The Chicago White Sox are going into a critical series against the Minnesota Twins starting on Monday night at Guaranteed Rate Field, and the team is within striking distance of clinching their first playoff berth in more than a decade.
The White Sox, who haven’t been to the postseason since 2008, are currently in first place in the American League Central with less than two weeks to go in the regular season, and they’re hoping to hold onto that spot and clinch a berth in the playoffs thanks to their strong play of late.
Here is where things stand heading into Monday’s action:
The White Sox Magic Number: 6
In a tight race at the top of the American League, the White Sox enter play Monday with the best record in the league, with a 30-16 mark through 46 games. That is narrowly head of both the Tampa Bay Rays, who are 30-17, the Minnesota Twins, who are 30-18, and the Oakland Athletics, who are 29-17.
Thanks to their winning ways of late, the White Sox have a magic number of just six to clinch a playoff berth. Their division-clinching number is bigger, sitting at 13, thanks to the Twins, who are just one game back in the standings entering their series with Chicago on Monday.
If the Season Ended Today…
The White Sox, by virtue of having the top seed in the American League, would get to play the eighth-seeded team in the first round of the American League playoffs, and if the season ended today, that team would be the Cleveland Indians.
The reason they would face the Indians, and not the eighth-place Houston Astros, is because of MLB’s seeding rules for the 2020 season. The first three seeds belong to the three division champions, while the four-through-six seeds belong to the second place teams in those three divisions. The seven and eight seeds are the best-finishing clubs from outside of those groups, meaning that the Indians get the distinction of being the eight seed in this scenario.
What Comes Next
The White Sox will have a great opportunity to put some distance between themselves and the Twins this week, as the two clubs will start a four-game series on the South Side Monday. Dylan Cease will open the series on the mound for Chicago, with Lucas Giolito set to take the ball on Wednesday.
As for the Indians, they’ll be taking on the Chicago Cubs in a two-game series at Wrigley Field beginning on Tuesday, then will head to Detroit for a four-game series against the Tigers before taking on the White Sox next week at Progressive Field.