Win games against your goddamn division rivals.
It couldn't be more plain. In years when the Sox excelled, such as 2005 and 2008, they beat up on their division rivals. Last season, by contrast, they were 32-40 against the American League Central. They were 5-13 against the eventual division champs in Detroit, but a woeful 7-11 against sub-.500 Kansas City. They played the Twinkies even at 9-9, and dominated only basement-dwelling Cleveland at 11-7.
The Sox offered a painful reminder of this when they won both openers of their last two home series against Kansas City and Detroit, only to crap the bed in the rest of the games. They shut out the Royals 5-0 in their first game of the season against them Friday night, only to lose the next two the rest of the weekend. Likewise, they beat the Tigers 7-5 on Monday, only to blow a 6-0 lead Tuesday afternoon as they fell 10-8 to even their season series at four apiece.
They started the month doing the same against the Indians, who've gone from worst to first, as the Sox won the first game at home and then lost the next two, although they salvaged the last couple of games on an ensuing road trip to Cleveland to leave them up in the season series 5-4 thus far. They have yet to play Minnesota.
So, sure, they're interrelated, but rather than wait for last season's underachievers to trigger their revival, the Sox would be better off simply taking care of business against their own division. After all, with the surprising Baltimore Orioles and the Tampa Bay Rays out in front of the New York Yankees in the East—and all well above .500—it's not as if the White Sox should be expecting a wild-card slot to open up for them in the fall.