CHICAGO – For a team that was predicted not only to win the American League Central division but also compete for a World Series championship, things feel about as low as they can at the moment.

Thanks to back-to-back losses to the Rangers at home, who came into the series under .500, the White Sox are now 27-31 on the season and struggling in middle June like few thought they would.

It’s been a combination of injuries and underperformance along with a few questionable calls by manager Tony La Russa that have the club on the chase early for the top of their division. Heading into their series with the Tigers on Monday night, they are currently sitting in third place as they are now six games in back of the Twins for first.

They are also three games behind the Guardians, and for fans now paying more attention to the Wild Card race than they might have thought they would early in the season, they are 3 1/2 games behind the final spot.

Things came to a head during this homestand against the Dodgers and then Texas at Guaranteed Rate Field. Thursday’s intentional walk decision by La Russa in the sixth inning, which was followed by Max Muncy’s three-run home for the winning runs, started a lot of the ire from the fanbase along with some unwanted national attention.

After a victory on Friday over the Rangers, Saturday was another forgettable afternoon as the White Sox coughed up a five-run lead with Lucas Giolito on the mound. After Texas cut it to one, the hosts would build it back to three before the Rangers tied it in the seventh then scored four in the top of the 10th to win it 11-9.

Sunday was another extra inning loss, this time in 11, with an 8-6 defeat ending with Luis Robert being thrown out trying to take third on a long fly ball with two out. There were plenty of boos that came from the crowd after that play and it wasn’t the only time fans showed their frustration with the team during the series.

On Saturday, a very loud “Fire Tony” chant was directed toward La Russa in the tenth inning, and the manager certainly heard it.

“I hear with one ear and I see with one eye. I appreciate they want us to win, and when we don’t win, they’re unhappy,” said La Russa when asked about the chants on Saturday. “We’re losing games, nobody in the clubhouse, including manager and coaches are happy. So, I like it when they care enough to be upset.”

To make things even worse, Michael Kopech left his start on Sunday with right knee discomfort, though La Russa thought he could make a start this coming Sunday. That would be against the Astros in Houston in the team’s first series since the 2021 American League Division Series.

Those three games will come after three against the Tigers in Detroit starting Monday.