Fortified by a wave of exciting prospects, the Chicago White Sox are expected to be far more competitive whenever the 2020 MLB season gets underway. The White Sox were projected to be over .500 by FanDuel Sportsbook, but one player on the roster may have trouble hanging on to his starting role.
White Sox closer Alex Colome had the role for all of 2019, notching 30 saves with a 2.80 ERA. However, Colome's peripheral numbers suggest that he may regress heavily in 2020. He only struck out 8.11 batters per nine innings last year while walking 3.39 per nine. His fielding independent pitching (FIP) was 4.08, significantly higher than his ERA.
Colome also benefited from a career-low .215 batting average on balls in play (BABIP), which further suggests that he got very lucky in terms of opposing contact. By Statcast, Colome had the worst expected contact against him of his career, but that didn't translate into actual hits. There's not much to suggest that the 31-year-old Colome's stuff has gotten much better despite his gaudy save numbers. In a limited spring training sample, Colome gave up three homers in his three appearances.
In addition, Colome has legitimate competition behind him. Lefty setup man Aaron Bummer, recently signed to a new contract, had a fantastic year in 2019. His 2.13 ERA and 3.41 FIP were both better than Colome. The White Sox also signed veteran closer Steve Cishek, who saved seven games for the Chicago Cubs last year.
If there is a shortened season with an expanded playoff field, this young White Sox team will be eyeing a playoff run. Because of this, late game relief will be more important than ever. Colome will likely start the season as the closer, but he'll have a shorter leash than ever. As the season goes on, fans should be expecting the White Sox to mix and match with Bummer, Cishek, and Colome, depending on the matchup.
With expanded rosters also likely to be a result of the pandemic, the White Sox will also have the opportunity to expand rosters and immediately bring up top pitching prospects like Michael Kopech and Dane Dunning right away. Regardless of how the deal plays out, the whole situation is more fluid than it looks due to Colome's underlying numbers.
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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. 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.