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Chicago White Sox Team Preview (2020)

by February 12, 2020

The Chicago White Sox had a tremendous offseason. They now have a complete roster from top to bottom and look set to surprise even their most die-hard fans. The White Sox’ most significant offseason move is up for debate, but for our money, it was landing a former Cy Young winner in ace Dallas Keuchel to a 3-year, $55.5 million deal, with a fourth year, $18.5 million vesting option (this becomes guaranteed if he meets certain performance-based thresholds), for a total potential value of $74 million. Chicago won just 72 games last season, so they are making a big bet on themselves. Although they play in a tough division that features the Minnesota Twins and the Cleveland Indians, they have made all the necessary moves to signal their intent not just to compete, but to contend. 

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2020 Futures Odds for the White Sox (FanDuel Sportsbook)

  • Regular Season Wins: 83.5 (Over -122/Under +100)
  • American League Central: +380
  • Win American League: +1600
  • Win World Series: +10000

Hitting Outlook

The Chicago White Sox already had one of the most exciting ascending teams in baseball before the offseason even began. On the offensive side of the ball, the White Sox went all-in and surrounded their young and talented core with some explosive weapons. They traded for the exciting Nomar Mazara, signed slugger Edwin Encarnacion to a one year, $12 million pact (with a club option for 2021), and signed former all-star catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four year, $73 million deal. Nick Madrigal has impressed during the offseason, and he may win the second base job out of spring training. The White Sox projected lineup looks like this:

1B: Jose Abreu
2B: Nick Madrigal
SS: Tim Anderson
3B: Yoan Moncada
DH: Edwin Encarnacion
OF: Nomar Mazara
OF: Luis Robert
OF: Eloy Jiminez
C: Yasmani Grandal

As you can see above, the White Sox have quite the collection of young talent with star potential, and they now have the veteran pieces to take this team to the next level. Nomar Mazara fits right in with their young core, while Encarnacion and Grandal’s reliable veteran presences will make the White Sox a threat one through nine. There is no denying that the White Sox now boast one of the most talent-rich batting lineups in all of baseball. It will be interesting to see how they decide to set their batting order. 

Pitching Outlook

The Chicago White Sox pitching staff suddenly looks like one of the more talented staffs in all of baseball. Dallas Keuchel will step into the ace role, but you have four pitchers with number-two talent. Micheal Kopech missed all of 2019 due to Tommy John surgery but should be ready to claim the position this spring. He has ace upside, and he only needs to prove it on a consistent basis in the bigs to give the White Sox arguably one of the top five one-two punches in the majors. Lucas Giolito broke out in 2019, and he would make a reliable number two option himself.

As a number three, you can see why fans and bettors alike may be excited about the White Sox. Reynaldo Lopez continues to be inconsistent, and he took a step back after a 2018 season that had everyone hoping he would be ready for a real breakout in 2019. He was bad every month of last season except July, but if he can come close to his 2018 performance, he’ll make a tremendous fourth or fifth pitching option. Gio Gonzalez is the wild card. If he pans out, he could function anywhere from the number two to the number five starter. The White Sox signed him for only $4 million, so if he does not work out, they can turn to Dylan Cease, a pitcher who, like Lopez, has the right stuff but lacks control. Alex Colome will function as the closer, and he should be able to rack up the saves with a much-improved supporting cast. 

Prediction

The White Sox won just 72 games in 2019, but they will field a much more talented team this season. The 83.5 win total puts them only 2.5 games over .500. Chicago likely would have reached 84 wins if they made no moves during the offseason and just relied on improvements from their core, and the additions of farm talent Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal. The White Sox were given the seventh-highest odds to win the American League this year. Last year’s seventh-place team in the American League was the Boston Red Sox, and Boston struggled to an 84-win season. Chicago has the undeniable talent to come close to 90 wins.

Winning their division will be tough, but they are one of the favorites for one of the Wild Card spots. The juice is heavily on the over for a reason. With the under now at even money (+100), there is some danger that Vegas could adjust the total upwards, in turn decreasing the win probability of this future. The White Sox will have to endure an injury-marred season to miss the 84 win mark. Lock the White Sox over in as soon as possible.

Pick: White Sox Over 83.5 wins in 2020

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Raju Byfield is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Raju, check out his archive, and follow him @FantasyContext.

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