The Chicago White Sox had about as bad of a start to the 2023 season as you can have. Through the first six weeks of the season the Sox found themselves with a 14-28 record — nine games behind the first place Minnesota Twins in the American League Central. Their poor record featured a 10-game losing streak and talks of trading their young stars had already begun.
Since their 14-28 start, the White Sox are 13-7 with a +23 run differential. Chicago has won five of their last seven series, including a series win that they just capped off on Thursday evening in the Bronx against the New York Yankees. Their recent run of wins, coupled with the struggles seen by the Twins have helped the White Sox dig out of a nine game deficit in the American League Central and now find themselves just three and a half games back of the first place Twins.
The Chicago White Sox recent surge has come largely due to their tremendous pitching. Since May 15, the White Sox are third in all of baseball with a 3.13 ERA. This includes a starting rotation that ranks sixth in baseball with a 3.63 ERA and a bullpen that ranks fourth in baseball with a 2.35 ERA.
On the hitting side, the White Sox have struggled all year. In fact, the White Sox rank 17th in baseball in runs scored this season, just one run more than the Minnesota Twins. Typically strong hitters like Andrew Benintendi and Tim Anderson have to find their groove at the plate and their once powerful lineup ranks just 20th in baseball with 67 home runs on the season.
Similar to the Twins, the Chicago White Sox have struggled with injuries for much of the season, however Chicago’s recent surge has coincided with many of their injured players getting healthy again. Hitters such as Eloy Jiménez, Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada and Jake Burger have all found themselves on the injured list this season. Injuries have also struck the pitching side with players like Joe Kelly and Mike Clevinger being shelved for parts of the year. And then there’s their stud closer, Liam Hendriks, who made his emotional return back to the White Sox on Memorial Day, following his cancer recovery.
Now healthy, the Chicago White Sox might just be the most dangerous team in the American Central. The Twins should fear the White Sox more than other rival teams like the Guardians and Tigers because of the amount of star power that Chicago can put out on the field every night. With players like Luis Robert, Andrew Vaughn, Eloy Jimenez and Lucas Giolito in addition to struggling stars like Dylan Cease and Tim Anderson who are primed for rebounds, the White Sox have the upside of a team that can hit and pitch with the best teams in the American League.
After the first six weeks of the season, the American League Central looked as if it would be a two-team race between the Twins and the Guardians. After the Detroit Tigers made a brief appearance as a possible threat to the division crown, we’re now looking at a three-team race between Minnesota, Cleveland, and perhaps the most dangerous of them all…the Chicago White Sox.
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