September 28, 2008 "Makeup Game Live Chat" Today at Noon 4:00 P.M.

As it turns out, winning two out of three games from the Royals would've given the Twins the AL Central title. Instead, they dropped back-to-back home games against a 75-win team before avoiding a sweep yesterday, finishing with an 88-74 record. The White Sox also won yesterday, improving to 87-74, but due to a rain out earlier this month they'll play game No. 162 today against the Tigers. If the White Sox lose, the Twins take the division. If the White Sox win, there's a one-game playoff in Chicago tomorrow.

TODAY'S MATCHUP        W      L      ERA     xFIP
Freddy Garcia 1 1 4.50 4.59
Gavin Floyd 16 8 3.91 4.69

Unfortunately for the Twins, the odds are stacked pretty heavily in the White Sox's favor. The game is in Chicago, where the White Sox are 52-28, and Detroit has nothing to play for except perhaps trying to tie for last place rather than owning sole possession of the cellar. The Tigers completely unraveled late in the season, going 19-34 since August 1 and 8-17 in September, and have already announced plans to fire both their pitching coach and bullpen coach.

Beyond that, the White Sox are starting Gavin Floyd, who's 16-8 with a 3.91 ERA and has seen the team go 4-0 when he's faced the Tigers this season. Meanwhile, Freddy Garcia is starting for the Tigers. Not only is Garcia making just his third start after missing a year following elbow surgery, he's friends with Ozzie Guillen and married into his family, pitched for the White Sox from 2004-2006 (before being dealt for Floyd, oddly enough), and may try to land another job with Chicago as a free agent this winter.

In other words, the Twins definitely shouldn't count on Garcia and the Tigers doing them any favors. On the other hand, stranger things have happened and even as very heavy favorites the White Sox probably have at least a 25-percent chance of losing. Plus, even in victory they may have to use Bobby Jenks or Matt Thornton extensively, thus hurting their chances in the one-game playoff tomorrow. Whatever the case, I'll obviously be watching the game and it seemed like a good time for another live chat.

I'll start chatting at noon and do the usual Q&A thing for an hour, leading up to the first pitch in Chicago at 1:05 CT. Once the game gets underway, I'll continue fielding questions while also providing some play-by-play/commentary. If you're stuck somewhere without a television or just feel like cheering for the Tigers in the (online) presence of fellow Twins fans, feel free to stop by. If things run smoothly and the Twins make the playoffs, we can try some more in-game live chatting in October.

UPDATE: Today's chat will be simulcast at Rotoworld, so it'll be more crowded and less Twins-centric than initially planned. However, the strong anti-White Sox sentiment will remain. Promise.

Once you're done here, check out my latest "Daily Dose" column over at Rotoworld.

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