I will check in with the teams more frequently as they make their final pushes for playoff berths. Here is where they stand today with less than a month remaining in the season.
AAA Fresno 2nd 64-52 .552 4.0GB L1
Fresno has been on a nice roll, going 11-6 and climbing to second place in their division since last we checked in on them. They are still four games behind the first place Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners) but have managed to leapfrog the Reno Aces (D'Backs) and lead that team by two and a half games. There are no wild cards and no first half qualifiers in the Pacific Coast League so they will have to take the division outright in order to advance to the playoffs. With 27 games left in the regular season, the Grizzlies have four remaining games against Tacoma in their penultimate series of the season.
AA Corpus Christi 1st 68-46 .596 0.0GB W1 (Overall)
2nd half: 3rd 21-23 .477 8.0GB W1
(Clinched playoff berth by winning first half)
The Hooks are automatically slated for the playoffs by virtue of winning the first half. That's a good thing because they have definitely struggled at times over the second half. But the Hooks have managed to play .500 (7-7) since last we looked. With 26 games remaining in the regular season, they are eight games behind Midland (A's) in the second half, but only one game behind San Antonio (Padres). The Hooks really need to get in a rhythm over this next few weeks in order to avoid limping into the playoffs and facing another first round elimination.
A+ Lancaster 3rd 63-50 .558 5.0GB L1 (Overall)
2nd half: 1st 28-15 .651 0.0GB L1
Lancaster, on the other hand, has had a very good second half and are 9-5 since our last look. With 27 games remaining, the 'Hawks have increased their second half lead over Lake Elsinore (Padres) to two and a half games. High Desert (Rangers) is still very much in the mix as well, trailing Lancaster by only three games. Lancaster will need to either win the second half or earn the wild card in order to make the playoffs. In addition to leading the division in the second half, they are also currently only one-half game behind the lead for the wild card, so there are potentially two ways in to the playoffs for the JetHawks.
A- Quad Cities 6th 54-59 .485 14.5GB L1 (Overall)
2nd half: 4th 23-21 .523 7.0GB L1
Quad Cities is still in the mix for a potential second half playoff berth, but they will have to do better than their 6-8 record over their last 14. Only two games separate the second through fourth place teams. With 26 games remaining in the season, the River Bandits can make the playoffs, but they have to start winning more consistently to do so.
SSA Tri-City 2nd 28-22 .560 1.0GB L1
At 9-5 in their last 14 games, the ValleyCats are now in second place, one game ahead of Connecticut (Tigers) and one game behind the division-leading Lowell Spinners (Red Sox). They are in third place (one game back) in the Wild Card race as well. With 26 games left in the regular season, they will face Lowell six more times and Connecticut twice.
Rk+ Greeneville 1st 25-20 .556 0.0GB W1
The Greeneville Astros are 9-5 in their last 14 and are in sole possession of first place, one half game ahead of Johnson City (Cardinals) and two and a half games in front of the third place Elizabethton Twins. The first and second place teams in the division advance to the playoffs so the Appy League Astros are in good position with 23 games remaining in the regular season. They have three games remaining against Johnson City and will play their final six of the season against Elizabethton.
Rk- GCL 5th 16-22 .421 7.5GB L1
FRk DSL Blue 2nd 36-16 .692 2.5GB L1
At 7-3 in their last 10 games, the Blue team has a tenuous half game hold on second place and on the wild card. They have 17 games remaining.
FRk DSL Orange 5th 23-31 .426 12.5GB L5
The Orange team has skidded badly, going 2-10 in their last 12 games and dropping to fifth place in their division. With 17 games left, their elimination number is at 7.