The Chicago White Sox clinched their first American League Central title since 2008 when they beat the Cleveland Indians 7-2 in Game 1 of a doubleheader Sept. 23.
The Sox’s first-round opponent is the Houston Astros, who on Thursday clinched the AL West for the fourth time in five seasons.
The White Sox and Astros will meet in a best-of-five AL Division Series beginning Thursday in Houston.
MLB returned to its 10-team playoff format — five teams from each league — this year after expanding the field to 16 for the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. The three division winners will be seeded 1-3 based on records, while the two teams with the next-best records will earn the wild cards and play one game for the No. 4 seed.
Here’s a look at the AL playoff picture.
1. Tampa Bay Rays
Sunday’s result: Lost to New York Yankees 1-0
Next game: vs. wild-card winner, Thursday
2. Houston Astros
Sunday’s result: Beat Oakland Athletics 7-6
Next game: vs. White Sox, Thursday
3. Chicago White Sox
Sunday’s result: Lost to Detroit Tigers 5-2
Next game: at Astros, Thursday
t-1. New York Yankees (92-70)
t-1. Boston Red Sox (92-70)
3. Toronto Blue Jays (91-71)
4. Seattle Mariners (90-72)
AL playoff matchups
Here’s a look at the playoff field. Division series are best-of-five.
Wild-card game: Yankees at Red Sox, Tuesday
Division series: No. 1 Rays vs. No. 4 (wild-card winner); No. 2 Astros vs. No. 3 White Sox