The weather hasn’t quite warmed up in Chicago yet, but we’re just over a month until the re-tooled White Sox begin the 2016 season. With that in mind, we’re looking at the 10 best home games of the upcoming season.
Friday, April 8 vs. Cleveland (3:10 p.m.)
The White Sox play their first game at U.S. Cellular Field in 2016 after a four-game series at Oakland against an Indians team that, like the White Sox, harbors a hope to compete for the AL Central this year.
Tuesday, May 3 vs. Boston (7:10 p.m.)
Boston’s only trip to Chicago comes from May 3-5, which means one last chance to see David Ortiz play before he retires at the end of the 2016 season.
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Friday, May 20 vs. Kansas City (7:10 p.m.)
The White Sox don’t play the defending World Series champions until this May 20-22 series at U.S. Cellular Field. Given how heated things got between these two teams last year, there could be more intrigue to this series than just the White Sox trying to knock off the American League’s most recent power — even if Jeff Samardzija, who was at the center of that brawl between the two teams last April, isn’t here anymore.
Monday, July 4 vs. New York Yankees (1:10 p.m.)
The Yankees, somewhat surprisingly, hosted (and lost) last year’s American League Wild Card game, and might have another playoff run in their aging, expensive roster. This game, and three-game series, could be big near the midway point of the season for the White Sox to help solidify themselves as playoff contenders.
Sunday, July 10 vs. Atlanta (1:10 p.m.)
A.J. Pierzynski turns 40 at the end of the 2016 calendar year, so the White Sox three-game series against Atlanta from July 8-10 may be the final time he visits Chicago as a a player. He hit .300 in 2015, so perhaps 2016 won’t be his final season, but catchers approaching 40 generally don’t have long shelf lives. Tyler Flowers — who once again is Pierzynksi’s backup — will also return to the South Side in this series.
Monday, July 25 vs. Cubs (7:10 p.m.)
Tuesday, July 26 vs. Cubs (7:10 p.m.)
The Cubs are projected by just about everyone around baseball to be the best team in the sport this summer, but these Crosstown series are notoriously unpredictable. And if the White Sox are in playoff contention as well? The four games between the two Chicago clubs could be a fun throwback to those heated Crosstown games of the late 1990s and 2000s.
Monday, Sept. 5 vs. Detroit (3:10 p.m.)
The White Sox final series against Detroit — which went out and splurged on right-hander Jordan Zimmermann and outfielder Justin Upton this winter — begins on Labor Day and comes in the middle of a 20-game stretch against AL Central opponents that could make or break the White Sox playoff hopes.
Sunday, Sept. 11 vs. Kansas City (1:10 p.m.)
This matinee represents Kansas City’s final trip to Chicago, and if both teams are in playoff contention, could provide for an awfully entertaining afternoon.
Sunday, Oct. 2 vs. Minnesota (2:10 p.m)
The White Sox end the 2016 season at home against a Minnesota side that made a surprise playoff push in 2015. If Rick Hahn & Co.’s plan comes together, this game will at best be a celebration of a playoff berth, or potentially an edge-of-your-seat afternoon to see if the White Sox reach the postseason for the first time since 2008.