The 2020 Major League Baseball season is already in the stretch run and the Aug. 31 trade deadline came and went last week. I was pleasantly surprised there was that much activity. I was bracing for a slow deadline amid this unusual season. Now that the deadline has passed, let’s hope the regular season and postseason can be completed safely.

Throughout the season my fellow CBS Sports MLB scribes and I will bring you a weekly roundtable breaking down, well, pretty much anything. The latest news, a historical question, thoughts about the future of baseball, all sorts of stuff. Last week we broke down the contenders that needed to do more at the deadline. Now we’re going to discuss the AL Central race.

So, which team are you picking to win the AL Central?

The upstart White Sox are pacing the AL Central.

Katherine Acquavella: The Twins appear to be regaining form after a sluggish August and Cleveland’s rotation is carrying them this year, but I’m taking the White Sox to ultimately take the AL Central crown. Pre-season, I picked Minnesota to win, but went with Chicago finishing second. The offense packs a punch behind the American League’s reigning batting champ Tim Anderson, the likely AL Rookie of the Year this year in Luis Robert and veteran first baseman Jose Abreu. Sure, starting pitching is a weak spot for Chicago, but I still think they’ll be able to get past some of the tough teams (Twins, Cleveland, Cubs) they’ll face in this final month of the regular season.  

Mike Axisa: I still think the Twins are the best team on paper and I think Cleveland’s pitching is the most dominant unit in the division (among rotations, bullpens, lineups, etc.), but I’m going with the White Sox. They are insanely talented and fun, and this is now a 17-day mad dash to the finish. Weird things can happen in 17 days in this sport. Cleveland’s superb pitching is a necessity, not a luxury, because they are one of the lowest-scoring teams in the sport. The Twins? I dunno, something just seems off this year. They’ve yet to really fire on all cylinders and they’re starting to run out of time for things to click. White Sox it is.

Dayn Perry: Tough call, which means this is a good topic. I still think the Twins have the strongest on-paper roster in the division, and I’m going to wager they’ll find their level over the final few weeks of the regular season. The remaining schedule overall isn’t particularly accommodating relative to their fellow AL Central contenders, but that final five game stretch at home against the Tigers and disappointing Reds could be key. Again, I get back to how loaded this roster is, even if they’ve been somewhat disappointing to date.

R.J. Anderson: Agreed with Dayn that this is a tough one. There’s an argument for any of the three: Cleveland and Chicago have been the best teams in the division based on their records and run differentials, but Minnesota does appear to have the most well-rounded roster. I guess I’ll go with Cleveland to round out the trio. The pitching is great and I think the offense will be improved heading forward. That said, any of the three could take it, and I think the White Sox might be the most fun team to watch in the game right now.  

Matt Snyder: Cleveland has the easiest strength of schedule and pitching is much more reliant than hitting, so they are the logical choice. You know what, though, screw logic. This season is off the rails, so I’m throwing logic out the window. I’ll go with the White Sox. Partially because they are fun and an upstart, but also partially because they are white hot. Since losing a doubleheader to the returning Cardinals on Aug. 15, the White Sox have gone 16-4. They are taking this thing and will be dangerous in October. 


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