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Chicago White Sox: 5 reasons they will beat the Houston Astros

Tom Pappalardo
CHICAGO - AUGUST 31: Jose Abreu #79 of the Chicago White Sox celebrates with teammates during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 31, 2021 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
CHICAGO - AUGUST 31: Jose Abreu #79 of the Chicago White Sox celebrates with teammates during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 31, 2021 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /
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Chicago White Sox, Tony La Russa
(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /

5. Tony La Russa has had a good year

Tony La Russa has been everything that the Chicago White Sox needs and more.

Last but not least, we have the not-so-young Tony LaRussa. Now that Tony is done tinkering with lineups and the roles of his relievers, we should see the best of what he can bring as the White Sox manager.

I strongly suspect, outside of the wear and tear of a long season, that Tony’s constant experimenting with where guys hit in the lineup and how the bullpen guys were used took its toll on his players.

It is well-known that ball players want consistency in how they are used and typically don’t respond well to lots of surprises. However, that is what Tony did to his players all during the season. A good example of this is in the last game of the regular season when Reynoldo Lopez was brought in to start the ninth inning.

I cannot recall Lopez ever pitching in the ninth inning. His pitching that day was like a very bad joke. Presumably, he was not at all prepared to be put on the mound in a ninth-inning role. The other piece of evidence regarding this is how often the very talented White Sox bats were held in complete check by opposing pitchers.

That is the bad news. The good news is his experimenting is over and Tony has figured out exactly how he wants to use these guys. James Fegan of The Athletic confirmed this in an article that includes conversations Fegan had with players Tony has managed in the past.

Based on Fegan’s research, Tony is also locked and loaded for the playoffs in terms of just how he is going to use his guys in this hopeful march to the World Series. Extrapolating what Tony has done during the season and is expected to do in the playoffs leads me to this conclusion.

Based on Tony’s previous approach to managing in the playoffs, we should see the best of what this White Sox team is capable of during these MLB playoffs. They already finished strong in the last week of the season.

Given the White Sox top to bottom abundance of talent, being led by a Hall of Fame manager, it is quite realistic to expect this team to make it all the way to the World Series. However, first, they have to beat the Astros in at least one road game in Houston.

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