There have been some big moves in baseball this offseason, historic, in fact.
The White Sox have made some big changes too. And people are already asking, ‘Could 2019 be the year for the boys on the southside?’
It’s by no means a pessimist hat that we’re wearing, but it is much too early to say that this is going to be the Sox year. That said, online sports betting sites around the world have handicapped the White Sox out to be a much-improved squad.
Before we get into the who’s and why’s and all the other intangibles, let’s look at a couple of simple facts.
Fact number one: the White Sox won 62 games last year, which was bad enough to finish 4th in the worst division in the league. Fact number two: Las Vegas has the Southsiders lined out to win 74.5 games this season. The pros in Vegas are usually pretty close with these numbers, so this is a great indicator of a marked improvement.
Granted, the Sox going UNDER 74.5 wins is slightly favored at -125, OVER 74.5 can be found at +115. But even if the White Sox win 72 it would put them in the race for second in the AL Central. Unfortunately, the AL West and AL East are so good that even 80 wins probably isn’t enough to even smell a wildcard berth off in the distance. But still, it’s a start.
New-Look in 2019
The White Sox didn’t land Harper, but that’s alright. The White Sox have a quite a bit of young talent to propel the team forward in the very near future. If there were certifications for ‘rebuild mode’ the Sox would have a few.
But the Roster looks like it’s set. There is a core of young relievers and the starting pitching rotation is looking pretty good. Carlos Rodon, Ivan Nova, Dylan Covey, Lucas Giolito, Ian Hamilton, and Reynaldo Lopez.
Lucas Giolito has been one of the top pitching prospects in the league for some years and now it is time for him to show why; you don’t get forever to prove yourself in a game like baseball. He has a crazy curveball and his fastball seems to be picking up speed again. So, he is poised for a breakout season.
The one worry is there starting rotation is all right-handers, with the exception of Rodon. So, it will be difficult to get a lefty in against teams that bat well against righties. This adds to the unpredictability of the White Sox this season. There is a lot of pitching talent but is it one-dimensional.
We are finally going to see Eloy Jimenez in action. This has been long awaited and the hype is already brewing. Rookie of the Year anyone??? Fantasy addicts are already chomping at the bit to put Jimenez on their rosters. Some are even predicting a .300 season with 30 hum-dingers … and if that is the case, we definitely could see the Sox go over 74.5 wins. Eloy should play a solid 150 games and have an incredible slash line in 2019. Then it will be up to the pitching staff and solid D to keep opponents scoring down.
All in all, 2019 isn’t the year that the Sox win the pennant. But it is the year that things start to turn around and they climb back from out of the dredges of the AL.