MADISON, Wis. — With the Northwoods League playoffs approaching, the Madison Mallards have some ground to make up, though their postseason hopes still remain very much alive.
The Northwoods League playoff field expanded in 2015 from four to eight teams, with the top four teams from each division (North and South) earning a playoff bid. Those playoff berths are based on overall record, with the division winner of each half of the season earning an automatic home playoff game.
The first two days of the playoffs are single elimination games, with the third and final day of competition a best-of-three series.
Standings as of Aug. 5 at 9:30 a.m.
If the playoffs started today…
As shown in the graphic, Madison remains 12 ½ games behind Wisconsin Rapids in the overall season standings and is on the outside looking in. With eight games remaining on their schedule, the Mallards cannot earn a No. 1 seed.
Sorting the graphic by half, Madison remains left out of the postseason, sitting in sixth place.
Madison can reach the playoffs if…
The second-half standings show the Mallards just 5½ games behind the Rockford Rivets. A come-from-behind win of the South Division would not only earn Madison a playoff spot, but a guaranteed game at home. To do that, Madison would need to win at least six of their final eight games, along with late season collapses by the teams ahead of them in the standings.
If Madison wants to earn the No. 4 seed in the overall South standings, they would need to catch the Lakeshore Chinooks (1½ games head) who they will play for a two-game series Saturday and Sunday. That can be achieved by sweeping the weekend series. Helping their cause is a two-game series Thursday and Friday against the Wisconsin Woodchucks, who sit nine games behind Madison overall.
The only other South Division team left on Madison’s schedule is Battle Creek (five games ahead). The Mallards will host the Bombers for the final two games of the regular season Aug. 12 and Aug. 13.
Aug. 5 and Aug. 6 vs Lakeshore (34-29, 0.540)
Aug. 7 and Aug. 9 vs Green Bay (21-41, 0.339)
Aug. 10 and Aug. 11 @ Wisconsin (24-40, 0.375)
Aug. 12 and Aug. 13 vs Battle Creek (37-25, 0.597)
Madison’s remaining opponents combine for a winning percentage of 0.463.