The Chicago White Sox are in a position to make the postseason for the first time since 2008. However, there is a lot of baseball to be played before an American League Central Division banner can be claimed.
The surprising White Sox hold a three-game lead over Cleveland at the All-Star break. Detroit, the preseason favorite in the division, lurks just 3.5 games back. Both teams have to be taken seriously as contenders, just as the Chisox should now be.
Two seasons ago, the White Sox led the Central by a half game on July 11. They went on to drop from first in mid-August and foundered in September as Minnesota wound up winning the division by six games.
How does Chicago hold off the challengers and claim an AL Central title in 2012? It could come down to the following five keys in the second half.