The White Sox' deficit in the AL Central has fluctuated this season, but it never has grown larger than six and a half games — until now.
The Guardians finished off a three-game sweep of the White Sox on Thursday at Guaranteed Rate Field, dropping the Sox to seven games back with 12 games to play.
The sweep moves Cleveland closer to wrapping things up and clinching the AL Central. They could do so this weekend, with help.
Here's all you need to know about where the White Sox stand in the playoff picture with 12 games remaining.
AL Central standings (through Thursday)
1. Guardians: 83-67
2. White Sox: 76-74 (seven games back)
3. Twins: 73-77 (10 games back)
4. Royals (eliminated)
5. Tigers (eliminated)
AL Wild Card standings (top 3 qualify)
1. Blue Jays: 84-66 (+1 1/2 games)
2. Rays: 83-67 (+ 1/2 game)
3. Mariners: 82-67 ( - )
4. Orioles: 78-71 (four games back)
5. White Sox: 76-74 (6 1/2 games back)
Head-to-head records (tiebreaker)
White Sox: 2-4 vs. Blue Jays (lost tiebreaker), 4-2 vs. Mariners (won), 4-2 vs. Rays (won), 2-5 vs. Orioles (lost)
Guardians: 12-7 vs. White Sox (clinched tiebreaker)
In the event of any ties in the standings, head-to-head record will serve as the first tiebreaker this season. There will be no Game 163s.
The Guardians' magic number to clinch the AL Central is five — which accounts for Cleveland securing the tiebreaker over the White Sox.
The White Sox' elimination number in the wild card race is seven.
A look a few White Sox playoff odds, according to FanGraphs, entering Thursday's series finale against the Guardians:
- Win the division: 0.8 percent chance
- Clinch wild card spot: 2.5 percent
- Make playoffs: 3.3 percent
White Sox (12 games): vs. Tigers (three), at Twins (three), at Padres (three), vs. Twins (three)
Mariners (13 games): at Royals (three), vs. Rangers (three), vs. A's (three), vs. Tigers (four)
Guardians (12 games): at Rangers (three), vs. Rays (three), vs. Royals (six)