SERIES PREVIEW: Bees vs. Cedar Rapids Kernels

SERIES FACTS

Game times: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, 5:05 p.m. Thursday, 6:35 p.m. Friday.

Where: Community Field for Tuesday-Wednesday, Perfect Game Field in Cedar Rapids for Thursday-Friday

Second-half records: Bees 4-7, Kernels 5-6

Overall records: Bees 43-38, Kernels 44-37

Season series: Kernels lead, 6-4.

TEAM COMPARISONS

Last 10: Bees 4-6, Kernels 5-5

Home vs. road: Bees 25-17 at home, 18-21 on the road. Kernels 23-19 at home, 21-18 on the road.

Run differential: Bees -2, Kernels +29

Extra innings: Bees 7-3, Kernels 4-1

One-run games: Bees 21-12, Kernels 16-10

HEAD TO HEAD

Batting average: Bees .199, Kernels .255

ERA: Bees 4.56, Kernels 3.58

WHAT TO WATCH

The Kernels’ late first-half surge gave them the second Western Division playoff spot via tiebreaker. The two teams finished 39-31, but Cedar Rapids was 6-4 against the Bees.

Both teams have started slowly in the second half. The Kernels have a minus-3 run differential in the half, while the Bees are at minus-6.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Bees first baseman Connor Fitzsimons, named the Midwest League’s player of the week on Monday after hitting .429 last week, is hitting .400 against the Kernels with a 1.111 OPS. Outfielder Jordyn Adams has a .364 batting average against Cedar Rapids with a .932 OPS.

Bees starting pitcher Luis Alvarado has a 1.93 ERA in two games against Cedar Rapids, with nine strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. Kyle Tyler is 1-0 against the Kernels.

Cedar Rapids outfielder Jared Akins has a .346 average and a 1.063 OPS against the Bees in seven games. Infielder Yeltsin Encarnacion has a .370 average and .913 OPS against the Bees. Infielder Estamy Urena has a .308 average against Burlington.

Pitcher Austin Schulfer, who will start Tuesday’s game, is 2-0 against the Bees, including a no-hitter in a May doubleheader. Schulfer has struck out 18 Bees in 12 innings.

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