HomeBaseballThe 5 – How a shortened season helps the White Sox
The 5 – How a shortened season helps the White Sox
March 31, 2020
In case you’ve just returned from your Space X ride with Elon Musk and are unaware of the goings on of the world, the MLB season will be shortened. How short is yet to be determined, but let’s examine how this will help the White Sox.
Pineda has 39 games left from his 60 game suspension. Coming into the season, it looked like the Twins would be able to skate by using 4 men for most of March/April with an occasional spot starter to get them to the point that he’d be back. If there season were shortened to something like 100 games, he’d miss nearly 40% of the season.
Rodon is coming off Tommy John and most people speculated a return around the All Star break. Mid-July seems so far off, but with no games even scheduled to be played as we roll into April, it’s apparent that we’ll see the opposite effect from Pineda with Rodon. While Pineda is likely to miss a higher percentage of games, Rodon is likely to play in a higher percentage.
The Fifth Starter
The health of both Gio Gonzalez and Michael Kopech were in question as Spring Training began. As it progressed, it felt like both would be ready for opening day and it was likely that Kopech would be sent down for a few starts. Now I know Kopech currently resides in AAA, but that is more paperwork than anything. The White Sox will be able to, with a shortened season, pick from 6 starters to have their opening day 5. And as I mentioned, any early season stumbles or injuries will likely be replaced by one Carlos Rodon.
The Trade Deadline
I will expound on this more in another article, but with the trade deadline coming faster than Mike Damone, the Tigers and Royals will likely be trotting out AA and AAA players a month into the season. This bodes well for anyone in the Central trying to get a wild card spot.
You can see this when you look at a best of 5 series vs a best of 7 series. The team more likely to win does better in the 7 game series. It’s because variance has been reduced. There is less time for unexpected events to be corrected for. Imagine an extreme example of this, the 2019 White Sox play the 2019 Twins 1 game to go to the playoffs. The Sox finished 28.5 games behind those Twins, so you know your odds would be much better to win that game than to win a 7 game series against them. The White Sox are currently predicted by most to be the 3rd best team in the division. This being the case, a shorter season is a benefit to them as the variance is higher.