As we make our way through the 2015 minor league season, there are several St. Louis Cardinals' affiliates who could be headed to postseason play. With that said, future promotions could cause some issues for those teams fighting for playoff spots. Here is a quick rundown of where the teams stand at this point in the season.
Entering play on the Thursday, the Redbirds are an even 66-66 on the season and 5 games behind the Pacific Coast League American Southern division leaders, the Round Rock Express (Rangers). The Redbirds have an elimination number of 8 as the PCL does not have a wild card system. The Redbirds have to make up those 5 games in the standings in 12 games. They have 4 with Reno, 4 with New Orleans, and 4 with Oklahoma City.
The Springfield Cardinals sit 4 games behind the Texas League North leaders, the Arkansas Travelers. The S-Cards' elimination number is 9 with 12 games to go. Of those 12 games, the Cardinals will battle the Travs 4 times. The Cardinals' second half record sits at 27-31, while first half winner Northwest Arkansas is in last place at 23-34. In the Texas League, the first half winner takes on the second half winner in each division. Then those winners face each other in the Championship Series.
Palm Beach Cardinals
With 10 games remaining, the Palm Beach Cardinals have a 4 game lead on the Bradenton Marauders and have a record of 39-19 for the second half of the season. The Cards and Marauders will square off three more times before the season ends. If the season ended today, the Cardinals would take on the Charlotte Stone Crabs in the first round of the Florida State League playoffs. The Beach Birds have been led by their pitching staff which has a 2.60 ERA, good for first in the FSL. Their 21 shutouts are also tops. Offensively, the Cardinals have hit just 34 home runs over the entire season. Only Fort Myers with 27 has less.
In the Midwest League, 8 of the 16 teams in the league will make the playoffs. A winner and runner up of each division for each half of the season move on. The Peoria Chiefs currently sit a 37-21, good for second place in the MWL Western division and currently have a magic number of 1 to clinch a playoff spot. First half winner Quad Cities and runner up Cedar Rapids are 3rd and 4th in the division, so you have to go to the 5th spot to find the Chiefs' next challenger. While virtually guaranteed a playoff spot, the Chiefs are only 2 games away from the top spot in the Western division and play league leading Kane County three times to end the season. The top two teams of the second half will square off in the first round, so either way it looks like the Chiefs will battle the Kane County Cougars in the first round.
State College Spikes
The State College Spikes find themselves 8.5 games out of first in the New York-Penn League Pinckney division. The defending NYP Champions are just 1/2 game out of the wild card spot, trailing the West Virginia Black Bears. The Spikes, 33-30, have 13 games remaining. If the Spikes were to make the playoffs, they would likely take on the Williamsport CrossCutters, who own the NYP's best record at 42-22.
Johnson City Cardinals
At 27-32, the Johnson City Cardinals are in last place of the Appalachian league Western Division. The Cards have an elimination number of three for the division lead. For the wild card, the Cardinals are three games behind the Elizabethton Twins and the Greeneville Astros and a 1/2 game behind the Bristol Pirates. While only 3 games back, they would have to jump three teams. The Cardinals have just 6 games to achieve this task.
The GCL Cardinals are currently a game up on the second place GCL Marlins in the GCL Eastern division and have a magic number of 3 with 3 games to play. At 33-24, the Cardinals would likely take on the GCL Red Sox, who have the best record in the league, in a 1 game playoff. The Championship series in the GCL is a best-of-three series.
The DSL Cardinals have completed their 2015 season with a record of 34-38 and 16 games out of first, good for third in the DSL Boca Chica North Division.