clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Cleveland Guardians v Chicago White Sox

Filed under:

The end of Projecting the AL Central race

Cleveland, as predicted, wins the division. But boy, did they make it look easy

Well, one team sealed its division win in Chicago this week.
| Michael Reaves/Getty Images

We’ve been told all season long that the White Sox have an easy second-half schedule (they do) and will play better against lesser competition.

But we can’t get ahead of ourselves. The White Sox have played all season as if the division was handed to them in March, so we won’t make the same mistake here.

The following is an attempt to examine how the schedule will likely play out, updated as each series finishes up, every few days.

I have tried to be evenhanded with these series matchups. The logic of Chicago getting swept in San Diego is that it’s a long second leg of a trip, after a demoralizing series loss in Minnesota, with the bolstered Padres fighting to host a playoff series. The White Sox also ran out of gas by season’s end in 2020 and 2021.

Will Cleveland win five of six to end 2022? That’s tough to do, but the Royals will have much earlier cashed in their season, and the Guardians get nine games at home overall to end the year.

There are very few sweeps all told, so this presumes that the AL Central clubs, as bad as they are, never get too hot or too cold — until Cleveland at the end, the White Sox enjoy the hottest stretch, predicted to shoot from three games over at the end of August to 11 up heading into the home stretch.

So ... do the White Sox end up with the division title?


Heading into the second half
Twins 50-44
Guardians 46-44
White Sox 46-46

(all series are three games unless otherwise specified)


With 18 series in the books in the second half, we’re calling the race: Technical knockout with two weeks left, and Cleveland is the victor.

Cleveland has a magic number of five, and there is no realistic way for either the White Sox or Twins to catch the Guardians. In fact, with the way the White Sox and Twins are playing, Cleveland could in fact lose its remaining 12 games and the pursuers would still fall short: Minnesota would have to go 11-1, the White Sox 8-4. Yeah, right.

The Guardians came into Chicago gassed from five games in four days, including a 15-inning marathon during a doubleheader, and embarrassed the White Sox. Let there be no mystery about who the better team is — it’s Cleveland. The only thing sparing the White Sox from even greater embarrassment is that Minnesota (by virtue of getting swept by K.C.!) is choking worse than Chicago. Can’t wait for the clown car of six more games between these two wilted flowers before season’s end!

Cleveland is currently outperforming its reasonable projection by six wins, which is VERY impressive. Remember, we originally had the Guardians and White Sox tying for the division win with just 85 wins, and Cleveland advancing by virtue of a tiebreaker.

This was no cheapie, Cleveland. Ninety-plus wins even in a crap division is still no consolation prize. Well done.

Guardians 91-71 (+ 6 vs. prediction)
White Sox 81-81 (- 4)
Twins 80-82 (- 4)


July 22-24 predicted results
White Sox split at home with Guardians
Twins split two games on the road at Detroit

Twins 51-45
Guardians 48-46
White Sox 48-48

July 22-24 actual results
White Sox split at home with Guardians
Twins sweep two games at Detroit

Twins 52-44
Guardians 48-46
White Sox 48-48


July 25-28 predicted results
White Sox split two games at Colorado
Twins split two games at Milwaukee
Cleveland loses four-game series at Boston

Twins 52-46
Guardians 49-49
White Sox 49-49

July 25-28 actual results
White Sox split two games at Colorado
Twins swept in two games at Milwaukee
Cleveland splits four-game series at Boston

Twins 52-46
Guardians 50-48
White Sox 49-49


July 29-31 predicted results
White Sox win series over A’s
Twins lose series at San Diego
Guardians lose series at Tampa Bay

Twins 53-48
White Sox 51-50
Guardians 50-51

July 29-31 actual results
White Sox win series over A’s
Twins win series at San Diego
Guardians win series at Tampa Bay

Twins 53-48
Guardians 52-49
White Sox 51-50


August 1-3 predicted results
White Sox sweep Royals
Twins win series over Tigers
Guardians sweep Diamondbacks

Twins 55-49
White Sox 54-50
Guardians 53-51

August 1-3 actual results
White Sox win series vs. Royals
Twins win series vs. Tigers
Guardians win series vs. Diamondbacks

Twins 55-49
Guardians 54-50
White Sox 53-51


August 4-7 predicted results
White Sox split four games at Texas
Twins split four games with Blue Jays
Guardians split four games with Astros

Twins 57-51
White Sox 56-52
Guardians 55-53

August 4-7 actual results
White Sox split four games at Texas
Twins split four games with Blue Jays
Guardians split four games with Astros

Twins 57-51
Guardians 56-52
White Sox 55-53


August 9-11 predicted results
White Sox split four games at Kansas City
Twins swept in two games at Dodgers
Guardians lose series at Detroit

Twins 57-53
White Sox 58-54
Guardians 56-55

August 9-11 actual results
White Sox lose four-game series at Kansas City
Twins swept in two games at Dodgers
Guardians sweep at Detroit

Guardians 59-52
Twins 57-53
White Sox 56-56


August 12-14 predicted results
White Sox win series over Tigers
Twins lose series at Angels
Guardians lose series at Toronto

Guardians 60-54
Twins 58-55
White Sox 58-57

August 12-14 actual results
White Sox sweep Tigers
Twins lose series at Angels
Guardians win series at Toronto

Guardians 61-53
Twins 58-55
White Sox 59-56


August 15-18 predicted results
White Sox split four games with Astros
Twins wins series vs. Royals
Guardians win four-game series with Tigers

Guardians 64-54
Twins 60-56
White Sox 61-58

August 15-18 actual results
White Sox split four games with Astros
Twins sweep Royals
Guardians split four games with Tigers

Guardians 63-55
Twins 61-55
White Sox 61-58


August 19-22 predicted results
White Sox lose series at Cleveland
Twins split four games with Rangers
White Sox lose makeup game at Kansas City

Guardians 65-56
Twins 63-57
White Sox 62-61

August 19-22 actual results
White Sox split two games at Cleveland (one game rained out)
Twins lose four-game series vs. Rangers
White Sox lose makeup game at Kansas City

Guardians 64-56
Twins 62-58
White Sox 62-60


August 23-25 predicted results
White Sox lose series at Baltimore
Twins lose series at Houston
Guardians split two games at San Diego

Guardians 65-57
Twins 63-60
White Sox 63-62

August 23-25 actual results
White Sox lose series at Baltimore
Twins swept at Houston
Guardians sweep two games at San Diego

Guardians 66-56
Twins 62-61
White Sox 63-62


August 26-28 predicted results
White Sox win series over Diamondbacks
Twins lose series against Giants
Guardians lose four-game series at Seattle

Guardians 67-59
White Sox 65-63
Twins 63-63

August 26-28 actual results
White Sox swept vs. Diamondbacks
Twins sweep vs. Giants
Guardians lose four-game series at Seattle

Guardians 67-59
Twins 65-61
White Sox 63-65


August 29-September 1 predicted results
White Sox sweep Royals
Twins win series over Red Sox
Guardians win series over Orioles

Guardians 69-60
Twins 67-62
White Sox 66-65

August 29-September 1 actual results
White Sox win series vs. Royals
Twins win series over Red Sox
Guardians lose series to Orioles

Guardians 68-61
Twins 67-62
White Sox 65-66


September 2-4 predicted results
White Sox win series over Twins
Guardians win series over Mariners

Guardians 70-62
Twins 68-64
White Sox 67-67

September 2-4 actual results
White Sox win series over Twins
Guardians swept by Mariners

Guardians 68-64
Twins 68-64
White Sox 67-67


September 5-7 predicted results
White Sox lose series at Seattle
Twins lose four-game series at Yankees
Guardians win series at Kansas City

Guardians 70-65
Twins 69-67
White Sox 68-69

September 5-7 actual results
White Sox win series at Seattle
Twins lose four-game series at Yankees (presumes a Thursday finale win for Minnesota)
Guardians win series at Kansas City

Guardians 70-65
Twins 69-67
White Sox 69-68


September 8-11 predicted results
White Sox split four games at Oakland
Twins win series vs. Guardians

Guardians 71-67
Twins 71-68
White Sox 71-70

September 8-11 actual results
White Sox win four-game series at Oakland
Guardians sweep Twins

Guardians 73-65
White Sox 72-69
Twins 69-70


September 12-15 predicted results
White Sox sweep two games vs. Rockies
Twins sweep Royals
Guardians win series vs. Angels
Guardians win makeup game vs. White Sox

Guardians 76-66
White Sox 74-70
Twins 72-70

September 12-15 actual results
White Sox split two games vs. Rockies
Twins sweep Royals
Guardians swept Angels
White Sox win makeup game at Cleveland

Guardians 76-66
White Sox 74-70
Twins 72-70


September 16-19 predicted results
White Sox win series at Detroit
Twins lose three of five at Cleveland

Guardians 79-68
White Sox 76-71
Twins 74-73

September 16-19 actual results
White Sox win series at Detroit
Twins lose four of five at Cleveland

Guardians 80-67
White Sox 76-71
Twins 73-74


September 20-22 predicted results
White Sox win series vs. Guardians
Twins win series at Kansas City

Guardians 81-69
White Sox 78-72
Twins 75-75

September 20-22 actual results
White Sox swept vs. Guardians
Twins swept at Kansas City

Guardians 83-67
White Sox 76-74
Twins 73-77


Remaining season (as originally predicted)

White Sox win series vs. Tigers, Twins win series vs. Angels, Guardians lose series at Texas
Guardians 84-69
White Sox 78-75
Twins 75-78

White Sox lose series at Minnesota, Guardians win series vs. Rays
Guardians 86-70
White Sox 79-77
Twins 77-79

White Sox swept series at San Diego, Twins win series at Detroit
Guardians 86-70
Twins 79-80
White Sox 79-80

White Sox win series vs. Twins, Guardians win five of six games vs. Royals
Guardians 91-71
White Sox 81-81
Twins 80-82

Offbeat

The Stale Princes of 35th & Shields

White Sox Game Recaps

Twins 4, White Sox 0: More of the same

Six Pack of Stats

Six Pack of Stats: Twins 4, White Sox 0