It is showdown time for the Dayton Dragons as the first half of the Midwest League season wraps up in a little over a week.
Dayton opens a four-game series at front-running West Michigan tonight. The Dragons are three games behind the Whitecaps, tied for second place with South Bend.
If you include Lansing, there are four teams battling for two playoff spots in the Midwest League’s Eastern Division. The Lugnuts are two games behind Dayton and South Bend in the standings.
The trip to Comstock Park, Michigan is the first for the Dragons this season. Luis Bolivar’s team has won five of the seven games the two teams have played at Fifth Third Field.
West Michigan is a league-leading 23-8 at home this season while the Dragons are 13-14 on the road.
There was some bad blood the last time the Dragons and Whitecaps got together. A fight broke out after Dayton outfielder Jose Siri stole second base. Siri and Dragons pitcher Wennington Romero both served suspensions along with three West Michigan players.
Whitecaps relief pitcher Eduardo Jimenez is still sitting out after he was levied a 30-game suspension for throwing a ball and hitting a Dragons player during the fight.
West Michigan also had another player suspended during the series in Dayton, but he has yet to serve his suspension. All-Star outfielder Jacob Robson was given a four-game ban for bumping an umpire at Fifth Third Field. He will begin serving that suspension after the series with Dayton ends.
Dayton will close out the first half playing 11 games in the next 10 days while the other three contending teams will each play 10 games. The Dragons extra game is a make-up from a game that was rained out at Great Lakes last month.
The Dragons return home Tuesday for a four-game series against Great Lakes.