The Chicago White Sox are looking better than ever, and once again, general manager Kenny Williams has shown that he believes in his team by being a buyer during the midseason. While we’re still two months away from postseason play, here’s five reasons why you should be excited about the White Sox and why they’ll win the American League Central.
1. Starting Pitching
This should come as no surprise to anyone who has been watching this team play this year. Even with John Danks gone, the Sox still have six very capable pitchers, and up until Monday afternoon, were actually going with a six-man rotation until Philip Humber’s move to the bullpen was announced. But if we look at those six starters, these pitchers have a combined 3.62 ERA, and also have won seven games since the All-Star Break. And don’t be surprised if Humber comes back to start again at some point. But for now, this rotation is pretty stacked.
2. The Schedule
The Sox finally get some extended time at home over the next two months. Counting Monday’s series opener, the Sox have 29 games at home and 22 on the road. Of those games, a majority are against AL Central teams. This is good, actually, not bad as in years previous. The Sox can easily take Kansas City and Minnesota. The only real problem will be against Detroit if they heat up again. But with seven games left against them, a split should do the team just fine.
3. Kevin Youkilis
This man has been a God-send. While his .260 average with the team doesn’t point to him being a savior, Youkilis has provided the intangibles for this team, which have pushed them to be better. Youkilis has already had more clutch hits than I can count on my two hands in his short time with the Pale Hose. Having Youkilis in the lineup as opposed to Brent Morel really helps this offense reach a different plateau.
4. Struggling Players No Longer Struggling
How many people said the White Sox would only contend if Adam Dunn, Alex Rios, and Jake Peavy actually played baseball this year? Quite a few I believe. Well, it happened… and oh yea, it’s still happening. In his last 30 games, Rios has seven homers and a .319 average. While Dunn’s numbers are a bit lower, he currently leads the American League with 31 homers. And Jake Peavy has solidified his role as the staff ace with his superb pitching this year. When you got your high-paid players doing well, everyone’s happy.
5. No Pressure
This team still doesn’t have many believers. In Chicago, maybe, but only after four months of fans warming up to them. But a lot of the media and columnists still see the Sox choking and Detroit coming up to take their “rightful” prize. The Sox are still the underdogs, and can certainly use that to their advantage. The Sox have been having fun this entire year and look much happier than they did last year. The looseness in the clubhouse is certainly helping the product that we are all seeing on the field.
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