Photo by Rowdy Webb, John King, Paul Andris and Sandy Canetti – Ultiphotos.com

Today the Portland Stags face the Philadelphia Spinners in the fourth annual MLU Championship at Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pa. The MLU Experts have made their final picks of the season in anticipation for what’s sure to be an exciting matchup.

Seattle Rainmakers vs. Boston Whitecaps | Saturday, July 16, 2016, 6:30 p.m. ET Buy Tickets or Watch Live

Tim “Maps” Brubaker | Vládca z Smerov

Prediction record: 32 – 9

Philadelphia Spinners vs. Portland Stags | Saturday, July 16, 2016, 6:30 p.m. ET
Score: 20-18, Portland

Major League Ultimate Championship MVP: Raphy Hayes (Portland)

“Put the game on paper and the Stags win this game. Of course if it was that easy, sports wouldn’t have much purpose. The Stags might have better stats across most categories but consider this: they only had to play the Whitecaps once (and lost) whereas the Spinners had to do so three times (winning two). To me that alone makes up for the slight statistical difference between the teams. Let me stop now to contradict the last three sentences (not the first) and cite that same Portland @ Boston game as the reason they’ll win the championship. In three years, Portland will be the first team to travel to another coast twice, and only a month apart. Unlike previous Championships I don’t see the Stags falling behind early and their experience is a large reason why. Raphy Hayes gets my player of the game prediction not because of his offense, but rather his defense. The Spinners D-Line has been amazing all season and their quick strike ability off a turn has led to plenty enough breaks to warrant a 9-1 season. As they’ll surely continue to create turns on Saturday, the Stags will need to stop them from converting them into goals to win. Raphy Hayes is third on the Stags with 14 blocks but also fourth in offensive points played. A quick turn around huck to Esser or Martin won’t be nearly as simple as it’s looked throughout the season with Hayes there to get the disc back. Of course if the turn happens with Hayes out of position there’s always Perston and Bjorklund, each with 7 blocks of their own. Mehta will be an X-factor as his pure speed could force an easier matchup for Sickles or Glazer, but the Spinners’ offense should be able to convert with or without him in top form. Both teams can break on a whim, but the Stags seem to have the better matchup once offense becomes defense and that’s why they’ll pull off their first MLU Championship.”

Email Tim at Timb@mlultimate.com or tweet him @TimboMLU.

Luke Ryan | Statistical Research and Analysis Coordinator/Master of the Universe

Prediction record: 34-7

Philadelphia Spinners vs. Portland Stags | Saturday, July 16, 2016, 6:30 p.m. ET
Score: 19-17, Philadelphia

Major League Ultimate Championship MVP: David Brandolph (Philadelphia)

“I picked against the Spinners in the Eastern conference playoffs because I was expecting a classic Philly collapse. I’m not going to lie, it looked like Philly was falling apart yet again at the start of the second half but the resilience that this team showed in coming back last weekend has given me enough faith to pick them to win the championship. Billy Sickles throws at least 6 turnovers”

For Luke’s fantasy advice and statistical musings follow on twitter @MLULukeR.

Tom Levy | MLU Digital Content Manager

Prediction record: 31-10

Philadelphia Spinners vs. Portland Stags | Saturday, July 16, 2016, 6:30 p.m. ET
Score: 19-17, Philadelphia

Major League Ultimate Championship MVP: Matt Glazer (Philadelphia)

“I am reeeeeeally excited for this game.  The best two teams in the MLU this season face off on the biggest stage.  Having never faced each other, and with only one common opponent (2016 Whitecaps), this game could really go either way. So with nothing else to go on, I’m looking to the most powerful intangible that July in Philadelphia can present – weather.  I’m giving the edge to those more acclimated to the god forsaken mid-summer muck that is Philly in July.  Philly wins by 2.

Follow Tom on Twitter @MLUTomLevy. Hold the Door.

dusty rhodes | writer

Prediction record: 34-7

Philadelphia Spinners vs. Portland Stags | Saturday, July 16, 2016, 6:30 p.m. ET
Score: 22-20, Portland

Major League Ultimate Championship MVP: Riley Meinershagen (Portland)

“This game is going to be a blast. The Stags and the Spinners have been building to this game since the league started, and each team has the scent of destiny upon them. I doubt either will go gently into that good University City night after getting down a couple of points, and I doubt either will get ahead by more than four goals. Though the Spinners are 3-1 in games decided by 3 or fewer points and the Stags are 1-1 in similar games, I’m riding with the Stags on this one in a game which will, in all likelihood, come down to one of two things over the last 5 minutes of play: A) Which team makes fewer unconscionable errors or B) Which team makes the most mind-bending plays.”

@dustweetrhodes

William Curb | Portland Stags Content Manager

Prediction record: 34-7

Philadelphia Spinners vs. Portland Stags | Saturday, July 16, 2016, 6:30 p.m. ET
Score: 21-19, Portland

Major League Ultimate Championship MVP: Raphy Hayes (Portland)

“I keep pretending I’m ready for this game, but I’m not. At this point I just want to be over with, I’ve been thinking about it for two weeks and changed my mind a dozen times. We’ve got two well matched teams and it favors the Spinners, but I’m a Portland homer and there was no chance I was picking against them for this game.”

You can follow me on Twitter @WilliamCurb.

Geoff Poster | Championship Broadcaster

Prediction record: 34-7

Philadelphia Spinners vs. Portland Stags | Saturday, July 16, 2016, 6:30 p.m. ET
Score: 20-19 Portland

Major League Ultimate Championship MVP: Timmy Perston (Portland)

“I picked against Philadelphia on their home turf for the Eastern Conference Finals and they burned me, so logically I shouldn’t make the same mistake twice right? Well I’ll say, wrong, and hope that I’m right! This should be the best MLU Championship since the inaugural in 2013, and the West is due. Portland has experience against a team from the East while Philadelphia is playing in their first ever inter-conference game. It’s going to be a very close game, but in the end I think Portland continues their winning ways and takes home their first MLU title.”

Follow me on Twitter @Geoff_Poster.

Garrett Miley | MLU Social Media Coordinator

Prediction record: 32-9

Philadelphia Spinners vs. Portland Stags | Saturday, July 16, 2016, 6:30 p.m. ET
Score: 24-22, Philadelphia

Major League Ultimate Championship MVP: Greg Martin (Philadelphia)

“In arguably the best MLU Championship matchup the league has ever seen, Philadelphia will receive the championship trophy playing at home in front of their fans. The Stags injury report has Defensive Player of the Year Peter Woodside listed as doubtful and both Raphy Hayes and Timmy Perston listed as questionable. The status of Woodside makes or breaks this game in my eyes. He’s a game changing defensive player and a threat to score after causing a turnover. With him, the Stags odds change dramatically.”

You can follow me on Twitter @GWMILEY

Paul Des Marais | MLU Elder Statesman

Prediction record: 32-9

Philadelphia Spinners vs. Portland Stags | Saturday, July 16, 2016, 6:30 p.m. ET
Score: 22-20, Portland

Major League Ultimate Championship MVP: Peter Woodside (Portland)

“I love both teams. Philadelphia is my second home, and watching the Spinners build over these past few years has been exciting. Portland on the other hand has been dominating the Western Conference regular season since season two with some of the most explosive players in ultimate. This will be the closest MLU Championship in league history, but in the end, Portland’s defense will be the difference.”

 You can follow me on Twitter @PaulDesMLU but the people I follow are more interesting.

Matt Ruby | MLU West Coast On-Air Talent

Prediction record: 35-6

Philadelphia Spinners vs. Portland Stags | Saturday, July 16, 2016, 6:30 p.m. ET
Score: 23-20, Portland

Major League Ultimate Championship MVP: Peter Woodside (Portland)

“This is the first year that a west coast team travels east to contend for an MLU Championship as, in my opinion, the favorite.

2013: the Dogfish were without their top 4 players (Kittredge, Joye, Taylor, Winn) due to Team USA conflicts.

2014: Vancouver took advantage of tremendous upheaval in the Western Conference but were a top-heavy team that lacked depth.

2015: Seattle pulled a huge upset in the Western Conference finals and were probably at some level just happy to be there.

2016: Portland arrives with dominant performances over every opponent with the exception of a one point loss to Boston after traveling cross country. They are ready, heck they’re overdue, to bring home the hardware. And it’s about time. Let’s GOOOOO WEST COAST!!!”

With the final game of the MLU season at hand, check back soon to see who is crowned the 2016 Picks and Predictions Champion… which really isn’t that huge of an accomplishment.  NOTE: The author of this statement is in last place and incapable of winning.

Catch the 2016 MLU Championship live via MLU Live.