Chicago White Sox back in the hunt due to good play and poor division

Miami Marlins v Chicago White Sox
Miami Marlins v Chicago White Sox / Quinn Harris/GettyImages

Despite finishing the month of April with a woeful 8-21 mark, dropping 10 games in a row, and looking left for dead before being a quarter of the way into the season, the Chicago White Sox have gotten things turned around and find themselves right back in the race for the AL Central Division title.

On the surface that might not sound like much of an accomplishment based on the fact the division is not very good.

However, for the White Sox that is a big deal because of how bad things were to begin the season.

It could have been very easy for the team to just roll over and go back into doing things that made them one of the most disappointing teams in baseball last season.

The Chicago White Sox are climbing up the standings very slowly.

But the White Sox have found new life after winning five in a row and six of their last seven games heading into Saturday afternoon's matchup with the Miami Marlins. They lost both games to drop the series but they still remain near the top of the division.

After being a season-high (or low depending on your perspective) nine and a half games out of first place on May 14th, the White Sox went from 14-28 to a mark of 29-36.

The stretch of 15-10 has brought them back into the division picture only four and a half games behind the first-place Minnesota Twins and three behind the Cleveland Guardians.

Yes, the White Sox's recent play has been a key to their getting back into the race but perhaps the biggest reason is the weakness of the division as a whole. After their weekend, the Twins got back to the .500 mark at 33-33 while the second-place Guardians are an anemic 31-34.

No team in the division is above .500. For comparison's sake, the Twins would be no better than third in any other division in baseball.

Due to the division being what it is, the hope was if the White Sox could just tread water the other teams would eventually come back to them, thus keeping them in the mix.

Fortunately for the White Sox, it seems to be doing just that.

Since May 14th, the White Sox are the only team in the division to post a winning record. The Twins have gone 10-15 during that stretch while the Guardians posted a 12-13 mark followed by the Detroit Tigers at 8-16 with the Kansas City Royals pulling up the rear at 6-17.

This situation in the AL Central should not come as a shock to anyone.

One must give credit where credit is due, and the White Sox have been playing better of late. Over the last 25 games, the White Sox have scored 104 runs (4.3 average) and allowed 85 (3.2 average).

Defensively, the White Sox are tied for the third-best fielding percentage in the American League at .988, have committed only 28 errors (fourth best in the AL), and are fifth-best in defensive efficiency at .703.

Right now the arrow is pointing upward for the team and that is certainly a big change from how the season started off.

The sweep of the Tigers, followed by going into New York and taking two of three from the Yankees, then a series-opening win over the Marlins has put momentum on the White Sox side. Some might be gone following the Marlins losses but they can bounce back from those,

They will need to keep that going if they want to not only take over the top spot in the division but be looked at more seriously as a contender.

Following the series with the Marlins, the White Sox will close out the month playing the Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox, and Los Angeles Angels.

Each of those teams is currently at .500 or better with the exception being the Mariners who are two games under. Currently, the White Sox are 14-25 against teams at .500 or better.

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