The last series before the Midwest League All-Star Game begin today, which means the first-half playoff teams will be decided by the end of the weekend.
Here’s the playoff picture as it is Friday morning:
The Kane County Cougars clinched the first-half Western Division title last weekend. The Burlington Bees’ magic number to clinch the Western Division wild card is one; they play the Cedar Rapids Kernels, who have the second-worst record in the division, this weekend.
Three other teams — the Peoria Chiefs, the Quad Cities River Bandits and the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers — are tied in the standings, two games behind the Bees. One of those teams could claim the wild card if they win their last three games of the half and the Kernels sweep the Bees.
In case a tiebreaker is needed, the winner is determined to be whichever team won in head-to-head competition this half. In case another tiebreaker is needed (because, say, the two teams involved went 3-3 against each other), the winner will be determined to be whichever one scored more runs in head-to-head competition.
The Bees hold the tiebreaker advantage over all three of the other teams involved.
In the Eastern Division, the South Bend Silver Hawks clinched a playoff berth Wednesday. The West Michigan Whitecaps trail the Silver Hawks by a half-game, and those two teams play each other this weekend. If the Silver Hawks win the series, they will be the first-half champs. If the Silver Hawks sweep the Whitecaps and the Dayton Dragons sweep their series against the Lake County Captains, then the Dragons (who trail the Whitecaps by three games) would be the wild-card team because they have the tiebreaker advantage over the Whitecaps.
The first half of the season ends Sunday. The Whitecaps will host the Midwest League All-Star Game on Tuesday.