Playoff Scenario for O’s, Mustangs

by Ben Catley

Yes, tonight’s game here in Great Falls, in the scheme of things when it comes to the Pioneer League playoff picture, doesn’t mean a thing. However, for guys like Danny Pulfer – who is hitting .161 in his last eight games, Kevin Dultz, et al, it means a lot.

That as it may be, here is the whole science behind it. And, fortunately, no Abacus was used in determining the scenarios.

What you need to know:
- Tonight’s games involving both the Osprey and Billings will have no bearing on who wins the Pioneer League North Division Second-Half title. Thanks to the tie-breakers, the process has become very simple, as described next.

- If Billings wins ONE of the two games at Ogren Park Allegiance Field on Wednesday and Thursday, then the Mustangs will win the North Division Second-Half title.

- If the Osprey win BOTH games, then they will win the North Division Second-Half title and advance to the North Division Playoffs on Friday against Great Falls. Game 1 would be Friday at Ogren Park Allegiance Field, with Games 2 and (if needed) 3 in Great Falls.

So why doesn’t tonight matter?
If the Osprey win and Billings loses tonight, the Osprey would still have to win both of the games against the Mustangs at home on Wednesday and Thursday, because the season series cannot end in a tie and benefit the Osprey. Billings would take the crown on the next tiebreaker – division record for the season, which they currently lead by two games.

Conversely, the Osprey can lose and Billings win tonight and not eliminate the Osprey. The Osprey would be two games back in that case, and the head-to-head tiebreaker would get them the title on a sweep, because they would have a 9-7 record against Billings for the season.

I hope this makes it easy to follow.

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