AL Central Comes Down to This For White Sox

Chris GasperContributor ISeptember 18, 2008

It seems like the division that no one wants to win. The Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins have both struggled lately, giving either team a chance to pull away in the division. But while one teams leaves it for the taking, the other just watches.

The White Sox are 4-6 in their last 10 games while Minnesota is just 5-5. During a September playoff push, those numbers will usually get you knocked out of playoff contention pretty quick. But both teams just watch one another fail to advance and run away and the number of games are dwindling.

Both teams play on the road the next 3 games, and the season could come down to these games before the two teams butt heads up in Minnesota. The match-up for these 3 games surely favor the White Sox on paper. The Twins face the playoff-bound Tampa Bay Rays, where the Rays are 55-23 at home. The White Sox face the last place Kansas City Royals, who are just 37-41 at home. The White Sox also miss Zack Grienke, the Royals ace.

The Twins won the first game of the 4 game series against the Rays on Thursday night, completing a come from behind win to move within a game and a half following the White Sox loss in the series finale against the Yankees.

The White Sox could look at the series against the Yankees as a failed opportunity, losing 3 of 4 to the team currently occupying a tie for 3rd place in the AL East.

A White Sox sweep of the Royals could put them up as many as four and a half games on the Twins, but inversely they could be two and a half games down going into Minnesota, where the Sox are 1-5 this year.

These three games could be the games the White Sox against the Royals are must-win games for the White Sox, otherwise, the combination of the Twins and Indians will be the lethal blow to what was once a bright postseason outlook.