The Chicago White Sox are drawing closer and closer to clinching their second consecutive playoff berth, as the South Siders hold a commanding lead over the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central race.
If the White Sox were to win the division, it would be their first Central title since 2008, and would mark the first time in franchise history that the team has made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.
Here is where things stand heading into action on Tuesday.
Central Division Standings:
Chicago White Sox – 79-58
Cleveland Indians – 68-67 (10 GB)
Detroit Tigers – 65-74 (15 GB)
White Sox Magic Number: 17
The White Sox have the smallest magic number of any team in the American League, and trail only the Milwaukee Brewers in that category, as the Brewers’ magic number to clinch the National League Central stands at just 13.
According to ESPN, the White Sox have a 100% chance of making the postseason.
Unfortunately for the White Sox, they’re likely in for a tough road if they want to grab the top seed in the American League. That distinction currently belongs to the Tampa Bay Rays, who have a seven-and-a-half game lead over the White Sox for the league’s best record.
The Houston Astros are also a game ahead of the White Sox.
If the Season Ended Today….
If the season ended on Tuesday, the Rays would host the winner of the American League Wild Card Game, which would feature a rivalry showdown between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.
The White Sox would actually open the postseason on the road, playing against the Astros at Minute Maid Park. The two teams have played previously in the postseason, with the White Sox defeating the Astros to win the 2005 World Series.
The Road Ahead:
The White Sox will be in for a tough test this week as they start a three-game series against the Oakland Athletics on the West Coast. After that they will be in for another huge test, as they will face the Boston Red Sox, currently in the second AL Wild Card spot, at Guaranteed Rate Field for a weekend set.
The Rays, winners of an 11-10 extra innings affair over the Red Sox Monday, have two more games against Boston before heading to Detroit for a three-game series against the Tigers this weekend.
The Indians have three more home games against the Minnesota Twins before welcoming the Brewers to Progressive Field for a three-game weekend set.