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 an 8-2 win over the second-place Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night, the Guardians trimmed their magic number from nine to seven, as the game not only counted as a win for Cleveland, but also a loss for Chicago. The Guardians previously clinched the head-to-head season tiebreaker vs. the White Sox.
That means that any combination of Cleveland wins and Chicago losses that total seven 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 game 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 Thursday's 8:10 p.m. ET matchup with the White Sox, Cleveland lays claim to an 82-67 record and a six-game lead in the American League Central Division with 13 games remaining on its schedule. Chicago, meanwhile, possesses a 76-73 record with 13 games of its own remaining.
More Cleveland Guardians coverage from WKYC:
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- Cleveland Guardians beat Minnesota Twins 7th straight time, 5-1 behind Shane Bieber
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- Ernie Clement scores from 2nd on wild pitch, Cleveland Guardians top Minnesota Twins 4-3