The Bowling Green Hot Rods beat the Fort Wayne TinCaps 7-2 Thursday to clinch the first-half Eastern Division title. The Lansing Lugnuts, who lost 4-3 to the Lake County Captains, will be the first-half Eastern Division wild-card team.
The race in the Western Division is super tight with three days left in the first half. On Thursday, the Quad Cities River Bandits beat the first-place Clinton LumberKings 5-2, moving them into a tie atop the standings. Later that night, the Peoria Chiefs grabbed a share of first place when they beat the Beloit Snappers 3-2 in 11 innings.
Clinton, Quad Cities and Peoria have identical records of 37-30. Their final series of the half (Friday-Sunday) are as follows: Peoria at Cedar Rapids Kernels (31-35); Burlington Bees (30-36) at Quad Cities; Clinton at Beloit (31-35). The LumberKings have lost their last four games, the River Bandits have won their last three games, and the Chiefs won their last game. All three teams are 5-5 in their last 10 games.
It’s very possible that a tiebreaker scenario will exist after Sunday’s games, as three teams with identical records are playing for two playoff spots, and none have head-to-head matchups with each other this weekend. The first tiebreaker is based on head-to-head record. If that’s a tie, then a second tiebreaker comes into effect, based on run differential between the teams. If that’s a tie, the winner is whoever won the last game between the teams.