This is the same AL Central where the White Sox currently have a 27-37 record, including a 9-22 road ledger against the four other opponents. White Sox players still seem more excited than bothered by the opening division challenge.
"Yeah, that will be a good way to start off the season," White Sox second baseman Tyler Saladino said. "That will be fun too. Spring Training builds all the way up until the season, and once you start the season with a schedule like that, it will be like, 'All right, game time.'"
• 2017 White Sox schedule
After opening the 2016 campaign in Oakland, the White Sox return home for the start of 2017 with a game on Monday, April 3 against the Tigers at 3:10 p.m. CT. That first homestand features three with the Tigers and three with the Twins, before the White Sox embark on a three-city, nine-game road trip to Cleveland, Minnesota and Yankee Stadium.
"We'll see where we're at right from jump street," White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier said. "You have to play them eventually, so why not see where we're at? Let's get after it."
There are four three-city trips of nine games for the White Sox and one three-city journey covering 10 games. The White Sox and Cubs play four times, with the first two taking place at Wrigley Field on July 24-25 and the action moving to Guaranteed Rate Field on July 26-27.
Interleague road games for the White Sox take place at Arizona (May 22-24), at Colorado (July 7-9), at Wrigley and at Dodger Stadium (August 15-16). Home Interleague games feature the Padres (May 12-14), the Dodgers (July 8-9), the Cubs and the Giants (Sept. 8-10).
• 2017 ticket information
With the schedule now laid out, the biggest issue for the White Sox is deciding who will make up the roster for the '17 campaign. That question of rebuild or contend is something where the players don't have great concern or control, especially with 18 games to play in '16.
"It has crossed my mind, but honestly, there's nothing I can do," Frazier said. "I'm trying to round my numbers up and get some wins. That's what managers always say: Get the round numbers up, and that always leads to something good for the team as well."
"Whenever I think about something like that, it's just kind of sad in a sense because I love all the guys that are here," Saladino said. "Just an awesome experience to spend an entire summer with this group of guys. There's been plenty of lows and plenty of highs and the whole time with these guys, it's been a grind. But we've tried to be as productive as possible."