While the Detroit Tigers have long been out of postseason contention, Triple-A affiliate Toledo still has playoff aspirations as minor league play winds down.
The Mud Hens are still very much in contention to make the International League playoffs by winning either the west division or the wild card. The International League wraps up regular season play on Monday, with playoff games starting on Wednesday.
International League West Race
Prior to action starting today, the Mud Hens are a half-game back of the Columbus Clippers for the IL West championship. Indianapolis is one game back of Columbus.
Toledo and Columbus are playing each other in the final series of the season, a four-game set that started last night in Columbus with a 3-2 Mud Hens win.
Indianapolis finishes the season with a four-game series of its own against Louisville, which owns the fewest wins in the International League. The Indians dropped the series opener last night 6-5.
International League Wild Card Race
In the wild card battle, Scranton-Wilkes Barre holds a half-game lead over Toledo and a one game lead over Indianapolis. Scranton-Wilkes Barre is playing Pawtucket this weekend.
Lehigh Valley has already clinched the IL East, so Scranton-Wilkes Barre’s only playoff hope is to hold on and win the wild card.
This battle is a little easier to decipher since none of the three teams in contention – Scranton-Wilkes Barre, Toledo and Indianapolis – are playing each other this weekend.
Scenarios with Three Games Left for Everyone
If Toledo goes 3-0: Wins IL West, regardless of what Indianapolis does.
If Toledo goes 2-1: Can win IL West as long as Indianapolis also goes 2-1. Indianapolis would win division by going 3-0. Toledo would need Scranton-Wilkes Barre to go 1-2 or 0-3 in order to win the wild card.
If Toledo goes 1-2 or 0-3: Cannot make playoffs.
Aside from the intense battles for playoff spots, the standings became a bit convoluted when Toledo had an April 5 home game with Pawtucket rained out.
That game was rescheduled for later in April when the Mud Hens made their only trip to Pawtucket. Mother nature had other plans again, and that game was outright canceled.
Scranton-Wilkes Barre has had two games canceled this season due to rain, to further complicate the standings.
Because of the game cancelations for Toledo and Scranton-Wilkes Barre, no ties can be had in the final two playoff spots to be determined.
Final Series Matchups
Toledo vs. Columbus
Saturday at 7:05: Spencer Turnbull (TOL: 0-1, 4.26 ERA) vs. Adam Wilk (CLB: 6-8, 3.80 ERA)
Sunday at 4:05: Matt Hall (TOL: 3-0, 2.45 ERA) vs. TBD (CLB)
Monday at 2:05: Warwick Saupold (TOL: 3-1, 4.38 ERA) vs. Ryan Merritt (CLB: 2-3, 4.13 ERA)
Louisville vs. Indianapolis
Saturday at 6:05: TBD (LOU) vs. Brandon Waddell (IND: 4-8, 4.40 ERA)
Sunday at 6:00: TBD (LOU) vs. TBD (IND)
Monday at 1:00: TBD (LOU) vs. TBD (IND)
Scranton-Wilkes Barre vs. Pawtucket
Saturday at 6:35: Nestor Cortes (SWB: 6-5, 3.63 ERA) vs. William Cuevas (PAW: 10-7, 3.39 ERA)
Sunday at 6:15: Adonis Rosa (SWB: 2-1, 3.71 ERA) vs. TBD (PAW)
Monday at 1:35: TBD (SWB) vs. TBD (PAW)