Chicago White Sox Odds: Projections Worse Than MLB Win Totals?

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Written By Mo Nuwwarah | Last Updated
White Sox odds

Welcome to TheLines.com’s 2024 MLB odds preview series. Here, we’ll preview every team’s outlook, focusing on MLB win totals and World Series odds. We’ll evaluate each team’s roster and see if there are any wagers worth considering. For starters, let’s dig into White Sox odds.

Chicago experienced a swift and exceptionally harsh fall from 93 wins and a division title in 2021. It fell back to .500 after just one season and has become one of the worst teams in MLB since. Perhaps worse, the future doesn’t look much brighter, with a still-recovering farm system and the possibility that more sell-offs loom.

Will the White Sox hit rock bottom in 2024?

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White Sox Odds: An Overview And What The Projections Say

First, let’s compare the market on White Sox odds to publicly available projections from FanGraphs and Baseball Prospectus.

  • 2023 wins: 61
  • Market wins: /
  • FanGraphs wins: 66.7
  • Baseball Prospectus wins: 65.8

The market is a bit lower on the White Sox than the projections. That makes sense since projections tend to regress to the mean, given that the White Sox occupy an extreme end of the expected wins.

These numbers may also reflect the reality that the White Sox might not be done tearing things down. Dylan Cease has been persistently mentioned in trade rumors, and it makes far more sense to deal him than not since he has two years left on his deal, won’t sign an extension (as a Scott Boras client), and won’t be part of the next White Sox contender. Luis Robert Jr. and Eloy Jimenez would likely be in the tail ends of their primes at best. They’re probably worth more in a trade than they are on the next White Sox contender.

Evaluating The White Sox Roster

Bats And Defense

If one squints hard enough at the top of the White Sox lineup, one could envision this becoming a reasonably potent offense. Robert is obviously a star, coming off a healthy 5-WAR season. Jimenez posted an elite batting line (143 wRC+) just two seasons ago. There are worlds where Andrew Vaughn and Andrew Benintendi provide above-average contributions. Admittedly, that would likely mean Vaughn got dealt somewhere that he could DH, but bear with me.

This was a putrid offense in 2023 and will probably be so again. They were especially awful (29th) against right-handed pitching. That’s a problem since most pitchers throw with their right hands.

Vaughn and Jimenez give back almost everything they produce at the plate with horrid defense since only one can DH. Vaughn was borderline comical in the field last season. Benintendi is coming off two straight seasons with below a .100 ISO.

The less said about the bottom of the lineup, the better. Martin Maldonado is the projected starter at catcher. He last posted a 1 WAR season in 2018.

The defense was rated in the bottom six by all advanced metrics. Adding Paul DeJong and Nicky Lopez might help a tad, but their feeble bats cancel out any defensive gains.

Chicago’s Pitching Staff

Cease crashed from Cy Young odds contender to average arm last season, as he lost a tick of fastball velocity and failed to garner as many chases or swinging strikes. The projections expect him to bounce back and produce an above-average campaign. He may not be an ace, but he’s a solid top-of-the-rotation pitcher who can still have ace-like seasons.

You’d shudder to think what this rotation would look like if he gets traded. Chris Flexen is terrible, injuries have likely ruined Michael Soroka, and Michael Kopech looked completely lost. His 6.33 BB/9 signaled that he likely should have been moved to the pen or sent to Triple-A. Alas, he serves as the No. 3 in this group.

The only possible source of real upside comes from KBO export Erick Fedde. The one-time first-rounder busted with the Nationals but performed at an ace level overseas, winning both MVP and the Korean equivalent of the Cy Young. It’s possible he figured something out.

As bad as the rotation looks, the bullpen is far worse. Things are truly dire when John Brebbia and Jesse Chavez are projected into the back-end spots. Perhaps Garrett Crochet can bring some competence and actual heat (FB velo of 96.5) to the bullpen, but the team reportedly plans to try and stretch him as a starter. That seems likely to end in failure since he walked more than a batter per inning last season.

Possible Bets On White Sox Odds

There isn’t a whole lot to say here. The White Sox project to be terrible, the market thinks they’ll be terrible, and I expect them to be terrible. Outside of Cease and a couple of batters in the top half of the lineup, the White Sox don’t have MLB quality starters basically anywhere.

The only bet I’ll be looking for is something on the White Sox to finish last in the division. I’m a little higher than the market on the Royals and Detroit looks more below average than bad. I haven’t seen these markets open anywhere yet. If I can get plus-odds, I’ll probably have a piece.

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