White Sox: Upcoming Twins series could determine playoff seeding

The Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins begin a new series tonight.

The Chicago White Sox has exceeded everyone’s expectations this year as they are 30-16 which is the best record in the American League to this point. It’s their best 46 game start since they started 31-15 in 2006. The team started 32-14 in 2005. Simply put, the Sox are back. However, the team a bit northwest of them in Minnesota has been back as well.

The Chicago White Sox and the Minnesota Twins are set to battle once again. Finally, the two have a rivalry once again. The days of the two franchises fighting to win the AL Central disappeared for nearly a decade following 2010 but they have finally resurfaced.

The White Sox have a one-game lead over the Twins and the best-run differential in the American League (second in MLB) at +77. The Twins have quite a good run differential as well at +48. The Twins and White Sox have allowed a similar amount of runs to this point but the White Sox beat them by runs scored by about 30. That leaves one to believe that the White Sox have the edge offensively.

Potential liability for the White Sox may be that they have been helped by taking advantage of an easy schedule. The team has dominated the lowly Tigers and Royals going 18-2 against them, though neither team is all that bad. Unfortunately, they have a losing record against all other teams and have struggled against the Indians and Twins who are both over .500. The White Sox aren’t going to be able to win the pennant beating up on losing teams and they need to prove they can beat the other AL powerhouses and the Twins are one of them.

Another reason beating the Twins matters is that the White Sox really need that division title. The White Sox have only won three AL Central division titles and five division titles total in their entire history which is really bad for a historical franchise. They also have a twelve-year playoff drought dating back to 2008 that really needs to end. The Twins have 7 AL Central Titles and the Indians have 10 so the Sox need to stop being embarrassed and overshadowed by smaller market teams.

The White Sox need to give their loyal fans something to brag about. First, start by beating the Twins, then by winning a division, then a playoff series, then an American League pennant, and then maybe the 2020 World Series. The American League is up for grabs this year and the White Sox have every reason to go grab it.

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The Sox starters for the series against the Twins will be Dylan Cease, Dane Dunning, Lucas Giolito, and an undetermined starter for the fourth game. Dallas Keuchel may or may not start the fourth game on Thursday. If he does he will match up against Kenta Maeda who is the Twins best pitcher. The Twins currently lead the White Sox in the season series, four games to two.