Playoff Update

Here’s the latest on the playoff permutations …

Salt Lake has a magic number of one. They need to win one game, or for Colorado Springs to lose one game, to take the PCL Pacific North. As I write this, the Bees are losing 3-1 in the 8th to Fresno while the SkySox are tied 1-1 in the 3rd at Sacramento. Salt Lake has six games remaining after tonight.

Arkansas won tonight 6-3 at Tulsa, while Springfield won 5-4 at home against Wichita. To make the post-season, the Travs need to either catch Springfield (which won the first half) or finish with a better overall record than Tulsa. The Travs are currently three games behind Springfield in the second-half race for the North Division title, and trail Tulsa by three games in the overall standings. Arkansas has three games remaining at Tulsa, then finish with three games at Springfield.

Rancho Cucamonga needs to finish second, or finish with the third-best overall record in the South Division. Normally the first-half division winner (Lancaster) gets a bye while the second-half division winner faces the team with the next best overall record. But because Lancaster seems likely to win both halves, the second-place team will go to the playoff. Right now, that would be Lake Elsinore, which also has the second-best overall record. The team with the next-best record is Inland Empire. The Quakes trail the 66ers by five games in the overall standings with seven games left, including tonight. None of those games are against Inland Empire. As I write this, the Quakes lead 4-0 at High Desert in the 4th, but reports the game is in a delay. Inland Empire is losing 3-1 in the 4th at Stockton.

Cedar Rapids won 5-4 tonight at Beloit. They need to catch Quad Cities to take the second-half Western Division title; the Swing won 4-3 at Burlington, so they maintain a 4½ game lead over the Kernels. Cedar Rapids has six games left — one game tomorrow night at Beloit, then two games at home against Burlington, and then they close with three games on the road at Peoria. The other option is to finish second; the Kernels hold a ½ game lead over Peoria for second place.

Orem needs to win the second-half title or finish with the second-best overall record. Idaho Falls won the first half, and currently leads the South Division by three games. In the overall record, the Owlz (32-33) are nine games behind the Chukars (41-24), but 4½ ahead of Ogden (27-37). As I write this, the Owlz and Chukars are tied 3-3 in the 7th at Idaho Falls, while Ogden is losing 5-1 to Casper. Including tonight, Orem has ten games left — one tomorrow night at Idaho Falls, then three at home against Ogden, then three at home against Idaho Falls, and finally three at Ogden. They control their fate.

Tempe is out of the Arizona League race. They have only two games left. Their overall record is 32-22, good enough for the second-best record overall in the league (the Peoria Mariners are 36-18 overall). They had a great year, but the first and second half mathematics worked against them.

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