Sox need surge ahead of playoff run

After failing to keep an AL-leading pace after the All-Star break, the White Sox need momentum before October comes

Chicago+White+Soxs+Jose+Abreu+%2879%29+follows+through+on+a+swing+during+a+baseball+game+against+the+Texas+Rangers+in+Arlington+Texas%2C+Sunday%2C+Sept.+19%2C+2021.

AP

Chicago White Sox’s Jose Abreu (79) follows through on a swing during a baseball game against the Texas Rangers in Arlington Texas, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021.

Waleed Alamleh, Sports Reporter

With the MLB season coming down to its final weeks, the Chicago White Sox are closing in on winning their first American League Central title since 2008. 

The team has their eyes set on bigger prizes with World Series hopes in mind for the ball club. The White Sox are trying to avoid another early postseason exit like last season’s wild card loss to the Oakland Athletics.

The White Sox have struggled since coming out of the All-Star Break with a 31-29 record. The team started this week with a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels. They were only able to take the first game of the series, dropping the next two.

They  followed that up with a three-game series against the Texas Rangers over the past weekend. The White Sox kicked off the series with a bang, winning the game Friday 8-0. 

The team  dropped the next game to the Rangers, losing Saturday’s game 2-1 despite a great game from starting pitcher Lance Lynn. Lynn only gave up one earned run in the game.  

The White Sox bounced back with a 7-2 win, which the White Sox hope can ignite them to clinching a playoff spot this week.

The White Sox also benefit from one of the weaker divisions in the league, with two of the four teams already being eliminated from playoff contention. The Indians are the only second-place team in any division with a record under .500. 

The season is down to just 13 games, and the White Sox need to head into the postseason on a positive note. With the win Sunday, the White Sox were able to cut their magic number to four magic number indicates number of wins needed by a team to clinch a playoff spot.

The White Sox’s inconsistent play has been the reason for their struggles in the second half of the season. In the last 10 games, the team has gone 5-5, with the bats not helping in the losses. The White Sox have averaged 4.36 runs per game this season, according to statmuse.com. During this stretch, the team has been held under their season average in six of the 10 games.  

The White Sox have also had the injury bug to blame for their struggles, with many star players on the team missing multiple games this year. The most recent of those stars being shortstop Tim Anderson and starting pitcher Lucas Giolito who both returned for their win against the Angels after being placed on the injured list Sept. 1. 

According to Sportrac, the White Sox have had 22 players placed on the injured list so far this season.

These final two weeks will determine the White Sox’s postseason positioning. They trail the Houston Astros by three games and are currently the third seed. This is most likely going to be the matchup for the American League Division Series that begins Oct. 7, with the two-seed hosting the three-seed in a best-of-five series. 

It’s important for the White Sox to start putting together some games and make a run on the Astros for the 2nd seed. Home field advantage gives an edge to the team that earns it. According to Sabr.org, home teams win an average of 54% of the games. 

The White Sox will kick off the first of a three-game series at 5:40 p.m. Monday against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.