GreenJackets Gameday: Playoff hopes hanging by a thread

Augusta GreenJackets (Giants) vs. Charleston RiverDogs (Yankees)

WHEN: today, 7:05 p.m.
WHERE: Lake Olmstead Stadium: directions
WEATHER: Isolated thunderstorms and 85 degrees at game time with a 30 percent chance of rain: forecast
PROMOTION: Fan Appreciation Weekend.
TICKETS: Start at $8. Call the box office at (706) 922-WINS or visit GreenJacketsBaseball.com.
RADIO: ESPN Radio 1340 AM WYNF
IN-GAME UPDATES: On Twitter (@BillyByler) or receive text alerts on your phone.
STANDINGS: Augusta 37-29, 69-66 (3rd SAL Southern); Charleston 30-35, 69-63 (4th SAL Southern)
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Season series tied at 7.
PROBABLE STARTERS: GreenJackets LHP Edwin Escobar (7-7, 3.02) vs. RiverDogs RHP Corey Black (1-2, 4.82).

 

There have been conflicting reports about the GreenJackets' current playoff hopes and a lot of confusion (including my own) about where they stand. Let's start by breaking down the numbers.

 

The South Atlantic League splits its summer into two half seasons. The first-half division winners (one from the Northern Division and one from the Southern Division) get an automatic spot in the postseason. The same goes for the second-half division winners. That makes for a four-team, two-round postseason.

As of today, the third-place GreenJackets (37-29 second half) are five games out with four to play and have no chance of winning the South Atlantic League's second-half division title. At first that would appear to be it for Augusta. Not so fast. The Asheville Tourists, who are already in the postseason thanks to a first-half division championship, currently sit in second place, three games behind Rome for the second-half title. If Asheville wins the first- AND second-half titles, then that second playoff spot would go to the Southern Division team with the next best overall record.

 

Looking at the overall (first- and second-half combined) records, the GreenJackets are 1.5 games behind Charleston for that wild card spot. This means that while the GreenJackets are eliminated from second-half contention, they could still slip into the postseason.

 

Basically, the GreenJackets need to catch Charleston in the overall standings AND have Asheville catch Rome in the second-half standings. Rome starts a five-game series tonight in Lexington (doubleheader tonight). Asheville plays four games in Hagerstown.

 

The GreenJackets have a chance at catching Charleston in the overall standings because the RiverDogs arrive in town tonight for a four-game series. So the GreenJackets' playoff hopes may not be that strong, but they are still alive heading into the final series of the year.

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