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Rays vs. White Sox preview: Both teams fighting for their lives

The Chicago White Sox begin a series with the Tampa Bay Rays that has massive playoff implications for both clubs.

Jonathan Daniel - Getty Images

The Chicago White Sox host the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night at 7:10 p.m. CT to kick off a series with huge playoff implications for both clubs. The White Sox currently sit one game behind the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central after dropping two of three in their most recent series against the Cleveland Indians. The Rays will be fighting for their playoffs lives as well as they currently sit three games out of the AL Wild Card. The last time these two met the White Sox swept the Rays, but that was all the way back in May.

Chicago will send a struggling Jake Peavy (11-12, 3.40 ERA) to the mound. Peavy has lost three of his last five starts and is 5-11 in his last 20 starts. In his last outing Peavy gave up five runs in five innings in a loss to the Angels. He will need a better effort than that on Thursday when the Rays trot out James Shields (15-9, 3.65). Shields threw seven scoreless innings against the Blue Jays in his last start and has won five of his last seven starts, allowing only 14 runs over that stretch.