TinCaps vs. Dayton | High-A Central Playoff Race

Credit: MiLB

TinCaps vs. Dayton

The Fort Wayne TinCaps return home to host the Dayton Dragons.

The Dragons are the High-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds.

This will be the third series these two teams have played in this season. Fort Wayne is 5-7 in those matchups. The two clubs will again meet in Dayton to close out the regular season.

This is one of two remaining home series the TinCaps have for the year. Dayton is coming off a six-game series against the Lake County Captains. The Captains and Dragons are in a battle for the top spot in the East. Before play on Sunday, the Captains hold a one-game lead in the East over Dayton. However, being the best team in the East could mean nothing when it comes to the playoffs.

Four series remain and two playoff spots to fill in the High-A Central.

The top two teams with the best winning percentage will square off in a five-game series at the conclusion of the regular season. Meaning, a division winner can be left out of the playoffs.

I don’t necessarily like that format, considering the top Western teams got to beat up on the bottom feeders of the league all year. Currently, 27 games separate first place to the last-place team in the West. While only six games in the East separate first place to last place.

Clearly, the East has been more balanced.  Yes, this is a High-A developmental league. Having a playoff is a blessing itself, considering the pandemic. However, I feel that an East division market club deserves the extra revenue they would get by hosting 2-3 playoff games.

– East Division Aff W L W-L% GB
Lake County Captains CLE 51 44 0.537
Dayton Dragons CIN 50 45 0.526 1
Great Lakes Loons LAD 50 45 0.526 1
Fort Wayne TinCaps SDP 45 50 0.474 6
Lansing Lugnuts OAK 45 50 0.474 6
West Michigan Whitecaps DET 45 50 0.474 6

 

West Division Aff W L W-L% GB
Quad Cities River Bandits KCR 62 31 0.667
Cedar Rapids Kernels MIN 53 42 0.558 10
Beloit Snappers MIA 45 50 0.474 18
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers MIL 44 50 0.468 18.5
South Bend Cubs CHC 42 52 0.447 20.5
Peoria Chiefs STL 36 59 0.379 27

Tie Breaker Procedures From Milb.com:

1. Head-to-head record (if three or more clubs, best winning percentage in games among the clubs).

2. If the clubs remain tied, best overall winning percentage over the last 20 games.

3. If the clubs remain tied, best overall winning percentage over an additional game (i.e., the last 21 games, the last 22 games, etc.) until one emerges with a better winning percentage in that span of games.

Standings Non-Divisional:

A+ Central Aff W L W-L%
Quad Cities River Bandits KCR 62 31 0.667
Cedar Rapids Kernels MIN 53 42 0.558
Lake County Captains CLE 51 44 0.537
Dayton Dragons CIN 50 45 0.526
Great Lakes Loons LAD 50 45 0.526
Fort Wayne TinCaps SDP 45 50 0.474
Lansing Lugnuts OAK 45 50 0.474
West Michigan Whitecaps DET 45 50 0.474
Beloit Snappers MIA 45 50 0.474
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers MIL 44 50 0.468
South Bend Cubs CHC 42 52 0.447
Peoria Chiefs STL 36 59 0.379

How We Got Here:

The TinCaps chance to make the playoffs is slim.  Especially considering  Quad Cities has all but wrapped up the top spot.  Here are some key moments in the season that the TinCaps would like to have back.

  • 5/11/21 at Lake County Captains– Ethan Elliot went five innings of two-hit ball while giving up one run.  The TinCaps offense only provided two hits and was shut out in the loss.
  • 5/25/21 at South Bend Cubs– The TinCaps jumped out to a 7-0 lead.  Gabe Mosser went five innings pitched, giving up only one hit.  A benches-clearing brawl ensued. The Cubs came all the way back to win the ballgame 12-10.
  • 6/15 – 6/17/21At Dayton Dragons–  Fort Wayne lost the first three games of the series.  Two were by one run, the other by two runs.
  • 6/29- 7/4/21 vs. Great Lakes & Lake CountyThe TinCaps come from behind victory in Game 1 of the series.  They proceeded to then lose the next five games of the series to the Loons.  Four of the games were losses by three runs or less.  After four straight defeats to Lake County, the TinCaps fell to Lake County in the first two games of that series to extend their losing streak to six games.
  • 6/10-6/12-21 vs. South Bend Cubs–  Losing the first three games of the series to the Cubs ended the TinCaps chance at a playoff berth, in my opinion.  In the previous series, the TinCaps took four games from division-leading Great Lakes and had momentum. Only for that momentum to be taken by the second worse team in the league.

What’s Left 2021: 

Fort Wayne has a combined 18 games against Dayton and Great Lakes.  Those are the clubs that are directly above them in the Eastern Standings. The final home series against the Lansing Lugnuts is sandwiched between Dayton and Great Lakes.


Dayton Series Information:

  • When: 8/24 – 8/29/21
  • Where:  Parkview Field
  • How to Follow: milb.com/watch, ESPN 1380 Fort Wayne.
  • Social Media: Follow me on Twitter @tincaps_wizards , find more content at East Village Times
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Mitch J. Brunner
I was born, raised, and still reside in the Hoosier state. I am a 2008 graduate of Ivy Tech Community College. I am married to my beautiful wife Kristen, father to Garrett, with another child on the way. A baseball enthusiast covering the Fort Wayne TinCaps, High A affiliate of the San Diego Padres.

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