(GAME DATE – Sep. 26, 2019) — With the expanded, 162-game schedule introduced for the first time this season, an interesting race has developed to see which team can breach the 100-game wins mark first.
Just 2 teams are in a position to do this, with only 4 games left on the schedule, the St. Petersburg Admirals and the Minneapolis Ravens.
The Ravens are currently 98-60, meaning that even a series split with Detroit will ensure a 100-game landmark year for the playoff-bound Ravens. And a split is just what could happen, if this season and last are anything to go by.
In 2018, the Ravens played to a draw with the Detroit Motorheads over the course of 14 games. They found the Motorheads equally resilient this season, going 8-8 thus far. Minneapolis won their last series, a 3-game meeting in August, handily scoring 18 runs to Detroit’s 9, winning 2 of 3 along the way.
With Detroit erased from contention, they will get more exposure for Payton Bint, but with lead off batter Dennis Guppy out of action, will do little else. Guppy could have fought to tie Toronto’s Joseph Walker and Chicago’s Justin Kelly in stolen bases. Both have 56, and Bint has just 49.
The Ravens will bring their “A” game to the contest still, but with a locked-up playoff spot already, and 34 players on their expanded roster, they will be unlikely to drastically challenge Detroit.
Minneapolis may yet earn their 100th win this season, but it’s likely the credit will fall to the bats and not the arms or gloves as we anticipate a series tie in this one.
ST. PETERSBURG ADMIRALS
The Admirals are currently 97-61, and will need at least a series win to guarantee admission to the 100 wins club. They will play Norfolk, with whom they tied this season. Admirals ace, Jose Soto, will try for league lead-tying win number 19. Ferguson throws the day after, and could try for 20.
This irrefutably strong Admirals offense will certainly keep putting pressure on any team they face, but are now laser focused on what it may take to defeat the Nofolk Sharks, especially on the road. The Sharks will put up their top 4 in the rotation, and rely on the heavy bats of Danny Sanchez and Earl MacPherson to see them through.
The Admirals, finally, seem like an unstoppable source and may end up Bull Cup champions when the dust settles.