The Sox are 39-19 (.672) as of right now. They've played 58 games, or 36% of their schedule, and they have 104 game left. Here's what happens if they play x% the rest of the way:
.450 -- 86-76
.475 -- 88-74
.500 -- 91-71
.525 -- 93-69
.550 -- 96-66
.575 -- 99-63
.600 -- 101-61
.625 -- 104-58
.650 -- 106-56
.672 – 109-53
Right now they have the highest RPI in baseball at .549, the Twins are second at .533. The Sox have played the 9th toughest schedule thus far @ .507, the Twins a tad tougher @ .508 (and coming in 8th). The Twins expected W-L is a tad better than the Sox:
Twins – 34-22 (.600)
Sox – 35-23 (.595)
The Sox have the best record in baseball, with the Cards close behind. But the Cards have played one of the easiest schedules in the majors so far. The Twins are the second best team in the American League, and third best in baseball. The Sox currently hold a six game lead over the closest Wild Card team (the Angels), and hold an 8 game lead on the BoSox (who are four back of the O's who are four behind the Sox). The Jays are 8.5 back… the Yanks? A full 11 games.
The Twins and the Sox are basically neck in neck in runs scored/allowed (Sox 263/217; Twins 262/214). The Twins are better at getting on base and hits, but the Sox have more home runs. It's amazing how similar these teams are... total bases, doubles... When looking at their pitching stats, the Twins just don't walk anyone. The Sox have a good K/BB rate, but the Twins are just destroying the majors with a 3.62 K/BB rate (the Sox are a solid 2.20). The Sox pitchers strike more hitters out (6.47 to 5.92); and teams have much more trouble getting a hit off the Sox (.241 to .253). Their ERAs, to no surprise, are extremely close (Sox: 3.48; Twins 3.41). WHIP? Sox: 1.23; Twins:1.14.
The Sox have four pitchers in the top 16 in the AL in ERA (Contreras - 3.13; MB 3.15; Garland 3.40; Garica 3.51). The Twins have four in the top 26. Contreras and Santana go 1-2 in Opponent Batting average (.202 and .215). Garcia is 6th (.236) and MB 8th (.241).
So basically at this point in the season, the two of the three best teams in the game, and maybe the two best teams, are the Twins and the White Sox. And it's really not that close. The Cards are there, but as I've said, they've played an easy schedule so far and get to beat up on probably the worst division in baseball, where it's probably likely that none of those teams will finish above .500.
It's going to be a race. The important thing is the nice lead the Sox have on the Wild Card teams. I expect the Rangers to fade and the BoSox to turn it up a bit as the season goes on. At this point, I'm rooting for the O's and Jays and who ever is playing the Twins.