This Week In The Minors: Down The Stretch

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This Week In The Minors: Down The Stretch

Chicago Cubs

kris bryant iowa cubs featureWe have reached August, and in the minors August is the equivalent of September in the majors. This is the month when division races are resolved, playoff slots are claimed, and a bunch of teams start to fall mathematically out of contention.

Not one Cubs farm team is at risk of falling out of contention anytime soon. Every team in the system is still very much alive, if they aren’t in first place outright, as we enter the final stretch of the season. This should be an exciting month.

Iowa Cubs : 61-55

The Cubs are clinging to a half game lead over Omaha, but the important part is that they are still in first despite a very rough set of doubleheaders last weekend.

The Cubs are in Omaha through Tuesday, and then travel to Oklahoma City for five games. Following that trip they will enjoy eight games at home followed immediately by a tough trek to Reno and Tacoma. The schedule does the Cubs no favors in August, but they certainly have the lineup to overcome any difficulties.

Tennessee Smokies : 21-22

Opportunity is knocking for the Smokies, but they are having a hard time answering the door. Despite a fairly weak showing in the win column this week, the Smokies remain just one and a half games out of first place, trailing Birmingham. They are two up on third place Huntsville.

After concluding their series against Pensacola this week, the Smokies have just two home series left. Worse, they have no games against Birmingham. Tennessee will have to catch up despite having no head to head chances and playing about sixty percent of their remaining games on the road.

Daytona Cubs : 25-16

Daytona continues their second half surge and now hold a three and a half game lead in their division. What’s more, they are just one half game back of having the best overall record in the Florida State League in the second half. Their turnaround from the first few months has been remarkable, and it is looking likely that their run will not stop short of a trip to the playoffs.

The Cubs stay on the road just about all week this week, not coming home until Saturday to start a series against Lakeland. The rest of the Daytona season is fairly evenly split between road and home games.

Kane County Cougars : 24-17

A miserable week for the Cougars has resulted in what once appeared impossible: Kane County is in second place, trailing Cedar Rapids by a game. Kane County has their playoff ticket already punched as a result of winning the first half title, but no one wants to back into the playoffs. If they get hot again and run away with the second half division title, I for one will not complain one bit.

Kane County has been good on the road this year, and they hit the road this week against a pretty good Peoria team followed by a trip to first place Cedar Rapids. A good, Kane County-like week and the Cougars are back on top.

Boise Hawks : 5-7

The Hawks are in last place, but they are very much in the second half race. They trail the leaders, Hillsboro and Salem-Keizer, by just two and a half games.

Boise is off for much of this week as the Northwest League breaks for their All-Star Game. When play resumes on Thursday, the Hawks will be in Salem-Keizer. That begins a stretch of fourteen of their next seventeen games on the road.

Arizona Cubs : 2-3

The Cubs are in the middle of the pack, just two and a half out of first place for the second half. The Cubs are also looking for their first second half home win.

Author: Luke Blaize

Luke Blaize is the Minor League Editor at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @ltblaize.