As a die-hard Tigers fan, nothing sucks more than seeing your #1 rival have a phenomenal year and blow us out just about every game. However, as a die-hard MLB, I appreciate how fun this team is to watch and how good they are. In today's article, I will be going over the success of the Sox, and how far they really can go.
*stats & rankings accurate as of 9/11 before the game
First, the #1 reason they've had the season they had is because of their stellar offseason. During the offseason, the Sox decided to become buyers for god knows why. Coming off of a 72 win season, I would have expected them to strengthen their farm system with some small transactions. However, to their credit, they have pulled off one of the best offseasons we have seen in the past five years.
First, they went out and signed catcher, Yasmani Grandal with a 4yr/$73M deal. Grandal has had a down year this year, slashing .254/.366/.366, but has picked it up and has been hitting .281 over the past 15 games. He and James McCann make a great duo behind the plate, that gives them fresh knees whenever.
Secondly, the Sox went out and signed Cy-Young award winner, Dallas Keuchel on a 3yr/$55M deal. Keuchel has been dealing for the sox this year, going 6-2 with a 2.19 ERA. Coming off of a year with ATL I would have never expected these numbers from him, especially being past his prime but he's been a great addition to a lackluster rotation.
However, the biggest factor towards the White Sox success is smartly extending the qualifying offer to red-hot Jose Abréu. Abréu this year is on a 22-game hitting streak. Abréu is hitting .311, with 55 hits, 40 RBI, and 13 bombs. He's one of the hottest hitters in baseball and pitcher's simply can't contain him. He's looking to continue that streak tonight vs. the Tigers young, struggling pitcher Casey Mize.
Now, if we look at some of the guys they have had for a while, Tim Anderson, Yoán Moncada, Eloy Jimenéz, and Lucas Giolito all stand out. Tim Anderson is a top 10 player in the MLB despite what experts say. Hitting .350 shows how good he is and how much he has made an impact on his team with a 1.7 WAR so far. Giolito flashed his potential after an All-Star season in 2019 and has tapped into that inner potential after going 4-2, with a 3.29 ERA and his first career no-hitter against Pittsburgh. Moncada and Jimenéz have both been decent for Chicago throughout their careers, hitting around .260 with a mix of power and contact each.
Last, but certainly not least, the rookies for Chicago have been performing fantastically. Luis Robert has been playing great, slashing .265/.329/.536. He's got 11 bombs, including a 3-run walk-off home run. Although I did expect Robert to have a better BA, he'll obviously get better over time. Nick Madrigal, is another rookie who has been playing well for Chicago, hitting .380 on limited sample size.
Now with all this information, I could see the White Sox ranging from a first-round exit if the Yankees continue to disappoint, and the Astros continue to play decent ball or a potential ALCS visit which could result in a win or loss.
My prediction for the sox would be facing the Blue Jays in the ALDS, which would most likely result in a series victory, to then face either the Twins or the A's in my prediction. If the A's finish as the 2nd seed and the Twins finish as the seventh seed, there is a possibility that the Twins could best the A's. Both are strong clubs that could make it deep in the playoffs. Hypothetically, whoever wins that series between them would pose a threat to the sox, but anyone could win. For the sox, I think if the A's win the series they will win the series in seven. The Sox would have too much hitting for the A's to compete, especially with a below-average rotation against a very, very good offense. This is where things get tricky though, in the ALCS I see them meeting the Rays who can do it all. They have a rotation consisting of Tyler Glasnow, Charlie Morton, and Blake Snell, and have an outstanding bullpen lead by Pete Fairbanks and Diego Castillo. They also have a great offense consisting of Willy Adames, Brad Lowe, and power-hitting Yoshi Tsutsugo. Unfortunately for the Sox, I don't see them making it past the Rays but anything could happen.
Thanks for reading, and leave a comment below if you want a deep analysis on your favorite baseball team!