It’s win or go home time for the Naturals. Well, almost. It’s win the next two games and tie for the lead in the Texas League first half or lose a game and the Arkansas Travelers win the first half title. Just 3 days ago the Naturals sat alone at first place in the division. The Naturals were in control of their own destiny. Now they are lucky enough to still control that destiny even from 2.0 games behind. The Naturals are the only Royals affiliate still in playoff contention for the first half.
If you don’t know how the playoffs work in the Texas League, here is a little explanation. This is true for most of the leagues out there. The winner of the first half secures a playoff spot and the winner of the second half secures the other. The first half of the Texas League ends after the games on Monday, June 18.
The Arkansas Travelers, the double-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, sit at 35-33. The Naturals sit at 33-35. The Naturals next two games are at home against the Travelers. Do you see where the drama is starting to build up?
In case of a first half tie, the tie breaking procedure for the Texas League states that the next game played between those two teams is the determining factor. The winner of that game is the winner of the first half. It just so happens that the Naturals and the Travelers play a four game set in Springdale beginning today so that game would be on Tuesday at home. The Naturals basically have to win their next three games or the Travelers get that playoff spot.
Here’s where the fun could begin. The Tulsa Drillers are also 33-35. If they win their next two games while the Naturals do the same, there would be a three way tie. There is a procedure for that but let’s wait and see what happens over the next two games for everybody before we get to that. At this point, all we know is that he Naturals must win their next three games.