The 16-game Hunlock Series regular season was completed on Sunday. The Barracudas and the Big Red Machine were neck-and-neck going into the final game. The Barracudas won it to leave the two teams tied with identical win-loss record in first place but that was enough to clinch first place on the tie-break rule as that win gave them a superior head-to-head record.
The top two teams in the standings will have a considerable advantage in the playoffs.
The defending champions Blue Buzzards finished third, two and a half games back on the leaders, but they should not be written off.
The Cheese Cutters and the Wizards find themselves in deep trouble occupying fourth and fifth place respectively. The unforgiving postseason format means that they will have to win four series in a row and they will have no room for error.
The two teams will get the Playoffs underway when they meet each other on Sunday morning. First pitch is at 9:30am. The loser will be eliminated. The winner would then meet the third placed Buzzards. The loser of that series will be eliminated. The winner would then come up against the loser of the Barracudas versus Big Red Machine series. The winners of these two series will meet in the final.
Some of the series are best-of-7 format, others are best-of-5 or best-of-3 so it will be a marathon day for the lower seeded teams if the series go the distance.
It would take something special for the Cheese Cutters and the Wizards to reach the final, but it is not impossible. Paradoxically, the Wizards are bottom of the league standings but they have the best offence in the league. They have driven in 30 runs over the 16 games. However, their defence has been struggling and is the worst in the league. The Cheese Cutters have the worst run difference with minus 17. The scene is set perfectly for one of these two teams to cause a major upset.
The teams will receive a boost if they win their first two Playoff series as the 9-out daily limit on their pitchers will be reset for their third series of the day.
We have had glorious weather so far and Sunday is forecast to be another dry day so fans should get set for what could be a dramatic day of baseball to end the 2023 baseball season.