The Chicago White Sox have been struggling of late, but even while they’ve watched their divisional lead dwindle, they still control their own destiny in the playoff race.
The White Sox, who have five games remaining in their regular season, still own a half-game lead on the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central Division, and are hoping to secure a top-three seed in the American League playoffs by winning that divisional crown.
Here is where the South Siders sit as they head into action Wednesday:
The Sox Magic Number: 4
Even though the White Sox only have a half-game lead on the Twins, they do still own the all-important tiebreaker, as they’re guaranteed to have a superior intradivisional record over Minnesota this season.
Even with that in mind, the White Sox still have plenty to fight for in the season’s closing days. They’re still in the hunt for the top-seed in the American League, although that goal is increasingly unlikely as the Rays hold a game and a half lead and the tiebreaker edge over the Pale Hose.
The White Sox also need to fend off the Oakland A’s, who have already clinched the AL West crown and trail the White Sox by just half a game in those standings. The A’s could very well take over the tiebreaker crown as well, as four of their five remaining games are against West division opponents.
If the Season Ended Today:
Even with the struggles the White Sox have been going through, they still have the two-seed in the American League as of Wednesday, with the Cleveland Indians currently in line to be Chicago’s first round playoff opponent.
The top-seeded Rays would take on the Toronto Blue Jays in the first round if the season ended today, and the AL West champion A’s would battle the defending American League champion Houston Astros.
The Minnesota Twins would take on the New York Yankees in a series they would undoubtedly want to avoid at all costs.
The White Sox will have their hands full the next two nights, as they’ll face Shane Bieber and Trevor Plesac in their final two games in Cleveland. They’ll then finish their season against the Cubs at Guaranteed Rate Field.
The Twins will finish a three-game series against the Tigers Wednesday, then will have a day off before welcoming the Cincinnati Reds to Minneapolis for three games beginning Friday.