West Michigan Whitecaps clinch playoff berth

There is a silver lining in the Detroit Tigers‘ struggling 2015 season. Their Class-A affiliate, the West Michigan Whitecaps, have clinched a playoff spot for the Midwest League.

The Whitecaps (39-26) are currently in second place in the Eastern Division of the Midwest League, 3.0 games behind the Fort Wayne TinCaps. The Whitecaps defeated the TinCaps, who are the Class-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres, by a score of 1-0 Wednesday night in the first of a three-game series. The division title is very much in sight for West Michigan.

The Midwest League regular season is split into two halves. The top two teams in each division are awarded a playoff berth in each half. If a team in the first half of the season has already qualified for the playoffs is also in position for a playoff spot in the second half, then the team with the next best winning percentage is given the playoff birth. The Whitecaps went 33-36 in the first half of the season in their division, which was won by the Lansing Lugnuts, Class-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. The ‘Nuts are 29-35 in the second half.

Regardless of whether they win the division or a wild card spot, the Whitecaps will be playing the TinCaps in a best-of-3 series in the first round of the playoffs, The winner would face the winner of the first round series between the First Half Eastern Division qualifiers.

The Whitecaps are playoff bound for the second straight season. It is the first time they are playing extra baseball in consecutive seasons since 2006-’07. The Whitecaps are also the only team in the Tigers’ system that are going to make the postseason……unless the Tigers go on a tear and clinch a wild card spot in the American League.

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