Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

myrtle beach pelicans logoThis has been a busy weekend for Myrtle Beach, and in some ways today is the busiest day of them all.

Yesterday the Pelicans played a doubleheader, and that means they wore their new Ernie Banks inspired ‘Let’s Play Two’ home doubleheader uniforms. These particular uniforms look pretty good in action; check out Carlos Penalver modeling them by means of a bases clearing double here.

Today the Cubs’ High A affiliate only plays one game, but that game will be televised nationally, including on Comcast Sportsnet Chicago Plus, via the American Sports Network. The full list of local stations carrying the game can be found here.

During the game, during every inning in fact, the Pelicans will be doing giveaways. The full list of prizes and the rules for entry can be found on the Pelicans’ website. Read them over carefully, though, because you can enter without being anywhere near South Carolina. All you need is Twitter.

And, while you’re on Twitter, why not make sure you’re following the Bleacher Nation crew? Believe me, you’ll be glad you did when draft day rolls around. On the Twitters Brett is @BleacherNation, I am @ltblaize, Luis is @lcm1986, and Michael responds to @Cerambam1060.

Speaking of the Draft, our usual Monday breakdown of the latest Baseball America mock draft will be arriving today, one day early. That is because we have something different and drafty planned for tomorrow.

But first, we have some standings to inspect.

Standings Watch

Iowa : 28-27, 2nd place.

Now a game over .500, the Cubs are also in a tie for second and are sitting seven games behind Oklahoma City. A hot streak on the road has pushed their road record up to 15-11 and leaves them tied for the second most road wins in the league, but they remain a few games under .500 at home.

They remain home all this week, so with any luck they’ll be able to correct that record situation. On the other hand, Having Iowa at home makes the logistics smoother for a few more rounds of Iowa-Chicago roster shuffling. Those shuffles are generally good for Chicago but are sometimes bad news for Iowa. It will be interesting to see what this roster looks like at the end of the week.

Tennessee : 31-25. 2nd place.

Tennessee beat Chattanooga repeatedly this week and took possession of first place in the process, but then stumbled at the end of the week only to fall back into second. They now trail by one game despite being tied in the win column. We are just a few weeks away from the first half of the Southern League season ending, and this has all the earmarks of a great race to the finish.

The schedule is in the Smokies’ favor. They play four more at home (where they are 17-11) against Birmingham before hitting the road to play a Jacksonville team that is way under .500. Tennessee then returns Kodak to face a tough Mississippi squad in the last series before the All Star break, but that Mississippi squad is only .500 on the road. Tennessee has some work to do, but they definitely have a chance to win the division in the first half.

Myrtle Beach : 32-22, 1st place.

The Pelicans have not had a good week. They have won just three of their last ten games, are two games under .500 at home, and their first place lead is down to five games. They are not in trouble, not yet, but they’ve got to find a way to translate their stunning road success (20-8) into home wins or they risk making this race to the first half finish line a lot more interesting than it needs to be.

Myrtle Beach returns to the road on Monday as they travel to Frederick, Maryland. That’s right, the Pelicans will be fairly close to me Monday through Thursday of this week, and yet I am not sure I will be able to make it to a single one of those games. A lousy confluence of scheduling is to blame, and if I can find a way to pull it off I most certainly will, but it is looking increasingly unlikely.

South Bend : 26-29, 7th place.

The Cubs have put together a three game winning streak and have pulled to within three games of .500, but they still have essentially no chance to leap over nearly the entire division to claim a first half title. Hopefully, though, they can build on these recent wins and keep that success up when the second half gets underway.

The Cubs spend most of this week on the road, including a weekend stop in Peoria, before returning home to complete the first half next week.


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