I think the White Sox have already claimed the Dead Pelican Cup, even if their entire team comes down with the plague and the Cubs eke out a sweep this week. The White Sox are a legit contender in the AL Central, in fact they're the only team with a positive run differential in the whole group. Their +36 is third best in the AL, trailing only the Yankees and Rangers. They're still only 1.5 games ahead of Clevelad and 3 in front of the lurking Tigers.
Respective league ranks in parens
|wOBA||.297 (14th)||.322 (5th)|
|BSR||3.4 (3rd)||-0.4 (9th)|
|UZR||3.8 (7th)||1.1 (9th)|
|DRS||+8 (4th)||-6 (12th)|
|SP FIP||3.97 (11th)||4.03 (5th)|
|RP FIP||4.69 (16th)||4.08 (13th)|
Cubs bullpen: still last in MLB! Though they've managed to halve the gap with Toronto since the last preview. Progress!
Not surprisingly, Paul Konerko leads the Sox offense with a .437 wOBA. It's a slugg-y team all around, with regulars Konerko, Adam Dunn, A.J. Pierzynski (ugh), and Alex Rios all posting SLG at or near .500. It's been mitigated by some pretty lousy performances elsewhere in the lineup, most notably Alexei Ramirez, but the offense is firing just fine. The best baserunner on the team has been journeyman OF Alejandro De Aza, who has swiped 14 bags and has generally been putting up unexpectedly solid numbers in RF. Not surprisingly, Dunn and Konerko, along with sometime LF Dayan Viciedo have been even bigger negatives on the basepaths. De Aza and Ramirez project as the best defenders, while Vicedo and Konerko do the best statue impressions (other than DH Adam Dunn).
ERA, FIP, xFIP, ZiPS FIP listed for each pitcher
This is Stewart's first start of the year. He's filling in for the injured John Danks. He's pitched in the bullpen all season, and while he has a 1.48 BB/9, he only struck out five and a half batters per inning and gave up plenty of homers. That more or less follows his time as a starter last season, where he put up a 5.88 ERA / 4.70 FIP in eleven starts.
Garza has come back to earth this season, merely giving good performances rather than great ones. He still has the fantastic GB rate from last year, but the biggest difference this year has been HRs. Hopefully he has another nice start, and his AL East Mentality entices some team to back up the prospect truck for him.
Poor Travis Wood seemingly gets matched up against the other team's ace each time out. He went into the seventh inning against Verlander in his last outing, giving up three runs while striking out three and walking two.
The oft-injured Peavy has managed to avoid the DL this year and put up great numbers in the process. He's had some BABIP luck (.239) but he's pretty much the pitcher the White Sox were hoping they'd get when they acquired him.
I've finally fallen off the Randy Wells bandwagon, though if the Cubs do unload the top of their rotation he'll have another chance to regain his value from two years ago. He was awful in AAA, and has been lousy as the swingman.
Floyd has always been the forgotten White Sox pitcher for me, and at first glance he's been especially forgettable this year. He's had a lot of bad HR luck, but otherwise his numbers look good. He's seen a significant jump in his strikeout rate.