Magic clinch Bye while Kings vault Cyclones in AL
With only one week left in the 2020 ORWBL regular season, we now have a very good idea of how the bracket will look over on the American League side. Let's break down how things are looking over in the American League starting with Maple City.
After dropping 2 out of 3 to the County Line Kings in Week 2, the 3 time defending ORWBL World Series Champions have caught fire, winning 14 out of their last 15 games.
These guys are turning it up at the perfect time as their recent hot stretch has moved them into sole possession of the best record in ORWBL at 18-3.
Overall it was a perfect weekend for the Magic as they finished off an incredible run on Saturday, winning the 4th Annual Cam Snead Tournament. They beat some quality teams such as The MOB, Mechanics, Panthers, and Granny's Quilt in their tournament run.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about their run is the fact that it was Jared Jonkman who was the ace on the mound from start to finish. Jonkman had not had much ORWBL pitching experience prior to this tournament which makes it even more impressive.
Despite having Wes Ellis on the team, Maple City rode Jonkman on the mound all day and it paid off in a huge way as Maple City won their first tournament championship since Peacefest of 2017.
The Magic followed up their memorable day on Sunday by sweeping the Twin Branch Billy Goats in three very competitive games. Much like Saturday, the Magic leaned on Jared Jonkman on the mound as he won 2 of the 3 games.
Wes Ellis continues to make a push for the Gold Glove as he had a number of outstanding plays in Left Field where he was filling in for Caleb Jonkman.
In a strange but true fact, the road team has now won all 11 games between the Magic and Billy Goats.
With Maple City rolling heading into the playoffs, they now also have a 3rd reliable, championship proven arm as Jonkman, Ellis, and Anderson combine to form a lethal pitching staff.
With their sweep of Twin Branch, Maple City finished the regular season an impressive 12-0 on the road. They also were able to clinch a Bye moving them straight to the Best of 3 ALDS.
They can lock up the #1 overall seed with home field advantage leading up to the World Series with just one win OR a County Line loss. The Magic will close out the season at home against the Mishawaka Meatspins (10-11).
Meanwhile, the County Line Kings have vaulted the Flat Rock Cyclones in the standings despite getting swept by Clones on Opening Day.
After sweeping the Meatspins, County Line has moved into the #2 spot in the American League with just 1 week left to play.
County Line (15-6) has gone 15-3 since getting swept by the Cyclones on Opening Day. Since Opening Day, County Line has been one of the more consistent teams in the league. County Line leads all of ORWBL in runs scored with 271.
With MVP candidates JP Kehoe and Kody Webb leading the way, County Line clearly has a legitimate shot to make a major push at a World Series title year.
The Kings are now positioned well heading to the final week of the season as they will host the Great Lakes Godfathers (6-18) to close things out.
The Kings control their destiny to earn a Bye straight into the ALDS and can lock that up with a sweep over Great Lakes this weekend.
All in all it was a huge Week 7 for County Line as their entire lineup had a monstrous day at the plate. The man who stood out the most was JP Kehoe as he blasted 17 HR on the day as he now leads all of ORWBL with 51 HR. Knowing what Kehoe can do, 60 Home Runs is very well within reach.
It has been quite a memorable season for Kehoe who has turned into an absolute star. County Line also has to be happy with the production they have recently received from their skipper Mike Forrester.
Forrester added 14 homers of his own in their 3 game sweep over Mishawaka. If County Line is able to hold off Flat Rock in the final week of the season and earn the #2 seed, that would mean a full day of ORWBL Postseason action at The Garage which would likely mean a lot of runs scored.
While the Kings are hitting their stride, the Flat Rock Cyclones have taken a few steps back of late. Despite losing 2 of 3 to the Wildcards last week, the Cyclones still hold a 14-7 record which is an improvement from their first season in the league last year.
2019 AL MVP Mark Richards is putting together another fantastic season as he is really starting to make a name for himself as an ace pitcher this year as well.
Thanks to their Opening Day sweep of County Line, Flat Rock does indeed hold the tiebreaker with the Kings in case they both finish the season with the same record.
Flat Rock would love to get themselves back into the #2 spot as they would certainly love to host some playoff games at The Barnyard.
Flat Rock (14-7) will finish the regular season against the 7th seeded Twin Branch Billy Goats (6-18) who are already getting tuned up for their play in game with Hudson Lake.
The Cyclones will need some help from the Great Lakes Godfathers who will travel to The Garage to take on the Kings.
Meanwhile the #4 vs. #5 and #6 vs. #7 matchups have already been set in the American League although they could swap seeds which each other.
The Mishawaka Meatspins (10-11) suffered a 3 game sweep last week and are now a game under .500 heading into their final matchup of the season against the Maple City Magic.
After winning 4 of their last 5 series, Mishawaka has sputtered a bit but this is not a group of guys who are probably all that concerned knowing that everyone makes the playoffs.
They now know what their path to a World Series looks like and no matter what happens this week as they will be facing the Bourissa Hills Wildcards in a 1 game Wild Card matchup.
After starting the season 2-10 at home, the Wildcards have been one of the better stories over the 2nd half of the league. The Wildcards are now 8-1 on the road and have improved their record to 10-11.
It has been quite the story as this group has rallied around each other on the road. All Star starter DJ Hill hit a Home Run in Game 1 of the All Star Game as he certainly made an impact in his first All Star appearance.
Meanwhile their skipper Zach Rehlander continues to be one of the best hitters in the league in terms of getting on base. Rehlander and Hill are in the hunt for the batting title as they will look to make one final push in the last week of the season.
The Wildcards will look to cap off their fantastic season on the road as they will look to potentially finish the 2020 regular season with a record above .500. If they can do that there is no doubt about it that Zach Rehlander could be the potential Manager of the Year in the American League.
Lastly, we have the Billy Goats and Heat who are currently tied for the 6th spot. No matter what happens here in the final week of the season, these 2 teams will be set to square off in the 1 game play in game.
Despite having very talented rosters, these two teams have struggled to keep up with the loaded American League. However, both of these teams know that they have the talent to beat anyone on any given day.
Hudson Lake showed some signs of improvement last week as they were able to steal one from the Granger Panthers. As of now, the Heat would be the home team in the play in game but that could change here in the final week of the season.