The last week or two of White Sox baseball has been filled with discussions over how the team sizes up versus the other top teams in the AL, and how meaningless the last forty-ish games are in terms of win-loss records. The fan base as a whole has pretty much started preparing for an October filled with White Sox baseball. So with the team giving Club Med styled IL stints to the likes of Carlos Rodon and Billy Hamilton, why not look a little bit ahead. Let’s get the champagne ready and try and predict when we gonna be popping it!!
The White Sox currently lead the AL Central by 10.5 games over Cleveland and as much fun as it was to see Detroit come from the rear like Seabiscuit, I’ll retire their chances today and focus in on the future Guardians as the mark for the White Sox raising their first division banner since 2008.
White Sox Clinching Scenarios
The Basic Version
Let’s for a second just assume that both the White Sox and Cleveland play about the same type of baseball they’ve been playing since the two leagues broke for a soiree in Denver in mid-July. Luckily for me, Baseball Reference allows for a nice easy search to see how teams have been playing since basically any point in the season. See below.
WOW! The Yankees are on a fucking heater. We’ll get back to them in a minute, but for now, let’s just pretend the White Sox play to a .514 winning percentage and Cleveland to a .441 winning percentage.
In this scenario, the White Sox will clinch in Detroit Rock City on Wednesday, September 22nd, that’s a day game, 12:10 start central time. I can’t wait to get the numerous DM’s and text to coax me into driving up that morning and crashing the Tigers party when the Magic Number is 1.
The White Sox get RED HOT!!!
Let’s assume the White Sox play the absolute hottest baseball that anyone has played since the all-star break. YES, just like the freakin’ Yankees. As you can see in the table above, the Yankees have played .743 ball since the break. What if the White Sox got on that kinda heater, what day would be the clincher??
This scenario would have the White Sox clinching in Arlington, Texas on Friday, September 17th. Another road clinch unfortunately, against a ghastly Rangers squad. This is guaranteed to piss off Pete Incaviglia.
What if Cleveland lays down and dies like we all know they can? I’ll use the WORST winning percentage since the all-star break as a proxy, and that belongs to the aforementioned Texas Rangers who are really breaking the mold, playing to an NBA lottery team esque .242
The White Sox being RED HOT for Cleveland really screwing the pooch has roughly the same effect, a party on the field in Arlington in a month.
Cleveland gets on a major HEATER!!
The doomsday scenario! This is probably the outcome that most long time White Sox fans fear the most. What if everything goes absolutely right for the future Guardians and they start crushing? Well, it’ll look like this, and it will be excruciating.
In this horrifying scenario, the 108ers will be jumping out of the hot tub finishing up the FINAL #SundaySoak of the regular season and racing to the ballpark to catch the season finale, which unbeknownst to us, they would FINALLY close out an AL Central title that has been bequeathed to them since early May. Oof.
These are just a few possibly White Sox clinching scenarios. I look forward to how this plays out in real life as I’ve been day dreaming walking to Sox Park in September with a nearly insurmountable lead. That dream is going to be real life very, very soon.