The Chicago White Sox and AL Central are owned by league rivals

Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago White Sox
Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago White Sox / Nuccio DiNuzzo/GettyImages

The Chicago White Sox can't seem to find a way to post victories against anyone this season that isn't in the American League Central Division. Turns out, the rest of the division is having the same issue and that doesn't seem as though it will change any time soon.

A recent column by Mike Axisa for laid out five reasons why the AL Central is a debacle this year.

The new schedule, lack of player development, small market spending, the teams not pushing each other as, say, the teams in the AL East do and baseball being baseball all contribute to what amounts to the worst division in baseball.

As Axisa points out, since 2013, the AL Central has posted a .481 winning percentage which translates into 78 wins in a 162-game season. That mark is the worst of the six divisions during that time span.

Nevertheless, someone has to win the division regardless of if they post 81 wins or 93 as the White Sox did back in 2021.

The Chicago White Sox and rest of the AL Central has been so bad.

Unfortunately for the AL Central, this is akin to the small-town high school team that is thrilled to win its conference title only to get drubbed in the first round of the playoffs by the perennial state powerhouse.

Each team in the Central, with the exception of the Kansas City Royals, has a .500 or better record against divisional opponents. The Minnesota Twins have the most wins with a 22-18 mark, but the Detroit Tigers have performed best as of Sunday at 21-13. The White Sox sit at 19-17.

When the records against East and West division foes are added together, no one in the Central has a winning record. The Twins are tops at 23-25 while the White Sox are an abysmal 17-34.

In 2022 the White Sox played well against the rest of the AL finishing with a 33-33 mark which just about any team would take outside their own division. Yet, that was a prelude to how the rest of the season went with the White Sox finishing out a disappointing 81-81.

That same year, only the Tampa Bay Rays, Baltimore Orioles, and Oakland A's had losing records against the Central. However, the Orioles and Rays were only a combined three games under .500 in those matchups.

During their division championship run in 2021, the White Sox were 12 games over .500 within the division and four games over versus the rest of the AL.

Cleveland also played well against the Central finishing 10 games over .500 but offset that by being 10 games under that mark which took them out of contention.

Since the playoffs have expanded to include three wild card teams, the postseason has become more a less a tournament where even the last qualifier could make a run to a title if it got hot.

Still, for teams such as whoever comes out of the Central division to be considered legitimate contenders, beating teams outside one's division is extremely important.

If the White Sox-or any other AL Central team-plan to take that next step in order to contend as general manager Rick Hahn says they will in 2024, they will have to flip the script on what has become the norm and start acting and performing like a team that can beat anyone in the league.

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