Chicago White Sox 2015 Season Preview
Odds To Win Division: +225
Odds To Win AL Pennant: 7/1
Odds To Win World Series: 16/1
Regular Season Win Total: 81.5
Most Significant Offseason Changes
Melky Cabrera, OF
Adam LaRoche, 1B
Jeff Samardzija, SP
David Robertson, RP
Dan Jennings, RP
Paul Konerko, 1B
Andre Rienzo, P
Marcus Semien, SS
They’ll Be Successful If…
With a solid core in the starting rotation and dangerous top of the lineup, the White Sox have their strongest roster in years. The signing of Jeff Samardzija gives the White Sox a second No. 1 quality pitcher (and a former Notre Dame Wide Receiver). Samardzija posted superb numbers while playing on the bottom dwelling Chicago Cubs, having two seasons with a below 3.00 ERA, yet never having a winning record. If Chris Sale can remain healthy, the White Sox have two aces at the top of their rotation. With two more quality starters in Jose Quintana and John Danks, the White Sox have a strong and competitive pitching rotation. With the addition of Adam LaRoche and Melky Cabrera, the White Sox added more depth and power to a lineup that features reigning American League Rookie of the Year, Jose Abreu (36 home runs, 107 RBIS and a batting average of .317). With Adam Eaton providing the White Sox with an underrated leadoff hitter (he batted .300 and lead the AL in triples in with 10, in 2014), the White Sox have a formidable top of the lineup.
They’ll Be Unsuccessful If…
Even with the addition of David Robertson and Dan Jennings, the bullpen is still a weak spot on the team. Though Abreu had a phenomenal rookie season, he could suffer from a sophomore slump. The White Sox had one of the worst bullpens in the Majors last season, ranking 28th in bullpen ERA in 2014. If either of their prized offseason additions cannot produce at a high level, the White Sox will likely finish below the league average again in 2015. There is a chance Abreu regresses in his second season. As teams now have a full season of data on him, they will be better at identifying his weak spots. If Abreu declines and Cabrera cannot stay healthy for the full season, the top of the lineup will struggle and the White Sox will stumble.
Fantasy Bargain: Adam Eaton, CF
With excellent speed and a potent trio of hitters behind him, Adam Eaton should have a breakout fantasy season. With the leadoff spot locked up, Eaton will get plenty of at-bats and scored a wealth of runs. Eaton should aim for about 170+ hits this season, with about 40 of those being extra base hits (doubles, triples and home runs) and 15 to 20 steals.
The White Sox positioned themselves well to contend for the playoffs, and have one of the best rosters in the entire American League. If the roster can remain healthy, and get all-star quality seasons from Sale, Samardzija and Abreu, the team can supplement their average bullpen and very well could represent the AL in the World Series.
Prediction: 1st In AL
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