In 2017, the New York Yankees were one game away from the World Series while the Chicago White Sox began their rebuild by trading away several of their key players.
In 2018, the Yankees have contended as expected while the White Sox rebuild has continued.
As such, the two teams now stand with records of 68-42 (NYY) and 41-70 (CWS). However, Chicago is on more of a hot streak right now than New York.
As many fans were proud to witness, Chicago went into Tampa this past weekend and swept the Rays. Each win was a one-run victory as the Sox pulled off gritty performances.
The Yankees – on the other hand – are struggling. According to Ricky Dimon from Winners and Whiners:
"“The Yankees have very little time to lick their wounds after a disastrous series against the biggest rivals…New York saw its losing streak reach a season-high five games when it squandered a 4-1 ninth inning lead and lost 5-4 in 10 innings at Boston”"
Though the Yankees have struggled, many believe that this will be the opportunity they need to regain their confidence and start to build up their hopes once more. As Wild Card favorites, the Yankees still have much to play for – especially with the surging Oakland A’s threatening to take their #1 spot.
As of Monday afternoon, Oakland sits only 2.5 games back of the Yankees in the standings. While most oddsmakers say to take the Yankees in the series despite their recent troubles, some caution that the White Sox shouldn’t be taken for granted.
According to Bleacher Report:
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"“Chicago is a young team without much to play for at this point of the season, which can actually be a good thing. The White Sox are playing loose and could perform the role of spoiler against some playoff contenders down the stretch.”"
With the Sox due to play Cleveland, Boston, and the Cubs later on this season, this could offer some hopes for Sox fans.
As Hawk Harrelson has stated numerous times during live broadcasts – particularly in previous Septembers when the Sox were contending and the Royals were playing spoiler – it’s not so much who you play, it’s when you play them.
With this young White Sox team having nothing to lose and everything to gain in the name of growth and rebuild for next year, it will be interesting to see how well they hold up against some of the more challenging teams in MLB.