White Sox First to Clinch Division in 2021

Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Lucas Giolito in 2019
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Lucas Giolito in 2019. Photo by Peter Joneleit/CSM/Shutterstock (10364219ae)

The Chicago White Sox are AL Central champions again. They topped their division for the first time since 2008 on Thursday with a 7-2 win over Cleveland Indians.

The White Sox are also the first MLB team in the 2021 season to clinch the division title. This means they’ll make the playoffs in consecutive seasons, something that never happened before in the franchise’s history.

Chicago is currently 86-66 in the AL Central and has an 11.5 games advantage over the Indians, who are second. Cleveland has 11 games left to play this season and is out of the playoff picture.

The White Sox will now turn their attention to the postseason in attempts to make a run for their fourth World Series win and first since 2005. Manager Tony La Russa told reporters on Thursday that they can go all the way just like any other team that makes the playoffs.

“Anybody who is good enough to get in, is good enough to win three series,” La Russa said via The Athletic‘s James Fegan.

According to the current playoff picture, the Chicago White Sox’s road to World Series will begin in the AL Divisional Series against the Houston Astros (91-61), who seem bound to win the AL West. The Tampa Bay Rays (94-59) are the best team in the AL, and if they remain so, they will play the AL Wild Card winner in the second ALDS.