With a Frontier League leading record of 61-35, the River City Rascals are the top seeded team in the West heading into the playoffs for the third time in six years. This is also their fourth postseason appearance in that same span.
Some news to brighten Rascals fans spirits even more, each time the Rascals have gone to the playoffs, they have proceeded to the Frontier League Championship. Even better news is the home field advantage River City will have throughout the playoffs.
With all of these positive things in mind, a more realistic look at what the Rascals should do is in order. Here are five truths that could definitely lead to River City’s second championship.
1. The Rascals own the best offense in the Frontier League.
River City is hitting .287 as a team and has plated 571 this season. To put that in perspective for us St. Louisans, that means the Rascals as a team are hitting better than every Cardinals player except Jon Jay.
2. Hector Crespo and Curran Redal are on fire.
Every baseball fan knows that momentum going into the postseason is essential to winning a championship. Second baseman Hector Crespo and outfielder Curran Redal are hitting over .400 in their last seven games. Redal is hitting right at .400 with no strikeouts and Crespo is raking at .478 with only one strikeout and two triples in 23 at bats.
3. The Rascals have a torrid offense at home.
During the last 12 games at T.R. Hughes Ballpark, River City has plated over 7.5 runs per game. Over the whole season it’s about the same number. If you can make it out to game two or three in the semi-final, don’t be shocked if the Rascals put up double digit runs either as they have done that 16 times at home this season.
4. Pitching has been steady as of late.
In the last 7 days, the Rascals pitching staff has an ERA of 2.74 and opponents are hitting only .251. River City won eight of their final nine regular season games and a lot of that was in part to clutch pitching.
5. Rascals’ have upper hand vs. nearly all postseason opponents.
Here’s a run down of the last series the Rascals played against each other postseason team:
#2 Southern Illinois Miners – Swept 3 games at home
#3 Schaumburg Boomers – Won 2 of 3 at home (The loss was by 1 run)
#4 Evansville Otters – Lost 2 of 3 on the road. (The Otters lost their last series to Washington, whom they have to play in the Wild Card opener).
#5 Washington Wild Things – Swept 3 games at home
#6 Lake Erie Crusher – Won 2 of 3 at home
With many statistics and momentum in their favor, the Rascals are primed to do well in the postseason. Even though things look in their favor the Rascals still have to play some baseball and their first postseason game is September 8th on the road versus the lowest seed to make it out of the Wild Card games.
Can I promise you a River City Rascals Championship, no. But as ‘JP’ states in the classic baseball film, Angels in the Outfield, “It could happen.”