It’s coming down to this.

The White Sox could not beat a team within their division to save their lives in the first half of the season, unless the team mascot was an offensive representation of a Native American. Times are changing as that very team, the Cleveland Indians, rides into town tomorrow drinking their fire water and searching for a way to beat the White Sox.

The Sox swept a rain shorten series in Cleveland in July and have posted a 12-5 record against the AL Central since the All-Star break, including a winning record against the Detroit Tigers, a team they had lost nine in a row too dating back to September of 2010 before they won on June 1, 2011. Since that win the Sox have gone 5-4 against the Tigers, and are 4-2 in the second half with six games remaining against them. I know I’ve mentioned this before but I consider the Tigers the real test, not the Cleveland Indians. If the Sox continue to win series they will be knocking at the door by the time they play the Tigers on September 2 in Detroit.

The hardest part for the White Sox will be to survive the .500 bug that infects the team every time they reach the break even point. Will they get over the hump and keep winning, it would seem yes with Indians rolling into town. A series win against the Indians could seemly have the Sox in second and sitting at three games or less back. This is speculation obviously, but Detroit is overdue for a rough patch. Like I said in my preseason predictions that Albert Pujols was overdue for an injury and look what happened. I just feel a Detroit mini-slump coming on. Tonight may have been the start of that as the Tigers lost to the Twins, 9-6; the Twins were helped out by a Wilson Betemit throwing error and Jim Thome hitting home run number 600. Congrats Jim!

If the Sox should not gain or lose ground by the time they play Detroit in September a sweep will be necessary to truly make a run at the AL Central. I think the Sox are coming on at the right time ,and I also believe we’re going to see Adam Dunn make an impact in the final seven weeks of the season. Heck, I’m so convinced that I just picked him up for a dollar in my Fantasy Baseball league, well worth the investment for a bounce back season next year. I digress.

I feel fairly confident that the Sox will be in first place before the year is over, lets just hope it’s on October 1, 2011. GO SOX!!!