As the MLL regular season approaches its final weekend, we decided to take a look at which Moneyball Lacrosse records have a chance to be broken. Our archives begin in 2015 – here are some of the teams and players who have been among the best at a particular stat in the Moneyball era.
Record: Chesapeake Bayhawks (11.9 points allowed per 45 possessions in 2015)
2017 Leader: Ohio Machine (11.5 points allowed per 45 possessions)
The Faceless Men of Ohio are playing a lot of defense; the Machine is facing off at a league-worst 39.0%. This unit can mask the subpar play at the X with its aggressive approaches and takeaway artists. Brian Karalunas (30CT) is as pesky as ever in pressuring substituting opponents. Dominique Alexander is the league’s best short-stick defender. Jackson Place, Steven Waldeck and Matt McMahon have been rock solid down low. Kyle Bernlohr and Scott Rodgers are both top-four in save percentage.
Record: Marcus Holman, Brendan Mundorf and Jeremy Boltus (31 in 2016)
2017 Leader: Will Manny and Davey Emala (28)
Manny has already played 14 games this summer. Since he was traded midseason, he’ll have his shot to break this record in his 15th game against Charlotte. His former teammate, Davey Emala, is in striking distance too.
Dodge-to-Shoot % (minimum 25 shots off the dodge attempted)
Record: Lyle Thompson (53.8% in 2015)
2017 Leaders: Josh Byrne (44.7%) and Jordan Wolf (42.4%)
Nobody is close to breaking Rob Pannell’s mark of 33 dodge-to-shoot goals (2016). And while nobody is close to Lyle’s 53.8% dodge-to-shoot percentage from 2015 either, there are some players worthy of a shoutout thanks to sheer volume.
Lyle was 14-for-26 in 2015; Byrne (17-for-38) and Wolf (25-for-59) have each attempted 35+ shots. When you look at players all-time with that minimum requirement, Drew Snider (38.9% in 2016) and – again – Wolf (38.0% in 2016) lead the way.
Record: Rob Pannell (11 in 2015)
2017 Leader: James Pannell (11)
Second assists – a.k.a. hockey assists – are less common than you’d expect, especially in the six-on-six. The Pannell brothers are the only players in the Moneyball era to tally double-digit hockey assists. We wrote about how James Pannell seized his opportunity in June and earned more playing time in Atlanta.
Assist-to-Turnover Ratio (minimum 10 assists)
Record: Steele Stanwick (1.39 in 2015)
2017 Leader: Matt Mackrides (1.86)
Myles Jones has been exactly what Chesapeake wanted when they traded for him; in Atlanta, Mackrides has been exactly what the Blaze wanted in return. Sometimes it’s a matter of fit, whether that’s geography (not the case in this trade), schematically (partially the case) or usage rate (mostly the case here).
Jones requires lots of touches. He creates his own shot better than any midfielder in MLL, but he has the worst assist-to-turnover ratio (0.28) among players with 10+ assists. Mackrides, on the other hand, has 13 assists to a mere seven turnovers. He doesn’t need the ball as much as Jones – and Atlanta didn’t need a high usage midfielder when they drafted Jones. This offense is built around Kevin Rice. The point production that Mackrides has provided on limited touches has been a nice complement to everything Rice and Randy Staats make happen on attack.
Fast Break Goals (Team)
Record: Boston Cannons (53 in 2016)
2017 Leader: Boston Cannons (49)
The Cannons have led the league in fast break goals every year in the Moneyball era. This season, we started tracking turnovers by scenario, which allows us to view efficiency by scenario. While the Cannons are the most potent fast break offense, they are burning a ton of possessions in transition.
The Cannons use a league-high 9.1 possessions per game on fast breaks. No other team uses more than 7.6. Even as the sixth-most efficient fast break team, the Cannons might still be employing an optimal strategy. They score 18.3 points per 45 fast break possessions, compared to 13.0 points per 45 settled possessions. Unless your settled offense is more efficient than your fast break offense (or your defense is really, really tired), keep running.
Record: Matt Bocklet (23 in 2016)
2017 Leader: John Lade (21)
When Denver moved Bocklet down to close defense last year, they became a championship defense. The lifelong face-off wing groundball-machine played a role eerily similar to the one Lade occupies in Rochester. Both take on the second or third matchup, clog up passing lanes, and clean up juicy rebounds in front of the cage. It’s not a pretty job, but Lade’s contributions to the league’s fourth-ranked rebounding defense are much appreciated by his teammates and coaches.