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Game 142 Open Thread- White Sox (87-55) at Royals (46-95)

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Collapsing under the weight of their own lead, the White Sox look to get back on track against the Royals tonight at the K. The point has been made that the White Sox 2005 schedule has been one of the easiest in baseball, and the seemingly endless supply of Royals-Sox games this season back this up. However, 1) the Sox are of course partially responsible for the poor record of their opponents and 2) it isn't the Pale House' fault that the Cubs decided to suck this year.

Actually, aside from the Royals, the AL Central seems stronger this season that its been in years' past. Aside from the improvement -- through largely misunderstood -- of the White Sox, the Indians have matured into an 85 win team, and the Twins remain respectable. Moreover, only a few years removed from being one of the worst teams of all-time, the 2005 Tigers remain, if nothing else, not un-fathomably horrible.

What I will concede however, is that playing in the AL Central has played to Chicago's essential strength, which is run prevention. The Twins and Royals aren't out-scoring anyone this season, and both the Tigers and Indianshave sported below-adequate lineups for most of the year. So when your team is built to win 3-2 games, it helps when your opponent can't really score 4 runs anyway.

Tonight its Mike Wood (4-6, 3.68 ERA) against Jose Contreras (11-7, 3.88 ERA) in a thrilling matchup.