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MLB Betting – Chicago White Sox 2020 Season Preview

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:
Apr/16/2020

  • The White Sox odds of winning this year's World Series are set at 35-1

  • Winning the AL Central might be the only way the Sox can reach the playoffs

  • As a team the White Sox hit better than only five other club

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Much like the AL Central Twins surprised with a 101-win season in 2019, look no further than the south side of Chicago for a possible sleeper in the MLB ranks. The Chicago White Sox have a cadre of young players ready to challenge at the big league level and their offseason, at least on paper, was productive. Offensively they should be fine led by last year’s batting champion Tim Anderson. The additions of former Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez give the rotation a much needed boost. Winning the World Series is a longshot, but the Sox have the pieces in place to contend for a division crown.

2020 Chicago White Sox At A Glance

Chicago White Sox World Series Odds +3500

Chicago White Sox AL Pennant Odds +1700

Chicago White Sox AL Central Odds +325

2020 Chicago White Sox Overview

Based on last year’s results and their offseason additions, there is a lot of optimism surrounding the White Sox heading into the 2020 campaign. During their rebuild the Sox lost a combined 195 games in 2017 and 2018, so a 72-89 last season was a ray of hope. The 10-win improvement is a sign that the team is ready to break its string of seven straight losing seasons and contend for a division title.

Winning the AL Central might be the only way the Sox can reach the playoffs. There are several quality teams in the circuit with Tampa Bay and Oakland likely pursuing a wild card entry. That’s if MLB doesn’t change its postseason format for what is likely to be an abbreviated and/or congested schedule.

If that’s the case are the Sox still a threat? My guess is that they are. The Twins had an unbelievable offensive season in 2019 setting a MLB home run record. There is likely to be some regression from them. Cleveland has a stout rotation but looks to be in a constant cost-saving mode, which affects the on-field ability. The Sox added some veteran pieces to go along with a young core and will be a team to watch.

Pitching

Starting pitching was a weakness last year with the rotation posting a 5.30 ERA. Management addressed the situation with the additions of Keuchel and Gonzalez, a pair of proven veterans at the big league level. They join Lucas Giolito, who looked the part of an ace last year going 14-9 with a 3.41 ERA. He also tossed a pair of shutouts with 228 strikeouts across 176.2 innings.

After whiffing in their pursuit of Zack Wheeler, the Sox settled on Keuchel and Gonzalez. Keuchel went 8-8 over 19 starts in an abbreviated campaign with the Braves in 2019. His groundball pitches should work well in his home park. The best years of Gio’s career might be behind him but he’s projected to eat innings and will be aided by an offense that can score runs.

The expected return at some point of Michael Kopech and Carlos Rodon from injury will further bolster the rotation. If neither player is ready the Sox will turn to Dylan Cease and Reynaldo Lopez. The overall numbers weren’t great, but Cease finished last season on tear putting him in line for starting role. No matter who takes the bump the group is much improved over last year.

The back end of the bullpen should be strong with Alex Colome, who saved 30 games last season, penciled in as the closer. Aaron Bummer compiled a 2.13 ERA over 67.2 innings and will work with Jace Fry as the primary set-up men. There are more than enough capable arms if someone fails.

Hitting

With home runs being all the rage in MLB, the Sox didn’t conform last season. As a team they hit 182, better than only five other clubs. That low figure affected the number of runs scored. The Sox compiled the eight-best batting average but ranked just 24th in runs scored. A few new acquisitions will hopefully address that problem. Yasmani Grandal will not only aid the pitching staff, he’ll supply needed offense. He’s hit at least 22 homers in each of the last four seasons.

Edwin Encarnacion was on his way toward a 40-homer season in 2019 before injuries shelved him. He’s a bopper the lineup needs after Chicago DHs combined to slash an ugly .197/.275/.342 last season. When a spot in the order is supposed to supply offense and doesn’t it hurts the overall success rate. Those guys join a lineup that features batting titlist Tim Anderson, who hit .335 in 2019, along with Jose Abreu and rising starts Yoan Moncada and Eloy Jimenez.

2020 Chicago White Sox Season Pick

The Sox weren’t expected to contend last season, and they didn’t. But the development of their young players expedited the plan and the front office obliged by improving the staff and adding some veterans that can still play. I’m not going to pick the Sox as a World Series contender, but fighting for the top of the division is a possibility and worth a few bucks.

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- Phil Simon, Gambling911.com

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