Only 3 games to go and here's where we stand as far as playoff scenarios:
I'll start with the American League (probably a first here in the Trenton office of TBDN) because it's a lot simpler. The division winners are all set, as Louisville has clinched the East and the #1 seed, Monterrey has clinched the South and the #2 seed, leaving Las Vegas (winners in the West) and St. Louis (AL North champions again) to fight for the #3 and #4 seeds. Las Vegas has a 1 game lead but St. Louis has the tiebreak advantage. Las Vegas will host what is probably the most dangerous last place team in Boise, while St. Louis will be at an improving Buffalo squad for the last 3.
In the wild card race, Seattle has sewn up the 5th seed- their last series at Anaheim means nothing for seeding. The matchup to watch is Montgomery at Jackson- Jackson currently leads Montgomery by 2 for the last playoff spot. So a Montgomery sweep would put them in the playoffs- a win by Jackson in any of the three games puts the Vipers in instead. The fact that Montgomery and Jackson are playing eliminates the Boston Bambinos (3 back of Jackson)- the only way they could catch Jackson is if Jackson gets swept, but that would put Montgomery ahead of both teams.
As was the case last season, this is where the intrigue is. And just like last season, a 90 win team is going to be watching the playoffs instead of playing in them.
Austin clinched the South and the #1 seed long ago. Atlanta has the East clinched and has a 2 game lead on Fargo (the North champs) for the #2 seed- the two teams split the season series. Neither team can fall below #3, leaving the West champion as the #4 seed. And that's where things get messy.
Right now, Salt Lake City (92-67) holds a 2 game lead over Vancouver (90-69) for the NL West title, but Vancouver would hold the tiebreaker over the Shakers if they ended up tied for the division. Salt Lake City will be at LA to finish the season, while Vancouver hosts the cellar dwelling Salem Sacrifices.
The Shakers and Golden Otters are 2 of 4 teams fighting for 3 spots. In the wild card race, Huntington (92-67, at Austin to finish the season) and Trenton (91-68, hosting Washington to finish) occupy the top two spots for now. Vancouver is one game back of Trenton and 2 back of Huntington. So the scenarios are too many to list; either one of the NL West teams could find itself in the #4 slot, the #5 slot, the #6 slot, or out of the playoffs altogether. Trenton and Huntington both have shots at the #5 slot, the #6 slot, or finding themselves on the outside looking in.