5 of 6 AFL teams alive on final day of season

On the final day of the Arizona Fall League's 25th anniversary season, prospects from 25 of Major League Baseball's 30 teams remain in contention to play for a ring, as five of the circuit's six teams are still vying for a spot in Saturday's championship game.

On Thursday, the Surprise Saguaros host the Salt River Rafters, the Scottsdale Scorpions visit the Mesa Solar Sox and the Glendale Desert Dogs travel to Peoria to face the Javelinas. All three games began at 12:35 p.m. MST, and all three have clinching ramifications.

2016 Arizona Fall League rosters
Click on the AFL team name to see complete roster.
AFL club MLB clubs
Glendale CWS, HOU, LA, STL, WSH
Peoria BAL, CIN, SD, SEA, TB
Salt River ARI, ATL, COL, DET, MIL
Surprise BOS, KC, MIN, PIT, TEX
Scottsdale LAA, NYM, NYY, PHI, SF

In the East division, Salt River (15-14-1) and Mesa (16-15) are in a virtual tie, while Scottsdale (13-18) has been eliminated. With a .001 percent advantage over Mesa, Salt River can earn a berth in the title tilt with a win at Surprise on Thursday. A Salt River loss, though, would mean that Mesa is in. 

The Rafters can also clinch with a tie against Surprise if Mesa were to lose or tie against Scottsdale. But a Salt River-Surprise tie would allow Mesa to take the division on a tie-breaker if the Solar Sox defeat Scottsdale.

Meanwhile, all three West division teams are still alive, separated by one game, heading into the season's final day.

Surprise is in the driver's seat. At 16-14-1, the Saguaros have a half-game lead over Glendale (16-15) and a one-game lead over Peoria (14-14-2), and they can clinch the division title with a win or a tie against Salt River on Thursday. If Surprise were to lose, the winner of Thursday's Glendale-Peoria game would win the division. However, even if the Saguaros lose, they could still advance to the championship game if Peoria and Glendale were to tie Thursday.  

Arizona Fall League standings | Today's scoreboard | Today's lineups

Here's a breakdown of the clinch/elimination scenarios for each team:

• Salt River is in with a win OR a tie and a Mesa loss or tie; out with a loss OR a tie and a Mesa win.
• Mesa is in with a Salt River loss OR a win and a Salt River tie; out with a Salt River win OR a tie or loss and a Salt River tie.
• Surprise is in with a win or a tie vs. Salt River OR a Glendale-Peoria tie.
• Glendale is in with a win and a Surprise loss; out with a loss, tie or a Surprise win or tie.
• Peoria is in with a win and a Surprise loss; out with a loss or tie.


Salt River:
Win: In
Tie: In with Mesa loss or tie; out with Mesa win
Loss: Out

Mesa (owns tie-breaker over Salt River*):
Win: In with Salt River loss or tie; out with Salt River win
Tie: In with Salt River loss; out with Salt River win or tie
Loss: In with Salt River loss; out with Salt River win or tie

*First tie-breaker is head-to-head; Salt River and Mesa went 3-3 against each other. The next tie-breaker is record vs. common division opponent (Scottsdale). Salt River is 2-4 vs. Scottsdale and cannot finish with a better head-to-head record vs. Scottsdale than Mesa, which is 3-2 vs. Scottsdale with one game remaining, so Mesa owns the tie-breaker.


Surprise (owns tie-breaker over Glendale*):
Win: In
Tie: In
Loss: In with Glendale loss or tie AND Peoria loss or tie; out with Glendale win or Peoria win

Win: In with Surprise loss; out with Surprise win or tie
Tie: Out
Loss: Out

Win: In with Surprise loss; out with Surprise win or tie
Tie: Out
Loss: Out

*Surprise was 4-2 against Glendale.