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Comparing the Twins and White Sox Projections

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#1 Cooper Carlson

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Posted 13 January 2021 - 08:03 PM

The White Sox are making moves and the Twins ... are not. Let's see how their projections line up position by position before the Twins (hopefully) improve their team.For this project, we will be looking at the Fangraphs RosterResource projections. We will go position by position for the White Sox and Twins to see where each team stands compared to each other.

Starting/Relief Pitching:

  • Jose Berrios (2.9 WAR)
  • Kenta Maeda (2.8)
  • Michael Pineda (2.1)
  • Randy Dobnak (1.2)
  • Devin Smeltzer (0.6)
  • Relievers (2.4)
  • Total: 12 WAR
White Sox:
  • Lance Lynn (3.1)
  • Lucas Giolito (3.1)
  • Dallas Keuchel (2.0)
  • Michael Kopech (1.4)
  • Dylan Cease (1.3)
  • Relievers (3.5)
  • Total: 14.4 WAR
Winner: White Sox (+2.4)


  • Ryan Jeffers (1.9)
  • Mitch Garver (1.4)
White Sox:
  • Yasmani Grandal (4.1)
  • Zack Collins (0.5)
Winner: White Sox (+1.4)


  • 1B: Miguel Sano (2.0)
  • 2B: Luis Arraez (1.9)
  • SS: Jorge Polanco (2.0)
  • 3B: Josh Donaldson (3.5)
  • Total: 9.4 WAR
White Sox:
  • 1B: Jose Abreu (1.6)
  • 2B: Nick Madrigal (2.9)
  • SS: Tim Anderson (2.3)
  • 3B: Yoan Moncada (3.2)
  • Total: 10.0 WAR
Winner: White Sox (+0.6)


  • CF: Byron Buxton (3.7)
  • LF: Alex Kirilloff (0.6)
  • RF: Max Kepler (3.1)
  • DH: Brent Rooker (0.4)
  • Total: 7.8 WAR
White Sox:
  • CF: Luis Robert (3.6)
  • LF: Eloy Jiminez (2.2)
  • RF: Adam Engel (1.4)
  • DH: Leury Garcia (0.1)
  • Total: 7.3 WAR
Winner: Twins (+0.5)

Final Totals:
  • Twins: 32.5
  • White Sox: 36.3
  • Winner: White Sox (+3.8)
As of right now, the White Sox are projected to be a better team. This makes a ton of sense because the Sox have been active and the Twins simply have not. There will be change to this list before the season begins. Expect the Twins to add two starters and an infielder and for the Sox to acquire another bat to help fill the DH role.

When the season officially gets underway, I would bet on the White Sox still having that edge unless the Twins end up with Sonny Gray and Trevor Story. There will be moves made, but how impactful will the moves be?

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#2 Danchat


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Posted 13 January 2021 - 08:32 PM

I do think the White Sox are better at the moment, but not by a lot. The offseason has barely started, and both sides will likely continue to make signings... the Twins need to add some hitting and relieving if they want to stack up on paper. Chicago's lineup is very strong and still very young, and the Twins' is lagging behind, especially down Rosario and Cruz.

#3 tony&rodney


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Posted 13 January 2021 - 08:48 PM

One consideration that may present the Twins fortunes to come in a more positive light is the depth of their players who are at or approaching significant contribution status. This list could include Duran, Balazovic, or others. The Twins seem to have more depth than the White Sox. 

However, the post makes solid points that the next month may be crucial as the Twins solidify their major league roster with a few key additions. Management seems to have a plan and when April rolls around it does appear that the Twins and White Sox could be well matched to compete this coming season. 

The competition is healthy.

#4 dbminn


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Posted 13 January 2021 - 10:48 PM

Sorry, Cooper. You are missing an important part of the Fangraphs WAR, especially for the infield. Fangraphs has players at multiple positions. For example, Arraez has a forecasted WAR of 1.9 at 2B, but they also have him for 0.7 WAR at 3B and 0.2 WAR at SS for 2.9 WAR total. Same issue for Polanco. He's predicted to play 2B 23% of the time. His total predicted WAR is 2.6.


When all the data is combined, the Twins are predicted to be about 1 game behind the White Sox. The same info is shown in this Table. Scroll down to the "All Batters" table. A summary comparison of all teams is found here.

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#5 LanceJS


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Posted 14 January 2021 - 07:29 AM

While yes, the White Sox are making moves and the Twins aren't, isn't is a bit risky to make bold predictions based solely on WAR? 

#6 arby58


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Posted 14 January 2021 - 08:03 AM

While this is a useful comparison, I would also note that the White Sox have a couple of young, dynamic players who are likely to perform significantly better than their 2020 WAR - Moncada and Robert in particular. Of course, the Twins expect the same from Kiriloff, Rooker, Jeffers, etc. Donaldson returning to MVP (or close) form would help tipthe scales, as would resigning Cruz (if he can continue to perform at the level of the past couple of years, not a sure thing).


You would expect the Twins to at least add another starting pitcher and resolve the rest of their infield. If they do that with 'positive WAR' pieces, this probably about evens out. That said, IMHO the Twins are no longer the presumptive favorite to repeat as division champs.

#7 mikelink45


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Posted 14 January 2021 - 08:08 AM

Good comparison.We have subtracted and they have added, the next two months should be quite interesting for the team and TD.It is hard to watch all the moves that other teams are making - Sox, Padres, Mets, even KC and have the patience to wait for our team to pounce.  

#8 TopGunn#22



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Posted 14 January 2021 - 08:09 AM

Sometimes WAR is such a difficult "measurement" or "projection" to understand.Arraez and Madrigal are very similar players.Arraez has a full season more of "accomplishment" yet he is 1.0 less than Madrigal.Abreau is a year older, yes, but coming off an A.L. MVP season.Sano failed miserably last year to build on his 2019 success, yet Sano is a 2.0 WAR and Abreu is 1.6. 

I agree, the Twins need to start making some significant moves, and that would somewhat change the projection.But I'm left shaking my head at some of these WAR projections. 

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#9 saviking


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Posted 14 January 2021 - 09:23 AM

My gut had told me the White Sox had pulled ahead and this confirms it .. thx

#10 Dodecahedron


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Posted 14 January 2021 - 11:09 AM

What sank Sox teams in the past is their defense. How does the defense stack up?

#11 Supfin99


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Posted 14 January 2021 - 11:55 AM

The WAR from their relievers comes 90% from Hendricks.  I wrote an article about this yesterday.  Yes Hendricks is worth about 1.5 WAR more than Colome but the games are still played.  Last year the White Sox were perfect in games that Colome pitched, meaning that Colome never was responsible for a loss.  The 3 games they lost when Colome pitched, 2 were in extra innings where Colome pitched a perfect 9th to send it to extras.  Hendricks peripherals may give them a higher WAR but it is hard to better than perfect as far as actual wins and losses.

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#12 Supfin99


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Posted 14 January 2021 - 11:59 AM

There is still plenty of time to make moves.  I like that the Twins are waiting out the market.  Especially in the bullpen where year to year performance is so hard to predict.  I believe there is a very good chance that teams that struck early like Mets for May and White Sox for Hendricks and Astros for Báez are going to be very disappointed when they see what’s other quality relievers end up settling for in early Feb.  My prediction right now is that the Twins get 2 guys who perform better than May in 21 for about half of what he will be paid.

#13 gil4


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Posted 14 January 2021 - 07:26 PM


While this is a useful comparison, I would also note that the White Sox have a couple of young, dynamic players who are likely to perform significantly better than their 2020 WAR - Moncada and Robert in particular. 

The numbers in the article are Fangraphs projected 2021 WAR, not 2020 WAR. 


#14 tony&rodney


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Posted 15 January 2021 - 05:40 PM

This - Cory Kluber can neutralize the White Sox 5-6 times this summer. He has a good beard, is cool, and is super fun to watch pitch as he carves up hitter after hitter.

Doesn't that sound good?

#15 Dennesey55347


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Posted 16 January 2021 - 12:56 PM

Taking WAR out of the equation for a moment, I would take almost all Sox position players over the Twins as they are more reliable from a production/availability standpoint and more proven overall. And Sox players will almost certainly do the little things significantly better like draw walks, steal bases, and extend plate appearances. Pitching comparisons after the season (for me) will be the more interesting follow.