Legends On Deck

FSL: With South Division Playoff Teams Set, Lakeland Vying For North Division Crown

Flying Tigers catcher Brady Policelli competing in the 2019 FSL All Star Game Home Run Derby.

In the first half of the Florida State League, the Dunedin Blue Jays won the North Division by 5.5 games over the Clearwater Threshers with a 41-24 record. In the South, the reigning league champs the Fort Myers Miracle took the division with a 39-27 record.

In the second half, the Miracle who are 33-28, nearly the same record that allowed them to win the crown in the 1st half, finished nine games behind the Charlotte Stone Crabs, who at 43-20, won the South Division crown. The Stone Crabs and the Miracle will compete in the 2019 South Division playoffs.

As for the North, the Blue Jays are on the verge of taking the crown again, but the Lakeland Flying Tigers are vying to join in on the fun.

In the first half, the Flying Tigers finished seven games under .500, in fourth place, and 12 games out of first. There downfall can be attributed to a 9-21 record away from Lakeland.

But in the second half, the Detroit Tigers Class-A Advanced affiliate, turned their losing ways to winning on the road, and currently are 16-15. May not seem great, but a whole lot better then their struggles away from home in the first half.

After the All Star Game on June 15th, the Flying Tigers opened the second half with four straight losses. But after taking two of three from the Stone Crabs, Lakeland finished the month winning five of their last nine games.

In July, the Flying Tigers continued their struggles going 12-15, but from July 16-17, they took three of four from Dunedin, including a make-up game from July 6th.

August has been a turnaround month for Lakeland as they are 16-6 in their last 22 games, and winners of his last seven games. Their sudden surge has them tied for first with the Blue Jays at 34-29 with 10 games left to play on the season.

The Florida State League playoff procedures state:

The format provides that four (4) teams will participate in the Florida State League playoffs. Winners of both halves within the Division play each other in a best-of-three series for the Division Championship. The first half winners will be given the choice of hosting game 1 or games 2 & 3 and must notify the League office by August 1, of their decision.

In the event of a repeat Division winner, the team with the next best overall record in the Division will qualify for the playoffs as a Wild Card team.

So if the Blue Jays are able to come out on top again, then Lakeland is in line to win the Wild Card spot, but the Tampa Tarpons are only 1.5 games out of the top spot and play the Flying Tigers three more games this weekend and the last three games of the season next weekend.

So the race for the second playoff spot or possibly the top spot in the North, should be a great fight to the finish line.

David Conde
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