Let's start off with some good news. The White Sox are sitting only 3.5 games behind the division leader right now, and only 2 wins away from being .500 for the first time in about a month and a half. Considering their dismal first quarter of the season, the White Sox are hanging around pretty well, and can smell the division lead. Coming off a relatively successful homestand (6-4), the Southsiders look to move up in the standings with two three-game sets on the road.
The first stop on that road trip will lead them to Target Field to face the "oh so suddenly" hot Minnesota Twins. It appears that the Twins are just now waking up from a long winter's nap and playing some good baseball. So far this June, the Twinkies have swept the Royals and won series against two division leading teams in the Rangers and Indians.
This makes the Sox/Twins series all the more interesting. Let's remember, the last time these two teams met was in Chicago for a two-game set in very early May, when the White Sox were at the peak of their trouble. The Sox managed to score only two runs the whole series, and were no-hit by Francisco Liriano in the first game. The Twins have always been an absolute pain for the White Sox, and going on the road to face a surging Twins team could prove to be a major obstacle in the White Sox's chase for 1st place.
Paul Konerko has been tearing up opposing pitching this month, and Carlos Quentin has also found a groove. However, one of the biggest question marks continues to be Adam Dunn and his tremendous struggles this year. Those struggles have carried over to this month, and he is hitting .156 in June.
Dunn homered twice in the Oakland series, which could be a sign that he is getting back on track. The Sox need guys like Rios, Beckham, and Dunn to come up big in this series and in the next few weeks. This series should answer many questions, and could prove to be either a huge boost or a major setback for the club
Though the Twins have been surging as of late, trying to make a move from the basement of the AL Central, they are just too banged up. Denard Span, Jim Thome, Joe Mauer, and Jason Kubel—all key production players—are all on the DL. If the White Sox get halfway decent pitching, and score at least 4 runs a game, they should win this series.
My Prediction: White Sox win two out of three.
The White Sox and Twins kick off a three-game set on Tuesday at Target Field (7 PM CT) with Gavin Floyd (6-5) facing Carl Pavano (3-5).
UPDATE: Game 1 was postponed due to rain, a make up date has not been announced. Twins All-Star first baseman Justin Morneau was placed on the DL and will miss the series.