This past week, we had our good friend Patrick Nolan come on the podcast to talk about the upcoming season. In general, we have similar expectations of the White Sox being somewhere around .500 but also possibly being in the mix in the AL Central as we near September. While those two things may contradict themselves, it’s fairly easy to explain. The Sox have removed a lot of risk from their roster by having starting pitching depth, replacing C, DH, and RF with a star, a reliable veteran and a high upside league average player in that order, and bolstering the bullpen with a Steve Cishek. So the outlook has less negative volatility. However, there are a number of players that could over perform and cause the team to exceed expectations. When we discuss this, I laid it out in terms of a parlay. You can listen to the snippet here:
So I figured I would put together the parlay that I believe the Sox need to hit in order to be real World Series contenders. Now, you might say “Chorizy, do they really have to hit on all of these?” To that I would respond: What if I told you prior to 2019 that Tim Anderson would lead the AL in batting average, Eloy Jimenez and Jose Abreu would combine for 64 HR, Yoan Moncada would be a 5+ fWAR player, Yolmer would win a Gold Glove, Alex Colome would be top 10 in saves, and Lucas Giolito would emerge as one of the best pitchers in baseball leading the league in complete games and shutouts? You’d probably ask how they did in the playoffs before you guessed that they sucked so bad the league didn’t even make them play all of their games. So yeah, they gotta hit ’em all.
For the odds, I’m using American style odds. This means we’re basing this on $100 bets. So -200 odds means you would bet $200 to win $100. Conversely, +200 odds would pay $200 on a $100 bet. You can also think of +200 as 2 to 1 odds meaning $2 won for every $1 bet.
Moncada, Grandal, and Giolito Maintain: -500
While regression is surely a possibility, I think this is one of our two safest bets. Injuries seem to be the riskiest part of that and that’s why this is not at -1000. But let’s be optimistic, since we’re not betting with real money.
E5, Eloy, and Abreu combine for 100 HRs: -500
This is another one that I think should absolutely happen. Age is the biggest factor on both ends. Edwin or Jose experience a down turn in their career or Eloy suffers the completely made up, yet dreaded, sophomore slump. Otherwise, this feels like it will easily be exceeded.
Luis Robert is the real deal: -200
This seems to be a foregone conclusion for most of us fans. However, it’s possible that he is not and if he’s not, this team is in a world of trouble. Imagine him being a Cameron Maybin type and either Nomar Mazara or Eloy getting hurt. That outfield gets bad real fast.
Yolmer Sanchez was a 1 fWAR player and the Sox released him after the season. It’s imperative that the Sox get more value out of that position and while Nick’s fielding appears to be able to stand up to Yolmer’s, the Sox absolutely need him to hit far better. Outdoing Yolmer’s .638 OPS should be no problem, so this is a favorite to win.
Keuchel and Gio G pitch to their career averages: -150
While I like both of these acquisitions and I do think this will happen, there is quite a bit of risk here. Age and health are both factors along with iffy fielding behind them. Since this is a parlay within itself, I should be giving this longer odds. But like I said, it’s fake money and we’re being positive. Not to mention, we’ll get to the fielding in other bets.
Rodon, ReyLo, and Cease make an avg 5th starter: -150
This is another one I am pretty confident in because it won’t require all of them to be good. Instead, we’re slamming them all together like my main man Station to create a single pitcher. But as you noticed, we’ve only mentioned 4 pitching spots and that leads us to our next bet.
I thought about putting longer odds on this because he’s coming back from injury, but he’s young and is an absolute beast. This is key to a lot of the White Sox success and there is risk here. If this doesn’t happen it alters the odds of everything above.
Colome, Herrera, Cishek, and Bummer are an above league average back of the bullpen: +150
This counts on no regression from Colome, Cishek, and Bumnmer while also needing a vast improvement from Herrera. Yes, it’s possible that some young buck will surprise us, but that’s built into the odds.
Tim Anderson cuts his errors in half: +200
I’m not even talking about how well he hits. We have been told that Timmy can cut his errors in half, which is a tall order. But judging by the pitchers the Sox have brought in, they totally believe it will happen. I’d love to see it, but we need odds on this bet.
Nomar Mazara is a 2 fWAR player: +200
Steamer projections are already high on Mazara, but this is a risky one. He could break out and exceed this, but more than likely he’ll need to hit 30 HR to get to 2 fWAR as his fielding is uninspiring and he likely won’t play against LHP. Getting this much value out of him will be difficult, but if you do, it’s gonna be a fun season in the 108!
You’ve likely read this and thought that none of these seem that insane (maybe the Timmy one), but as a die hard fan you’d probably lay a few bucks on each one if the White Sox ever open their sports book. But let’s go to our good friends at Sports Book Review and calculate this parlay. This bet would pay out at roughly +5300 or 53 to 1.
This exercise is not meant to discourage you. As I mentioned in the podcast, the Titans faced similar odds and they made it to the AFC Championship. Check out this article where Derrick Henry is opening the season at +1400 or 14 to 1 to win the rushing title. In college football, I’m sure you would have liked to have that +3000 bet slip for a LSU National Championship or the +10,000 slip for a Joe Burrow Heisman.
These are not the most probable occurrences, but they absolutely do happen. It takes some luck to get there, but as the Old Hawkaroo would say, “They’re Due.”