The All-Star Break is upon us. The Sox will open up the second half Friday when they host the Cleveland Guardians.
Below we see the White Sox win percentage throughout the season:
The Sox had a rocky start when they lost eight in a row from April 17th to April 26th and fell to 6-10. They responded with a six-game win streak from May 2nd to May 8th! Since then, the White Sox have hovered around .500.
There’s a big gap between the White Sox above average and below average hitters. Jose Abreu was clearly the best hitter in the first half. Anderson, Vaughn, Robert and Burger have provided almost all of the offense.
Moncada and Jimenez have dealt with injuries, but really that next group needs to step up for the Sox offense to take the next step. That gap between the lower group and top group is huge! Right in the middle is the MLB Average, so it’s a very clear line of who’s been above and who’s been below average.
I’ve kept track all year of a stat I created called Pitcher Score. This stat gives a pitcher a number from 0-100 based on each outing. The average MLB start is a 70. This score is determined by expected statistics like xwOBA and expected run differential after each pitch. The below chart shows the White Sox starters for this season.
Dylan Cease has been tremendous, especially as of late (4 of his last 5 starts had a score of 80 or more). Johnny Cueto has been a definite positive, he’s kept in Sox in almost every game he started. The Sox will need Lance Lynn to find his form to really make a push, he hasn’t looked like himself after being injured in his first start this year.
Now onto the relievers, the White Sox bullpen as a whole has been just okay. It ranks 17th in the MLB in Bullpen ERA (3.90).
Kendall Graveman has been the best reliever, followed by Liam Hendriks and Reynaldo Lopez. If Joe Kelly can lock it in, it could really help create some bullpen depth for the Sox.
Overall, the White Sox first half has been far below expectations. The preseason PECOTA projections had them finishing with 95 wins. The current projections have them finishing with 83 wins.
The second half will be about fighting to get into the playoffs. They probably won’t get one of the two first round byes even if they win the Division (Yankees and Astros will likely get those). PECOTA has the Sox at 49.0% to make the playoffs, Fangraphs has them at 54.7%. It’s going to be a tense and hard fought second half!