CLEVELAND — With the Cleveland Guardians still in first place as the 2022 MLB season nears its end, their magic number for clinching the American League Central Division is coming into focus.
With the 10-7 victory in 11 innings over the second-place Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night, the Guardians trimmed their magic number from 12 to nine. In addition to the win doubling as a victory for Cleveland and a loss for Chicago, the Guardians' also clinched the head-to-head season tiebreaker vs. the White Sox.
That means that any combination of Cleveland wins and Chicago losses that total nine between now and the end of the season will result in the Guardians winning their first division title since the 2018 season. Currently, the earliest that Cleveland can clinch the A.L. Central championship is Sunday, Sept. 25, which can only occur if the Guardians win the final two games of their three-game series with the White Sox and sweep their three-game series with the Texas Rangers, and Chicago also loses its Friday and Saturday matchups vs. the Detroit Tigers.
Entering Wednesday's 8:10 p.m. ET matchup with the White Sox, Cleveland lays claim to an 81-67 record and a five-game lead in the American League Central Division with 14 games remaining on its schedule. Chicago, meanwhile, possesses a 76-72 record with 14 games of its own remaining.
More Cleveland Guardians coverage from WKYC:
- Myles Straw leads Cleveland Guardians to 10-7 win over Chicago White Sox in 11 innings
- Josh Naylor, Amed Rosario each hit 3-run homers as Cleveland Guardians down Minnesota Twins 11-4
- Minnesota Twins beat Cleveland Guardians 3-0 on back of Joe Ryan's shutout start
- Guardians beat Twins 7-6 in 15 innings, sweep doubleheader
- Cleveland Guardians beat Minnesota Twins 7th straight time, 5-1 behind Shane Bieber
- You'll never have to buy lunch in this town again! A look at 10 beloved, unsung Cleveland sports heroes
- Ernie Clement scores from 2nd on wild pitch, Cleveland Guardians top Minnesota Twins 4-3