Chicago White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers: Who Has the Edge in Battle for AL Central

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Chicago White Sox vs. Detroit Tigers: Who Has the Edge in Battle for AL Central
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

With the AL Central race heating up, the division-leading White Sox travel to Detroit to take on the second-place Tigers this weekend with only 1.5 games separating the two teams.

The Tigers drew closer to the White Sox on Thursday, winning their eighth out of their last 10 games. The White Sox dropped a heart-breaker in Boston when Addison Reed gave up a three-run homer in the ninth to Cody Ross, spoiling Jose Quintana's eight innings of scoreless ball against the Red Sox.

The White Sox lost their series with Boston, dropping three out of four games, and now must face the defending AL Central champions in their home stadium.

The White Sox and Tigers have split their season series in 2012, and will face each other 10 more times this year. The Tigers surpassed the Cleveland Indians in the standings this week, and will look to overtake the upstart White Sox this weekend.

Despite taking two of three in Kansas City this past week, the White Sox offense has stalled since the All-Star break. The White Sox have failed to score more than three runs in five of their first seven games since the break.

White Sox pitching has also been inconsistent since the break, with poor starts from Jake Peavy, Jose Quintana, and rookie Pedro Hernandez.The bullpen has also been shaky at times, including last night's ninth inning collapse when Matt Thornton and Addison Reed failed to secure the win for Quintana.

The Tigers come into their battle with the White Sox red-hot after taking three of four from the Los Angeles Angels. Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera hit his 21st home run of the season Thursday, helping pitcher Max Scherzer and the Tigers topple the Angels 5-1.

The White Sox have held on to first place in the AL Central for nearly a month, and with a late flight into Detroit from Boston last night, the team will play in their most important series of the year.

Here is a look at who has the edge during this critical weekend battle for first place.

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