CLEVELAND – Now is the time of year in which you can start to say “must win” and it has some meaning.

That’s where the White Sox are as they head to Cleveland on Thursday afternoon for a make-up game against the Guardians starting at 12:10 PM.

Naturally, with the contest being in mid-September, the standings are the easy reason why this game takes on so much importance.

With 19 games to go, the White Sox currently sit four games behind the Guardians for first place in the American League Central division. This happened after they were shutout by the Rockies at home on Wednesday 3-0 while Cleveland finished off a sweep of the Angels.

Should the White Sox lose, they’d fall five games back with 18 games to play in the season with just three more against the Guardians the rest of the way.

A change for the 2022 season also makes winning Thursday’s game quite important for the White Sox, and that’s the fact there is no Game 163 to break ties anymore with the expanded playoffs, Should Chicago and Cleveland tie for the AL Central title, the first tiebreaker is head-to-head competition, which the Guardians currently lead 9-6.

A loss by the White Sox Thursday and they lose the season series, meaning they’d have to finish one game ahead of Cleveland to make the playoffs.

Lance Lynn takes the mound for the White Sox against Hunter Gaddis as acting manager Miguel Cairo opted to go with the veteran even though it’s Lucas Giolito’s turn in the rotation. The starter hasn’t allowed more than one earned run in his last five starts and none in 13 innings during a pair of outings in September.