(GAME DATE — Sept. 5, 2020) — While there is no such thing as a “sure thing” in baseball, the Admirals now have a comfortable 11 game lead over the Washington Freedom atop the ML East, and are almost certainly a lock for the playoffs.
That leaves the ML West division leader and the two wild cards still in the air as the season grows closer to its close. The Arizona Cowboys (77-62) have a tenuous lead on the ML West, just 2 games ahead of the Nevada Speeders (75-64).
If Arizona holds on, Nevada will take the first wild card. Maybe.
The California Tidals, who nearly written off after going 22-34 through the first two months of the season, have stormed back since then, posting the best post-All-Star record in the ML at 31-20. The Tidals now sit in the second wild card spot, and are just 1 game behind Nevada with a 74-65 record, meaning the ML West race only has a 3 game gap between the top team and the #3 team.
This bottleneck leaves the capable Washington Freedom and the hopeful Miami Storm as outside shots at a wildcard. The Freedom are currently 71-70, 4 games out of a wild card, and standing by should any of those West division teams suddenly put on a late season slump. They have a relatively easy schedule for the remainder of the season. Other than a 4-game series with the Minneapolis Ravens, and three games against the Cowboys, they will spend the rest of the year facing sub-.500 teams like Miami, Dallas and Norfolk.
Miami, however, is the best of the worst, sitting just 5½ games back from a wildcard, with a 69-71 (.493) win-loss record. They hope to make some gains with a 4-game set against Dallas later in the month, but first must hold off Chicago and their incredible offense, and trade shots with fellow wild card contenders Washington over 3 more series before the end of the schedule.
Stay tuned, as this ML West race is very close and every series is important heading down the stretch.