The Bowling Green Hot Rods seem revved and ready to start the postseason.
The team completed a five-game sweep of the Lake County Captains with a 14-2 win Thursday, clinching a playoff berth for the first time since 2013. The victory also pushed the Hot Rods a game ahead of the South Bend Cubs atop the Eastern Division standings for the second half of the season.
South Bend and the West Michigan Whitecaps are the other two Eastern Division teams that have clinched postseason berths, filling the division’s first-half title and wild-card spots, respectively. The Great Lakes Loons and the Lansing Lugnuts are the frontrunners for the final Eastern Division playoff berth, with the Loons holding a half-game lead with 11 days left in the season (including the final league-wide off-day on Tuesday). The Captains are 3.5 games behind the Loons, the Dayton Dragons are 6.5 games back, and the Fort Wayne TinCaps are 7.5 games back.
The Peoria Chiefs and the Clinton LumberKings are already in the playoff picture for the Western Division, as the first-half division winner and wild-card teams, respectively. The Cedar Rapids Kernels are in good shape to claim one of the two Western Division second-half berths, as they have a seven-game lead over the Burlington Bees. The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers trail the Bees by two games, while the Quad Cities River Bandits trail Burlington by five games and Wisconsin by three games.