The Chicago White Sox begin a 'critical sect' against American League Central Division opponents tonight.  Here's what to look for in each series.

SAN FRANCISCO — The Chicago White Sox have a big opportunity ahead of them starting Monday.

A streak of 15 games in 14 days, all against American League Central teams, begins with three at home against the division-leading Minnesota Twins. The Sox wrap up the homestand with four against the Detroit Tigers.

Then they go on tour for eight. That trip begins on July 11 with four games in three days in Cleveland. They travel to Minnesota for the final four games before the All-Star break. And there’s more AL Central after the break when the Guardians visit the guaranteed-fee field for four games in three days July 22-24.

“This is a very critical stretch for us,” Sox closer Liam Hendriks said Friday. “It’s definitely critical to help the front office figure out what the hell we’re doing this year. Whether it’s a good year, whether it’s a year of sitting back and waiting, whatever. But we need, in this clubhouse, to figure it out and take care of some business.

“We are facing our division, which is good but can also be very bad. If we can play our kind of baseball, go out there and have fun and enjoy the game again, we’ll be fine because the level of talent in this clubhouse, we know what we have to do.”

The Sox are 38-39 after a three-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants and are third in the AL Central, 4½ games behind the Twins (45-37) and 2½ games behind the Guardians ( 40-36).

“Just focus and try to put together some good games, some good at-bats, and bond with each other,” Red Sox shortstop Tim Anderson said Saturday. “And hopefully we can get the job done.”

Here’s what to watch for in division matchups.

The last time the Red Sox watched the Twins, they saw Byron Buxton round the bases after hitting a game-ending three-run homer off Hendriks in the 10th inning at Target Field.

The 6-4 loss capped off a lousy series for the Red Sox.who were swept in all three games from April 22-24.

The Twins had more outing magic this weekend against the Baltimore Orioles. Buxton hit a two-run homer in the ninth Friday for a 3-2 win. José Miranda drove in Alex Kirilloff in the ninth with only one Saturday for a 4-3 victory.

Buxton is fifth in the American League with 21 home runs. Luis Arraez leads the league in batting average (.344) and on-base percentage (.419).

Johnny Cueto, Michael Kopech and Lance Lynn are the scheduled starters for the Sox this week. Dylan Bundy, Chris Archer and Joe Ryan are in line to pitch for the Twins.

Help is on the way for the Sox bullpen, as Hendriks anticipates being reinstated from the disabled list on Monday. He’s been to the IL retroactive to June 11 with a right forearm strain.

The Sox have had some of their best offensive outings against the Tigers.

They posted season highs in runs (13) and hits (22) the last time the teams played June 15 at Comerica Park. Yoán Moncada had a career-high five hits.including a three-run home run in the first.

The Sox have won five of six against the Tigers this season, outscoring them 46-14. The only loss was on opening day, when the Tigres scored twice in the ninth to win 5-4.

Javier Báez had the game-winning hit in the first game. The former Cubs shortstop is slashing .212/.249/.364 with seven home runs and 26 RBIs in 65 games.

The Tigers are fourth in the division with a record of 30-47. This is his first visit to the guaranteed rate course this season.

The Red Sox had one of their toughest losses of the season during their final series against the Guardians, blowing a six-run ninth-inning lead on May 9 at Guaranteed Rate Field. The Guardians won 12-9 in 11 innings.

The Guardians have had the Sox’s number so far, winning four of the top five. That includes a doubleheader sweep on April 20..

José Ramírez is in the AL MVP conversation. The third baseman is slashing .292/.377/.588 with 16 home runs and a league-leading 63 RBIs.

Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase has been fantastic, leading the American League with 19 saves. He earned the American League Reliever of the Month award for June.

The Red Sox follow all four games in Cleveland, including a doubleheader on July 12, with four in Minnesota before the All-Star break.

And they return from the break on July 22 with the first of four games in three days against the Guardians at Guaranteed Rate Field, making it 19 in a row against the AL Central.

“That’s going to be fun,” Sox manager Tony La Russa said Sunday. “Head to head. The Twins just won a couple games late, they’re for real. Cleveland is real. Detroit is very competitive.

“It’s exactly what you need. You need to play against tough competition. That’s how you get better.”

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