Chicago White Sox playoff chances still exist but barely
By Chip Egan
For many Chicago White Sox fans, the chances of the team making the postseason this year are very slim based on the team’s performance heading into the last month of the season.
However, the reality is there’s still a chance that the team can make their way into playing ball into October.
At this point, the White Sox’s best chance of getting there is by winning their division which is still a possibility.
Following their win over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night, the White Sox climbed to within four games of the first-place Cleveland Guardians and just one behind the second-place Minnesota Twins.
Starting on Friday, the White Sox have the opportunity to make a move on Minnesota as they play host to the Twins for three games (they have nine games left with Minnesota). If things fall right, they could pick up ground on Cleveland who entertains a very good Seattle Mariners ballclub that currently holds the second wild card spot in the American League.
The Chicago White Sox still have a slim chance at this point in the season.
Again, that is if things fall right for the White Sox who find themselves on a very modest two-game winning streak. Building on that momentum is critical for the White Sox who have not won more than six games in a row at any point this year.
Making some hay in the standings against the Twins is very important because following the three games against Minnesota, the White Sox head out west to play Seattle for three and then have four with the Oakland A’s. Both have been thorns in the White Sox side over the years but this season the Sox have taken two of three from each in the only series matchups to date.
The White Sox will not only have to win games on their own down the stretch but will have to get some help since there are not many head-to-head encounters with Cleveland left. They only have four games remaining with the Guardians, three of which will be in Cleveland.
If there is a reason for optimism, it could come in the form of the starting pitching for the Sox which has been pretty good of late.
Dylan Cease and Johnny Cueto have been solid all season and Lance Lynn has been looking more like the pitcher he was last season. Lynn posted a 2-1 record in August, giving up just 10 earned runs in 36 innings while striking out 42 and allowing only three walks.
Lucas Giolito went 4-2 in August but he has lacked the consistency the team was hoping to get from him. Giolito’s ERA went up over that time from 5.06 to 5.27.
Michael Kopech is currently on the injured list with knee issues but is expected to be back with the club on September 7th.
The series with the Royals did provide a positive for the White Sox offense which has been devoid of power much of the season. The White Sox hit six homers against Kansas City and plated 18 runs which is something they will need to continue to do,
A boost to the team could come in mid-September when shortstop Tim Anderson is due back from a middle finger injury he suffered in early August.
But, while there is still a chance the White Sox can get into the postseason, a lot hinges on the team playing better defensively. The White Sox can ill afford to make the errors that have plagued them, leading to being tied for 25th in the majors in fielding percentage at .983 and sixth overall in errors with 79.
While improbable, it’s not impossible for the White Sox to be playing October baseball. Yes, they have not done much to instill confidence in the fanbase to think they can turn the corner with only a month left. But stranger things have happened and fans can only hope luck finally comes the White Sox way.