Friday, August 26, 2016

LMB division title sets to open Saturday

After making short work of their respective Mexican League Division Semifinals playoff series (going a collective 16-2 with three sweeps), the Liga's Final Four gets underway Saturday. The LMB North Division Championship Series opener will feature Tijuana at Monterrey while the South finals will begin in Merida, where the Yucatan Leones will host Puebla in Game One of that series.  Game Two for both sets will be played Sunday, followed by a Monday travel day and three more games scheduled between Tuesday and Thursday in Tijuana and Puebla. Games Six and Seven (if needed) are back in Monterrey and Yucatan next weekend.

The Toros won their season series against Monterrey, 5 games to 4, but six of the nine games were in Tijuana as LMB teams did not play balanced schedules.  All three Tijuana-Monterrey sets saw the home team win two of three games. Yucatan likewise won 5 of 9 games against Puebla this summer, but the dynamics of that rivalry were different.  After the Pericos won two of three games over the Leones at home the first time the two sides met, Puebla later went on the road and took three straight from Yucatan in Merida.  Two months passed before the third trifecta was played in Yucatan, with the Leones sweeping all three games from the Pericos at Kukulkan Park, site of Saturday's opener.

Yucatan won the LMB South regular season crown with a Liga-best 77-33 record, four games ahead of the 74-39 Pericos in second.  The Leones beat Campeche in six games while the Pericos swept defending champion Quintana Roo in the first round.  Monterrey topped the North standings at 72-39 while Tijuana was third with a 64-48 mark (trailing 69-43 Monclova by five games).  The Sultanes swept Laguna in the Division Semifinals and the Toros did the same against the Acereros.


2016 LMB Division Championship Series schedule

SATURDAY, August 27
Tijuana at Monterrey (Estadio Monterrey) 6:05pm ET
Puebla at Yucatan (Parque Kukulkan, Merida) 8:05pm ET

SUNDAY, August 28
Tijuana at Monterrey (Estadio Monterrey) 6:05pm EDT
Puebla at Yucatan (Parque Kukulkan, Merida) 7:05pm EDT

TUESDAY, August 30
Monterrey at Tijuana (Estadio Gasmart) 10:35pm EDT
Yucatan at Puebla (Estadio Hermandos Serdan) 8:00pm EDT

WEDNESDAY, August 31
Monterrey at Tijuana (Estadio Gasmart) 10:35pm EDT
Yucatan at Puebla (Estadio Hermanos Serdan) 8:00pm EDT

THURSDAY, September 1
Monterrey at Tijuana (Estadio Gasmart) 10:35pm EDT
Yucatan at Puebla (Estadio Hermanos Serdan) 8:00pm EDT

SATURDAY, September 3
Tijuana at Monterrey (Estadio Monterrey) 6:05pm EDT
Puebla at Yucatan (Parque Kukulkan, Merida) 8:05pm EDT

SUNDAY, September 4
Tijuana at Monterrey (Estadio Monterrey) 6:05pm EDT
Puebla at Yucatan (Parque Kukulkan, Merida) 7:05pm EDT