The Chicago White Sox are still in prime position to secure their first American League Central Division title, but they failed to gain ground in that race on Friday as they lost to the Cincinnati Reds at the Great American Ballpark.
Fortunately for the White Sox, the team chasing them, the Minnesota Twins, also lost to the Chicago Cubs, meaning that the Sox keep their three-game lead heading into Saturday’s action.
Here is where things stand in the playoff hunt for the South Siders:
White Sox Magic Number for Division Title: 5
The magic number for the White Sox dropped to five thanks to the Twins’ loss on Friday, inching the White Sox closer to a division crown and a top-three seed in the American League playoffs.
The Tampa Bay Rays, the team the White Sox are battling with for the top-seed in those playoffs, reeled off their third straight victory on Friday against the Baltimore Orioles, giving them a narrow lead over the White Sox in that race.
There is some good news for the White Sox, however. Even if they end up in a tie with the Twins for the top spot in the American League Central, they would still earn the division title because of their superior intradivisional record this season. The Twins and White Sox split the 10 games they played, forcing them to move to the second tiebreaker scenario.
If the Season Ended Today…..
Thanks to the Rays holding a half-game edge over the White Sox in the standings, Chicago would have to settle for the number two seed in the postseason if the season ended today, pitting them against the Cleveland Indians.
The number eight seed in the American League is currently the Toronto Blue Jays, who would have to take on the Rays in that scenario. The Houston Astros lurk as the sixth seed if the Oakland A’s can overtake the Rays or White Sox among the three division winners.
White Sox fans are still in a position where they have to root for the Chicago Cubs, as the Twins will continue their series on the North Side Saturday. The Cubs did the White Sox a favor by beating the Twins on Friday, dropping Chicago’s magic number to five in the Central Division race.
Meanwhile, Cubs fans will be rooting for the White Sox to take care of business against the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday, as the Reds are currently tied for second in the National League Central race.
The Cleveland Indians, still five games behind the White Sox, are taking on the Detroit Tigers, while the Rays will continue their series against the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.