The Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers are both way out of playoff contention and the season is almost over, but this series still means something.
The Chicago White Sox are about to start a three-game series with a team that has a worse record than them in the Detroit Tigers. The White Sox sit in third place in the American League Central with a record of 66-86 and Detroit is in fifth (last) place with a record of 45-107. It has been tough treading for Detroit as they work on their rebuild. The difference in Detroit’s rebuild and the Sox rebuild, is they didn’t have a Chris Sale to trade away for elite prospects or have a deal like the one the White Sox had with the Chicago Cubs for Jose Quintana.
That doesn’t mean they can’t ever get lucky like that or do really well drafting. In fact, you should fully expect Detroit to rebuild from the ground up and be a thorn in the White Sox side in a few years. Right now though, the White Sox should be able to play well in this series and handle their business in Detroit. Dylan Cease, Ivan Nova, and Reynaldo Lopez will start each of the three games for the White Sox and Jordan Zimmermann, Tyler Alexander, and Matthew Boyd will pitch for the Tigers.
So why should White Sox fans care so much about this series if both teams are locked out of the playoffs? There are two major storylines that involve the White Sox going into this series that could help lead to some fantastic accomplishments by two individuals on the team. It involves Jose Abreu and Tim Anderson who have a chance to do something really great.
Anderson has a chance not only to lead the American League but all of Major League Baseball in batting average. He currently sits in first with a .335 average and the next closest is Anthony Rendon of the Washington Nationals at .330. The next closest in the American League is New York Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu with a .329 average. If Anderson were to win the batting title, that would be amazing for his confidence going into 2020.
Abreu is in a three-way tie for the MLB lead in RBIs. Abreu, Rendon, and Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves all have 119 and they are two clear of Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado. The next closest in the American League is Boston Red Sox slugger Rafael Devers with 110. Abreu has a real chance to not only stay ahead of Devers for the A.L. lead but pull away for the league lead as well.
Detroit is a team that loses a lot of baseball games and this could be a great opportunity for these two to pull away in their respective categories. This is also a good opportunity for the team as a whole to get in a rhythm to end the season. A good series could propel them into a series with the Cleveland Indians on a roll, and they could devastate their playoff chances by playing well against them. Look for the White Sox to compete hard in this series that is meaningless as far as the standings are concerned.