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Chicago White Sox playoff tracker: ALDS matchup with the Houston Astros is set, while the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox grab the 2 wild-card berths

Chicago Tribune logo Chicago Tribune 10/3/2021 Chicago Tribune staff, Chicago Tribune
White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson throws up a "peace" sign for the cameras during a game against the Pirates on Sept. 1 at Guaranteed Rate Field. © Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson throws up a "peace" sign for the cameras during a game against the Pirates on Sept. 1 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

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

  • Record: 100-62
  • Sunday’s result: Lost to New York Yankees 1-0
  • Next game: vs. wild-card winner, Thursday

2. Houston Astros

  • Record: 95-67
  • Sunday’s result: Beat Oakland Athletics 7-6
  • Next game: vs. White Sox, Thursday

3. Chicago White Sox

  • Record: 93-69
  • Sunday’s result: Lost to Detroit Tigers 5-2
  • Next game: at Astros, Thursday

Wild-card race

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
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