DAVENPORT, Iowa — The River Bandits journey towards a 12th league title in team history takes another step forward on Tuesday as they begin a best-of-five series against the Cedar Rapids Kernels in the High-A Central Championship.
Despite a global pandemic and restructuring of minor league baseball, the River Bandits have posted a league best 77-41 record in their first season as a High-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
Their opponent (Cedar Rapids Kernels) finished with the league's second-best record (67-53) this season.
On paper, the matchup will feature arguably league's best offense versus the best pitching staff.
Of the 12 teams in the High-A Central league, the River Bandits are top-3 in some major offensive categories while the Kernels posted some of the league's best pitching statistics.
High-A Central Rankings
River Bandits Hitting
- Batting Average (.261-1st)
- Runs (709-1st)
- Home Runs (144-3rd)
- OPS (.794-2nd)
- Batting Average (.244-5th)
- Runs (603-5th)
- Home Runs (161-2nd)
- OPS (.758-3rd)
River Bandits Pitching
- ERA (4.15-4th)
- WHIP (1.30-3rd)
- Opp. Batting Average (.229-3rd)
- ERA (3.88-1st)
- WHIP (1.24-1st)
- Opp. Batting Average (.221-1st)
In 24 meetings this season, the River Bandits own a 17-7 record against the Kernels.
The last time these two clubs met on September 5, the River Bandits won 6-4 on the road. Both teams split that six-game series from August 31-September 5 with three wins a piece.
The River Bandits will have home-field advantage in the best-of-five championship series beginning on Tuesday, September 21.
The first two games of the series will be played in Cedar Rapids, with Game 3 scheduled at Modern Woodman Park.
If necessary, Games 4 and 5 will also be in the Quad Cities.
Regardless of whether or not they win Games 1 and 2, the River Bandits will have the opportunity to win the league title in front of a home crowd at 90-year-old Modern Woodmen Park.
High-A Championship Series Schedule
- Game 1: (Tues, September 21) 6:35 p.m. Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids
- Game 2: (Weds, September 22) 6:35 p.m. Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids
- Game 3: (Fri, September 24) 6:30 p.m. Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities
- *Game 4: (Sat, September 25) 6:30 p.m. Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities*
- *Game 5: (Sun, September 26) 6:30 p.m. Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities*
*Games 4 and 5 if necessary*