With just a few days left in the regular season, the time has come to take a closer look at the playoff race. So here’s what I’ve done- for each team, I’ll take a look at their playoff chances, place in the standings, and games remaining (assuming that all the games are played). Of course, you could always go here, brilliant reader, to look at the standings yourself…
1. Harrisonburg Turks: 25-13, clinched top 5 playoff seed, 6 games remaining: at NM, at NM, NM, Cov, at Cov, at Stras (?)- not sure about the 6th game. The Turks, as all first place teams throughout history, control their own destiny. The Turks have five games remaining against sub-.500 teams.
2 (T). Staunton Braves: 24-15, tied with Front Royal, clinched top 6 seed, 5 games left: Waynes, at Cov, NM, at Waynes, at Wood (cancelled last night). The Braves have 3 games left against sub-.500 teams. Those two games against Waynesboro may decide their place in the standings- the Generals are half a game behind the Braves.
2 (T). Front Royal Cardinals: 24-15, tied with Staunton, clinched top 6 seed, 5 games left: at Winc, Wood, Winc, at Wood, CT. A relatively easy schedule for the Cards- four games against the two last place teams.
4. Waynesboro Generals: 24-16, clinched top 6 seed, 4 games left: at Stan, Stan, at NM, at Wood. Two games with Staunton will be crucial. Other 2 games are against bottom 2 teams.
5. Charles Town Cannons: 22-16, clinched top 7 seed, 6 games left: NM (last night’s cancellation), Aldie, at Stras, at Aldie, Stras, at FR. Middle-level difficulty schedule left.
6. Strasburg Express: 20-20, here’s the deal: if Aldie is 8th, Express will clinch a playoff spot with one win OR one Aldie loss. If New Market is 8th, it will take 2 wins OR two New Market losses. Strasburg is just about in. Games left (4): CT, Wood, at CT, Turks (?). Not an easy last four games, but they only need to win one or two to get into the playoffs!
7. Covington Lumberjacks: 17-22, nothing clinched yet, 5 games left: Wood, Stan, at Harr, Harr, at Winc. The Jacks hold a 1.5 game lead over Aldie and New Market at the moment. Tough remaining games, though- 3 against the top 3 teams in the league.
8. Aldie Senators: 16-24, lost 6 games in a row, nothing clinched, 4 games left: at CT, Winc, CT, at Winc. Aldie is just percentage points ahead of New Market.
9. New Market Rebels: 15-23, percentage points behind Aldie for the last spot, 6 games left: at CT (last night), Harr, Harr, at Harr, at Stan, Waynes. This is a very tough schedule for the Rebels. Doesn’t mean they can’t make it in, but the road is steep.
10. Winchester Royals: 14-25, 1.5 games behind NM and Aldie, 5 games left: FR, at Aldie, at FR, Aldie, Cov. Royals still have a shot, especially with those two games against Aldie!
11. Woodstock RiverBandits: 13-25, 2.0 games behind NM and Aldie, 6 games left: Stan (last night), at Cov, at FR, at Stras, FR, Waynes. Not sure how they’ll make up last night’s game- maybe a doubleheader with Front Royal? If they go on a tear, the Bandits could end up as high as 7th place- so there’s still a chance!
Playoffs would look like this if the season ended today:
8 Aldie or New Market vs. 1 Harrisonburg
7 Covington vs. 2 Staunton or Front Royal
6 Strasburg vs. 3 Staunton or Front Royal
5 Charles Town vs. 4 Waynesboro
Out: Winchester and Woodstock