If you want previews of the four Midwest League first round series that are starting tonight, head over here. The records and the season series below are the work of Curt Rallo.
Great Lakes Loons (Eastern Division second-half champions; 90-49)
vs. Fort Wayne TinCaps (Eastern Division Wild Card; 77-63)
Season series tied, 6-6
Why the Loons will win: They are the Loons.
Why the TinCaps will win: Played very well down the stretch and the Loons lost a lot of players over the course of the second half.
Lake County Captains (Eastern Division first-half champions; 77-62)
vs. West Michigan Whitecaps (Eastern Division Wild Card; 62-77)
Lake County won season series, 11-10
Why the Captains will win: They always find a way.
Why the Whitecaps will win: West Michigan was out of the playoff picture until a 12-game winning streak pushed them over the top.
Cedar Rapids Kernels (Western Division first-half champions; 82-56)
vs. Clinton LumberKings (Western Division Wild Card; 74-65)
Clinton won season series, 7-6
Why Cedar Rapids will win: Small Ball. Clinton shortstop Nick Franklin got promoted to AA right before the end of the season.
Why Clinton will win: Tom Wilhelmsen starts game one and Erasmo Ramirez starts game three for the LumberKings.
Quad Cities River Bandits (Western Division second-half champions; 83-55)
vs. Kane County Cougars (Western Division Wild Card; 71-67)
Kane County won the season series, 11-9
Why Quad Cities will win: Because I don't want them to win.
Why Kane County will win: Quad Cities lost Matt Adams to injury just before the end of the season.