2019 Chicago White Sox Predictions and Odds to Win the World Series
If you take a gander at any of those MLB offseason grades stories at reputable sites, the Chicago White Sox generally get one of the worst of all 30 teams even though they probably got a little better.
That's because the Sox were ready to jump head first into free agency by spending the most money by far on any player the franchise ever had in hopes of landing either Manny Machado or Bryce Harper. Reports are that Harper was never really an option, but the Pale Hose truly thought they were going to get Machado … right up until it was announced that he was signing with the San Diego Padres.
Chicago apparently wouldn't match the $300 million guaranteed the Padres offered, with the White Sox's deal worth $250 million guaranteed (or so) but with incentives that would have pushed it north of San Diego's total. Machado took the sure money. Hard to blame him. Or wanting to live in San Diego, as nice as Chicago is.
The White Sox weren't going to be a playoff team this year even with Machado, but they were hoping he would be the face and centerpiece of the franchise going forward with a lot of young talent on the way. So, it's really another year of "wait til next year" for Pale Hose fans.
The 2019 season opens March 28 in Kansas City for the White Sox.
White Sox Projected Lineup
How serious was this franchise in signing Machado? The club traded for Indians first baseman Yonder Alonso, Machado's brother-in-law, and signed veteran free-agent outfielder Jon Jay, Machado's best buddy and workout partner. The team even had an open locker between Alonso and Jay when camp started. You don't exactly need to read between the lines here.
Jay will platoon in the outfield but doesn't really fit with this young team. Nor, really, does Alonso, who hit .250 with 23 homers and 83 RBIs last year with Cleveland. There's a gaping hole at third base sans Machado, with Yolmer Sanchez penciled in there. Frankly, the only bat in the lineup that would scare opposing pitchers belong to first baseman/DH Jose Abreu. He hit .265 with 22 homers and 78 RBIs in 128 games in 2018. Abreu will be a free agent after this season, so don't be surprised if he's traded come July to an AL team (so he can DH if needed) that needs a big right-handed bat.
Second baseman Yoan Moncada once was arguably the top prospect in baseball and one huge piece of the Chris Sale trade, but Moncada simply has no plate discipline. While he hit 17 bombs with 61 RBIs last year, he struck out a whopping 217 times in 578 at-bats and had an OBP of .315. Moncada is still only 23, so maybe superstardom happens, but it's starting to look doubtful. Shortstop Tim Anderson, 25, is a lot like Moncada with tons of potential but trouble with contact.
Chicago's outfield is probably the most anonymous in baseball. Won't be for long when super-prospect Eloy Jimenez is called up in late April for service time reasons.
The projected lineup should look something like this: OF Jay, 2B Moncada, DH Abreu, 1B Alonso, OF Daniel Palka, C Welington Castillo, SS Anderson, 3B Sanchez, OF Adam Engel.
Expect many, many strikeouts.
White Sox 2019 Projected Rotation & Closer
Some very intriguing young arms in this organization, but the highest-touted one, Michael Kopech, will miss all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. He looked pretty good in a late-season cup of coffee last year in the majors before getting hurt. Kopech, who hits triple digits on his fastball, was the other key piece of the Sale trade.
Lefty Carlos Rodon (6-8, 4.18) is the ace, and he has one of the best sliders in baseball but can be wild and is injury-prone. Lucas Giolito (10-13, 6.18) is another former top prospect who looks great one start and then awful for two. Reynaldo Lopez (7-10, 3.91) should be a solid No. 2-3 in his career.
The back end figures to be Ivan Nova, acquired in trade from Pittsburgh, and former Twins ace Ervin Santana, signed to a minor-league deal. Nova is what he is: Probably get 10 wins, 10 losses and an ERA a bit over 4.00. Santana was great in 2017 and barely pitched last year due to injury. The Sox are hoping for the '17 version so they can flip Santana to a contender. If Santana doesn't make the team, it's probably Dylan Covey, who is terrible.
Alex Colome, acquired in trade from Seattle, takes over as closer. Colome combined for a 7-5 record with a 3.04 ERA, 30 holds, 12 saves and 72 strikeouts in 68 innings over 70 appearances last season between Tampa Bay and Seattle. He led the majors with 47 saves in 2017 while with the Rays.
White Sox Futures Odds
At 5Dimes , Chicago has an "over/under" win total of 74.5, with the under a -140 favorite. The White Sox are +1400 for the AL Central, +6600 for the pennant and +20000 for the World Series. Abreu is +10000 to lead the majors in homers.
White Sox 2019 Predictions
No question this team will win more than the 62 games it did a season ago. There's potential in the rotation for sure. Jimenez could be a Rookie of the Year candidate presuming he is up in April and rakes like he did in the minors. The goal this year for the franchise is to show improvement and then contend in 2020. I'd say a 10-win improvement, so go under that total.
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