It became pretty clear at the end of the first half of the season that the American League Central division is a two-horse race. Cleveland raised their white flag by trading bona fide star pitcher C.C. Sabathia to the Milwaukee Brewers. The Kansas City Royals, while surprising everybody by leaving their perennial cubbyhole in the division cellar, are still quite dismal. And although many experts picked Detroit to take the Central, and nobody is ruling them out just yet, the Tigers can't seem to get any momentum to push them much over the .500 mark. That leaves the Twins and White Sox to duke it out. The Twins caught fire going into the end of the first half of the season by winning a slew of one-run ballgames to begin nipping at the White Sox's heels atop the standings. But Chicago isn't going to be a pushover as they attempt to save face from a disappointing 72-90 record in 2007. If the Twins can continue to rely on the adequate pitching they're getting, and assuming Justin Morneau's triumph in the All-Star Homerun Derby spurs him to improve his usually crappy second-half performance, this series should offer a glimpse of the fight the two teams will find themselves in during the playoff stretch.
July 28-31, 7:10 p.m., 2008