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Assessing the Milwaukee Brewers Minor League Affiliates’ Playoff Chances

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Some teams are in great position for a postseason berth, while others have a lot of work to do.

Milwaukee Brewers v Seattle Mariners Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

With a month left to play in the minor leagues, let’s take a look in at how each of the affiliates are doing this season. Who is in position to make the playoffs, and who is already making their plans to head home for the offseason?

Standings are current as of 8/3/2017.

Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Triple-A)

For the full season affiliates, there’s not much that can be done to be in as good of a position as the Sky Sox have. They have built a 7.5 game lead in the division with 33 games to go, putting their magic number to clinching a playoff berth at 26. Barring a complete collapse, they should make the playoffs this season.

Biloxi Shuckers (Double-A)

Though the overall record of 54-55 doesn’t look very good, the Shuckers are in better position to make the playoffs than you would think. They didn’t clinch in the first half of the season, finishing 3.5 games out of first place, behind Pensacola. In the second half of the season, they are in fourth place in the division at 18-22, 3 games behind the division leader with 30 to play. For the Shuckers to make the playoffs, one of two scenarios need to play out.

  1. They win the second half in the division outright. This is the easiest way, as they will make the playoffs without any other help. They are 3 games behind in this race.
  2. Pensacola wins the second half in the division outright. In this scenario, Biloxi would also make the playoffs if they finish second in the overall standings. Currently, Biloxi is second in the overall division standings, with Pensacola a game back in the second half standings. The good news here is that Pensacola and Biloxi do not play again in the regular season, so there’s no harm in seeing them win more games.

While there’s still plenty of games left to play in this race, the Shuckers are in good position right now. Hopefully they play a little better to put them in an even better position.

Carolina Mudcats (High-A)

The situation isn’t as good for the Carolina Mudcats. In the first half of the season, they finished 6 games out of first place at 36-32, behind a hot Myrtle Beach team. The second half has not been as good, as the Mudcats currently sit at 19-22, 8.5 games out of first place. They also have two ways to the playoffs.

  1. They win the division outright. While it’s the easiest way to get into the playoffs, it’s not very realistic. At 8.5 games back with 29 to play, they need a hot streak here.
  2. Myrtle Beach wins the second half, and Carolina finishes second in the second half standings. Unfortunately, this one is an even further stretch. Myrtle Beach has gone cold and is only 14-25 in the second half, sitting in last place in the division at 12.5 games back.

It’s not looking good for Carolina at all. Unless they can put together a hot streak, they won’t be playing in the playoffs this year.

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Class A)

The situation is even rougher for the Timber Rattlers. They finished the first half of the season 12 games out of a playoff spot at 26-42, which was last place in their division. So far in the second half, they are tied for fifth in the division, 18-22 and 6.5 games out of a playoff spot. To make it to the playoffs, they need to pass at least two of these three teams in the second half standings: Quad Cities, Beloit, Peoria. If they finish in one of the top two spots in the second half, they will make the playoffs. They can also make it in third or fourth if the teams ahead of them secured playoff spots in the first half of the season (which is why they don’t necessarily need to finish ahead of Kane County or Cedar Rapids). It’s a lot of work to do with 30 games to go, but it’s still a possibility.

DSL Brewers | DSL Indians/Brewers (Rookie)

Since the DSL doesn’t post their playoff procedures, it’s hard to say where the teams exactly stand when it comes to the playoffs. However, the DSL Brewers are 13 games behind in their division, and the DSL Indians/Brewers are 8.5 games back in their division. Doesn’t look like either team will be playing in the playoffs.

Helena Brewers (Rookie)

It’s a little early to fully assess Helena’s chances, but here’s what we know so far. They finished the first half 4 games out of first place in their division at 15-23. In the second half, they’ve started 2-0, but there’s still 36 games to play. They can still decide their own fate in this race.

Arizona Brewers (Rookie)

Here is the one team where it’s just good news right now. They finished the first half of the season at 19-8, in first place in the division. They have already clinched a spot in the playoffs, so all they are playing for now is positioning. They can get a first round bye by having one of the two best records in the league, and they currently are 2.5 games ahead of third place in that race. There’s nothing hypothetical about this Arizona team’s chances of winning a championship.