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:
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