The Billings Mustangs begin their final series of the regular season tonight at home. They’ll welcome in the Missoula Osprey for a 4-game finale. This is a very big series for both teams. And for the Great Falls Voyagers, too. But more on them later.

The Mustangs are 21-13 in the second half and in first place in the Pioneer League North Division. Missoula is 19-15 and in second place. That puts the Osprey 2.0 games back with 4 games to go. The two teams would have the same record if Missoula were to win the series 3 games to 1. But with the tie-breaker rules, that would put the Osprey in the playoffs due to a better head-to-head record on the season. The two teams are 8-8 against each other to this point in the season. Obviously a clean sweep for Missoula would put them into the playoffs. The Mustangs need at least a split of the series to finish ahead of the Osprey.

But things aren’t just up in the air for the Mustangs and the Osprey. The Great Falls Voyagers are 18-15, just 2.5 games behind Billings and a half-game behind Missoula. They need to sweep their final series to have a chance. The best that they can finish is 22-15. If Great Falls wins out, they also need Missoula to go 3-1 in the series against Billings. That would put the Osprey and Mustangs both at 22-16, giving the Voyagers the division by a half-game.

The Mustangs and Osprey both hold their own fate in their hands. Win out and you are in. The Mustangs can also go 3-1 or 2-2 in the series and they are in regardless of what Great Falls does. Billings, however, has to turn things around. They’ve lost six games in a row. Missoula is 5-5 over their last 10 games. Great Falls is on a roll, having won five straight and they are 8-2 in their last 10 games.

Billings is the only team in the Reds farm system still playing. They’d like to keep that going beyond the regular season finale on Saturday night. And hey, if they make it, two of the other three teams in the playoffs have the MiLBtv package, so we might even get a chance to WATCH them play some more this season.

6 Responses

  1. MK

    I know there are those that do not believe this but I am certain there are a few Mustangs who wouldn’t mind the season ending Saturday so they can either go home for the winter or have a little more time off before reporting for the Instructional League. That would include players and coaches. Some of the Latin players have not seen families since January. There is really no financial reward for winning the Championship. It isn’t like the majors where players get a percentage of the take for the playoffs and World Series.

    • Doug Gray

      There isn’t instructional league this year, so they aren’t reporting anywhere after the season is over.

      • DaveCT

        Hey Dug, I must have missed this news about instructs. Was there any explanation given?

      • Doug Gray

        Dave, I’ll have more on it later this week. I just found out about it in the last couple of days.

  2. Oldtimer

    I hope they make it. Billings did not play in Orem UT or Ogden UT this summer. Ogden won their division and could be Billings’ opponent in playoffs. I can get to Ogden to see a game or two.