After a regular season that saw two clubs break the all-time American Association mark for wins, as well as a number of other records set, the league’s playoffs will begin Wednesday evening. Both the semifinals and finals are best-of-five series. Semifinal pairings are based on geography, with the two northernmost and southernmost clubs facing each other.
Sioux City Explorers (75-25) vs. St. Paul Saints (74-26)
Central Division champion Sioux City and North Division champion St. Paul Saints both broke Wichita’s 2014 mark of 73 regular-season victories and ran away with their respective division races. St. Paul’s 26.5-game margin of victory was the largest in league history, while Sioux City won its division by 25.5 games.
The Saints last reached the playoffs in 2011, when they defeated Winnipeg in the semifinals before bowing to Grand Prairie in the league championship. It is the first playoff appearance for the Explorers since 2008, when they fell to Sioux Falls in the semifinals.
Head to head: St. Paul won the 2015 regular-season series, 5-4.
Postseason history: St. Paul and Sioux City have never faced each other in the playoffs.
Wednesday, September 9: St. Paul at Sioux City, 7:05 p.m.
Thursday, September 10: St. Paul at Sioux City, 7:05 p.m.
Saturday, September 12: Sioux City at St. Paul, 7:05 p.m.
Sunday, September 13 (if necessary): Sioux City at St. Paul, 5:05 p.m.
Monday, September 14 (if necessary): Sioux City at St. Paul, 7:05 p.m.
Wichita Wingnuts (59-41) vs. Laredo Lemurs (57-43)
Wichita won its league-record fifth consecutive division championship, using a late-season charge to take the competitive South Division’s crown. In a rematch of the 2014 and 2012 semifinals, the Wingnuts will face wild-card challenger Laredo, which earned a playoff berth on the second-to-last day of the season.
Wichita has reached the playoffs in six of the last seven seasons, and won the franchise’s first championship in 2014 with a sweep of Lincoln in the finals. Laredo has reached the postseason in three of its four seasons in the American Association.
Head to head: Wichita won the 2015 regular-season series, 10-7.
Playoff history: Wichita defeated Laredo in the 2014 semifinals, 3 games to 1, and in the 2012 semifinals, 3 games to 0.
Wednesday, September 9: Wichita at Laredo, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, September 10: Wichita at Laredo, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 12: Laredo at Wichita, 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 13 (if necessary): Laredo at Wichita, 7:00 p.m.
Monday, September 14 (if necessary): Laredo at Wichita, 7:00 p.m.