According to the Weather Channel.
Just one strong season these last 10 years.
There are a couple of teams in the MLB I follow a bit more than others and one of them is the Chicago White Sox. I have seen them a bit the past few years and they are now a good example of a failed rebuild. After losing almost 100 games in 2013, the White Sox were into a deep and depressive rebuild until 2021, counting out the 2020 shortened season and their Wild Card loss.
Rick Renteria was somewhat ousted unexpectedly after leading the White Sox in the abyss for 4 years, but for a small amount of time it looked like old-school manager Tony LaRussa was the right man at the right spot. In 2021 the White Sox left the Cleveland Indians 13 games behind and looked like one of the favourites for the ALCS after winning 93 games. They had a terrific rotation that year, getting good results from Dylan Cease, Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn and former 2014 3rd round pick Carlos Rodón, but also a good bullpen with Liam Hendriks being an excellent lock. Unfortunately for them, that year, they could not take on the Houston Astros, who scored more than 5 runs in each game, eventually winning the ALDS with 3-1.
In 2022 the White Sox took a step back. While being tipped as one of the most talented teams in the AL, they hoovered the entire season around .500 and were never in the battle for the first spot in the ALCS. Despite getting a surprisingly strong performance from Jhonny Cueto, the pitching didn’t live up to the standard, the offence lagged behind and the White Sox had the worst defence in the entire MLB.
Now one of the worst teams.
This 2023 season has been even worst. Tony LaRussa wouldn’t return from his health issues and some players that were dealt during the season to other teams, like Lance Lynn, spoke of a bad clubhouse culture on the team. Maybe it was also one of the reasons why the White Sox failed the year before.
So, before the trade deadline the White Sox basically got rid of every piece that won’t be part of the future. In the Southside’s Front Office there was also quite a mix up, with the sacking of Kenny Williams and Rick Hahn. They moved Hahn’s assistant Chris Getz into the general manager’s seat and one of his new assistant GMs is Josh Barfield, who ran the Diamondbacks’ farm system. To them the task of building a contender again within time.
The current White Sox team is a very bad team and just 4 games away from a 100-loss season. By courtesy of the Kansas City Royals and Oakland Athletics they are the 3rd worst team in the AL with that 60-96 record.
The Chicago White Sox is one of the worst offensive teams in the entire MLB with only the Colorado Rockies behind them OPS+-wise. They rank last in walks, so it is a swing-happy team. Their outfield has been atrocious and Tim Anderson’s play at shortstop has been the worst in the entire league as well. The only highlight on this team is Luis Robert Jr. in centre field, both in defence as in offence. Defensively, according to Rdrs, the White Sox are still one of the worst defensive teams in the MLB, behind only the Oakland A’s.
The pitching corps is also ranked at the bottom of the MLB, although not much behind the Diamondbacks’, which is also one of the worst league wide. They have used almost an entire platoon of pitchers this season and run out whomever can throw a ball, if he hasn’t been traded away. Still, their Top 2 wouldn’t look bad in the Diamondbacks rotation: Dylan Cease is still leading the team, although his results have been very underwhelming this season, while Mike Clevinger has been able to right his back again and keeps the balls in the park.
Wild Card chase.
The White Sox are 11-19 in their last 30 games. The last time the Diamondbacks played the White Sox was last year, when we swept them in Chicago at the end of August. The White Sox are actually one of few teams where the Diamondbacks hold a clear edge over: 13-5 all time. So, both history as the current season definitely favour the Diamondbacks here and we should demand nothing less than a complete sweep to make sure the final series of this regular season against the Astros will have less pressure.
So, let’s assume the Diamondbacks sweep the White Sox. That is what they need to do and that is what we hope they do. What could that theoretically mean for the Wild Card race?
- The Phillies are out of reach in my opinion. I won’t take them into account.
- The Marlins play a 3-game series in Queens. My guess is the Mets will take one, leaving the Marlins with 2 wins.
- The Cubs play a 3-game series in Atlanta. Despite Atlanta maybe in “play-off” mode, I guess the Braves will win 2, leaving the Cubs with 1 win.
- The Reds play a 2-game series in Cleveland, who have nothing left to play for. I assume the Reds sweep the Guardians, taking 2 wins.
Predicted Wild Card standings after this series:
- Diamondbacks: 85-74.
- Marlins: 83-76.
- Cubs: 83-76.
- Reds: 82-77.
So, it is quite obvious: not only do we need to sweep the White Sox just because, we also should do it to have some more playing room before the Astros come to town.
All matchups are unconfirmed.
Game #1 Tue 09/26 4:40 PM MST, Zach Davies (ARI) vs Jose Ureña (CWS).
- Zach Davies. 17 GS, 79.1 IP, 2 W-5 L, 6.81 ERA, 4.51 FIP, 1.61 WHIP, 1.82 K/BB.
- Jose Ureña. 3 GS, 16.1 IP, 0 W-2 L, 4.41 ERA, 4.36 FIP, 1.01 WHIP, 7.50 K/BB.
Davies has pitched a total of 17 innings in 4 starts in September, so I don’t know what to say. He gave up 12 runs over that stretch, but the Diamondbacks did win all 4 of his games, so that gives some hope.
That might be the case in the Series Opener as well, because Jose Ureña is the scheduled starter for the White Sox. In a small sample size Ureña has pitched well for the White Sox, after getting picked out of the garbage in Denver. Ureña was terrible for the Rockies, pitching to a 9.82 ERA. He was hit hard against the Twins, but was able to keep the small boys of Washington and Detroit in check. Ureña has always been a bit homer prone and has struggled to strike batters out, so the Diamondbacks should take game 1 with ease.
Game #2 Wed 09/27 11:10 AM MST, Ryne Nelson (ARI) vs Touki Toussaint (CWS).
- Ryne Nelson. 27 GS, 138.1 IP, 2 W-9 L, 5.53 ERA, 5.17 FIP, 1.46 WHIP, 2.07 K/BB.
- Touki Toussaint. 14 GS (18 G), 79.1 IP, 4 W-6 L, 5.11 ERA, 5.02 FIP, 1.41 WHIP, 1.61 K/BB.
Former Diamondbacks’ 1st round pick Touki Toussaint pitched on June 16 for the Cleveland Guardians against the Diamondbacks. He was tagged with 2 runs in 3.2 innings and designated for assignment. Subsequently he got claimed by the White Sox. The White Sox are basically running him out because they don’t have anyone else. He normally doesn’t go much further than 5 innings, giving sometimes just a few runs up and at other times a ton of runs. Pretty much Ryne Nelson like. We’ll give the advantage to ourselves, of course, thanks to the offensive power.
Game #3 Thu 09/28 11:10 AM MST, Brandon Pfaadt (ARI) vs TBD (CWS).
- Brandon Pfaadt. 17 GS, 90.1 IP, 2 W-9 L, 6.08 ERA, 5.48 FIP, 1.44 WHIP, 3.31 K/BB.
The White Sox’ starter is far from known for this final game, but, let’s be honest, after seeing Jose Ureña and Touki Toussaint and our scheduled starters, should we care? Let’s hope Pfaadt is able to get some batters out and keep the Diamondbacks in for a win.
Do we accept anything else but a sweep?
This poll is closed
Yes, we can risk a loss in this series.