2012 MLB Playoff Standings: Tigers chase down White Sox in AL Central race

The Detroit Tigers (82-72) took advantage of the sixth loss in seven games by the Chicago White Sox (82-72) on Tuesday afternoon to secure a share of first place in the AL Central playoff race after beating the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night.

A masterful pitching performance by Anibal Sanchez made the Tigers appear primed and ready for a post-season run as they head into the final week of the season with just eight games remaining on the schedule.

The Tigers and White Sox are not only fighting for the division crown but also their playoff lives since the losing team will likely miss out on either of the two AL Wild Card berths. Both teams are currently 4.5 games behind the Oakland Athletics for the second Wild Card spot with the Los Angeles Angels (two games behind) and Tampa Bay Rays (three games behind) still in the way.

Detroit appears to have an advantage in those final eight games with five games against Kansas City and three games at Minnesota. The White Sox face Cleveland four more times but also have a four-game weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays.

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