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White Sox @ Athletics -- Garland vs. Loaiza

Jon Garland (17-4, 4.28) vs. Esteban Loaiza (9-8, 4.95)

16 games left on the season, and the Sox have an uphill battle. Baseball prospectus gives them a 23% chance at making the playoffs.

It might be tougher than that. The only good team that either Minnesota or Detroit play is the Sox. As Ryno puts it:

Looking at the Twins' schedule for the remaining 16 games, what's the worst you think they could do? Trying to be reasonable about it, I think the worst they could possibly end up in that stretch is 9-7, with 10-12 wins a more likely scenario.

Meanwhile, I can envision a worst case scenario for the Tigers in which they go 7-9 (which would include a Sox sweep), but 8-10 wins is probably more likely.

In a best case scenario for the Sox, I think they could go 12-4, but 10 or 11 wins is probably much more likely. Anything less than that isn't even worth thinking about. I don't see any point in imagining Minnesota or Detroit's best case scenario's, or the Sox worst, since they would all result in the Sox missing the playoffs.

So, overall, I think 12-4 gets the Sox into the playoffs over one team or the other, and maybe wins the division. 11-5 would be a dicey proposition, unless if featured a sweep of Detroit, and 10-6 would take a mild collapse from one of the two teams ahead of us. Anything less than 10 wins would take a miracle.

Since July 15

Minnesota Twins 37-20 Cleveland Indians 27-28 Chicago White Sox 27-29 Detroit Tigers 26-31 Kansas City Royals 25-30