American League Central

Chicago White Sox Playoff Update: Division Standings, Tiebreakers, and the Road Ahead

The Chicago White Sox have fallen on hard times in recent days, as the team has lost six straight games and has tumbled into a tie for second place in the American League Central Division.

Fortunately for the White Sox, all is certainly not lost, as the team can still win a division title if they can put together a solid weekend against the Chicago Cubs.

Here is where things stand for the White Sox heading into Saturday’s action.

Division Standings

Here is where things stand in an extremely tight race in the American League Central:

Minnesota Twins   35-23

Cleveland Indians   34-24 1 GB

Chicago White Sox  34-24 1 GB

If two or three of these teams end up in a tiebreaking scenario, then head-to-head and intradivisional records would be used to break those ties, rather than one-game playoffs.

-If the Twins and Indians end up in a tie for the division title, the Twins would win the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Indians.

-If the White Sox and Twins end up in a tie for the division title, the White Sox would win the intradivisional tiebreaker over the Twins, as the teams split their season series.

-If the White Sox and Indians somehow end up tied for the division title, the Indians would win based on the head-to-head tiebreaker.

-If all three teams end up tied, then Major League Baseball would employ a tiebreaker involving the win percentages of each team in games against the other two opponents. In that situation, the Twins would win the division, the Indians would earn the second spot, and the White Sox would take one of the remaining two wild card spots in the Wild Card Round.

If the Season Ended Today….

What a fall it has been for the White Sox, who were in the driver’s seat in the American League standings just days ago. Now, with their six consecutive defeats, they have dropped all the way to third place in the American League Central, finishing behind Cleveland thanks to losing their head-to-head tiebreaker against the Indians.

As a result, the White Sox would earn the seventh seed in the American League if the season ended today, and would take on the Oakland A’s in a best-of-three series on the west coast.

The Twins, as division champions, would take on the Houston Astros at Target Field, while the Indians, skyrocketing up to the number four seed, would take on the New York Yankees at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

What’s Next

The White Sox have two games left against the Cubs to wrap up the regular season, and Saturday will present them with a great opportunity, as they’ll face Jon Lester at Guaranteed Rate Field.

The White Sox have absolutely clobbered left-handed pitching this season, and they were especially hard on Lester earlier this year, clobbering four home runs and notching eight earned runs in a 10-1 triumph at Wrigley Field in August.

The Sox will be watching the scoreboard closely, as the Twins will take on the Cincinnati Reds in the second game of a three-game set on Saturday evening. The Indians, who still have an outside chance at a division title, will be taking on the Pirates at PNC Park, with both games starting at 6:10 p.m.

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