Despite Being 17-games Under .500, Norfolk Tides In Thick of Playoff Hunt

We have seen some odd things in the world of sports when it comes to teams making the playoffs thanks to winning their division, but not having an overall winning record. The South Division in the International League is set to join that list as the Norfolk Tides, despite being 17-games under .500, are in the thick of their division race.

 Photo: Patrick Cavey

The Baltimore Orioles' AAA affiliate are not having a good year record wise, currently sitting at 52-69 and have losing records both at home and away this season.

Despite their record, the Tides are just two games, yes two games behind the division leading Gwinnett Braves for first place in the South Division in the International League.

The four-team division does not have a team with a record better than 13-games under .500 currently with Gwinnett leading the division with a 54-67 record.

Here is how the division stacks up currently:
  1. Gwinnett Braves (54-67)
  2. Durham Bulls (54-68)
  3. Charlotte Knights (53-69)
  4. Norfolk Tides (52-69)
It's astonishing, even at the AAA level, to see a team with a record more than 10-games under .500 be in a playoff race, nonetheless four of them.

There are three divisions in the International League and among the 10 teams in the other two divisions, six of them are at .500 or better. Even more interesting is the fact that the 10 teams in the other divisions ALL have records as good or better than the South Division-leading Braves.

Just as in the big leagues, the division winner makes the playoffs, so despite the records, one of the four South Division teams are going to make the playoffs and have a chance at the Governors' Cup.

The Tides have 23 games remaining, of which 16 of them are against teams within their division, including three against the division leading Braves.

Norfolk finishes their season with eight-straight road games and the final game of the year is set for Monday, September 5 at Durham. Could it be for a berth in the postseason?

It may not be pretty, but if the Tides can find a way to win their division and get into the playoffs, it still gives the O's a minor league affiliate in the postseason, which is never a bad thing.


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