Friday, April 29, 2016

South Side Surprise

            Most of the baseball hype in Spring Training has revolved around one Chicago team: The Cubs. Of course, the Cubbies have been everything the pundits predicted so far. The North Siders are 15-5 and are sitting pretty in first place in the NL Central. However, they're not the only team from Chicago that's doing well so far.
            Their brethren from the South Side is also perched atop their division. That's right. Even ahead of the defending World Series champions, the Kansas City Royals. In fact, the White Sox have the most wins in baseball at the moment with 16. How in the world are the White Sox doing so well early in the season?
            For starters, Jose Abreu has gotten some protection in the lineup. The White Sox picked up Todd Frazier from the Reds this offseason and it's already paying off. Frazier has six homers and 15 RBI to start the season. He isn't the only player who's been hitting well for the White Sox. Adam Eaton's been great to start the season, batting .307 with an OBP of .361 and 27 hits. Melky Cabrera has also been a solid pickup, batting .296 with a .380 OBP.
            The White Sox are also benefiting from a stellar bullpen. David Robertson has been every bit of good for the White Sox as a closer. He has eight saves out of nine opportunities so far to go with an ERA of 0.87 and a WHIP of 0.77 (He's projected for 56 saves this season). Nate Jones has also been spectacular, getting seven holds while allowing three hits. He's also posting an ERA of 0.84 and a WHIP of 0.47. Matt Albers (0.00 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, six holds in ten games this season) has also been solid.
            However, the main story for the White Sox has been the rotation. Their starting pitching ERA is 2.94, third-best in baseball. Their team also has five shutouts, tied with Philadelphia for tops in baseball. Obviously, you know about Chris Sale (5-0, 1.66 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 32 SO) and he hasn't disappointed this season. Other starters have done well, too. Mat Latos (4-0, 0.74 ERA, 0.82 WHIP) has been a great pickup for the White Sox and Jose Quintana (3-1, 1.47 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 32 SO) has stepped up for the White Sox.
            Could we potentially see a Windy City World Series come October? As of now, we don't know. There's still a lot of baseball to be played. However, if both of Chicago's teams keep up their terrific play, there could be a big-time match-up between the Cubs and the White Sox come fall. The ratings for this potential series will be big and so will the bragging rights.

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