available but the last time these two teams played at the WACA, Beer took two wickets and only conceded 12 runs from his four overs. He clearly likes the conditions and the other Melbourne bowling options in this match aren’t too appealing based on their performances in game one.
Jhye Richardson ($5,600)
Richardson looked at home opening the bowling for the Scorchers. He took two wickets against the Sixers at just over nine runs per over and will spearhead this attack alongside Mitchell Johnson until Nathan Coulter-Nile or Jason Behrendorff returns. Richardson is certainly the best value for money option in the bowling category and he took two wickets the last time these two teams played at the WACA.
Avoid: Scott Boland ($8,000) – He may have a little more luck at the WACA, but Boland looked completely out of his depth in game one against the Heat. The pace bowler went at 16 runs per over and in a team with this many bowling options, you can’t rely on someone performing like that. At that price, there are better options.
Smoky: Ashton Agar ($6,300) – Agar was very economical in game one, conceding only five runs per over. He didn’t get a chance to bat in game one, but he can also get some quick-fire runs at the end of an innings if given the chance. He made 29 from 20 the last time these two teams played.