Counting tonight’s game with the Indianapolis Indians, the Louisville Bats have 15 games remaining the regular season. The Bats currently sit a half game in front of Columbus for the International League West Division lead. The Clippers lead the wild card race by two games so Louisville’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot is 11. Any combination of 11 Bats wins and Buffalo loses will put Louisville in the playoffs.
The Bats have three games left versus Indianapolis before a two game home series against Columbus. Louisville then finishes the season with a five game home-and-home season with Toledo and a five game home-and-home series with Indianapolis. The Bats’ three remaining opponents are a combined two games under .500, so you have to like their chances for reaching the postseason.
The biggest question facing Louisville is what exactly its roster will look like if it does reach the playoffs. The Bats have been helped by recent AA callups, but if the Reds promote Aroldis Chapman, Juan Francisco or Yonder Alonso when MLB rosters expand on Sept. 1 the Bats playoffs chances could be seriously hurt. Cincinnati is playing for a division title, so Louisville’s postseason aspirations will take a back seat to the big league club’s needs.