Even if the Chicago White Sox don't make any more moves before Opening Day, this offseason has been a fun one.
Those are still long-shot odds, for sure, but their improvements are showing in their betting lines in other areas as well, and they sit at +380 to win the AL Central.
That leaves them behind the Minnesota Twins (-165) and Cleveland Indians (+280), but these three stats prove that Chicago is a real threat to win the division in 2020.
1. Addition by Subtraction
The White Sox had four players generate -0.9 wins above replacement (WAR) or worse in 2019: Daniel Palka (-1.3), Yonder Alonso (-1.3), Welington Castillo (-1.0) and Jon Jay (-0.9). Alonso, Castillo and Jay are all gone, and Palka is down in Triple-A. More on some of the bats coming in to replace them later, but simply getting rid of their four most detrimental bats (two of whom were hitting under the Mendoza line in 2019) should be an immediate improvement.
2. Dallas Keuchel Shores up a Weakness
As a unit, the White Sox' starting pitchers checked in at 19th in WAR (9.6) in 2019. Dallas Keuchel has a WAR of at least 3.3 in three of the last six seasons, and of at least 2.3 in five of the last six. He showed that he can still get it done with a 3.75 ERA across 19 starts in 2019. Making a splash with a huge free agent at a position of need shores up a rotation that was on the wrong side of average last year.
3. Luis Robert (and Others) Fix Another Weakness
Luis Robert absolutely mashed in Triple-A last year, slashing .297/.341/.634 with a .396 weighted on-base average (wOBA) in 47 games. He went yard 16 times, adding another 8 homers in Double-A and 8 in High-A, giving him a total of 32 on the year. He's been signed to an extension, and the Sox even traded for Nomar Mazara, whose isolated power (.ISO) of .200 in 2019 shows some serious pop. Chicago also brought in 37-year-old Edwin Encarnacion, who went yard 34 times with a .287 ISO last year. The White Sox were 25th in the MLB with 182 homers in 2019, and they also sat 25th in slugging percentage and 27th in ISO. With three powerful bats joining the White Sox (and most of their worst hitters out of town), their power numbers should see a huge boost in 2020.
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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.