Chicago White Sox: Team must sweep Royals to keep playoff hopes alive

Chicago White Sox (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
Chicago White Sox (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

The Chicago White Sox must sweep the Royals to keep playoff hopes alive

We are only into the second week of the MLB season, but the Chicago White Sox already find their backs against the wall. With a slow start to the year, the White Sox find themselves in fourth place in the AL Central. I know that only two games separate them from first, but if the team cannot find a way to sweep the Royals this weekend their playoff chances are going to drastically dwindle.

Expectations were high for the White Sox this season. The expectations came from not just fans alone. The organization and the national media has even been high on the White Sox chances and future. Even though most did not see the team as a World Series contender this season, the team was viewed as a playoff contender. Unfortunately, a shortened season does not allow the young team to work through its growing pains.

We have to remember the team is relatively young. However, the organization cannot afford to miss the window of opportunity it has over the next few seasons. Starting out the year 1-4 was the complete opposite of what this team needed. The Twins are the favorite to win the division and the White Sox not only lost two of the first three games in the first series, the Twins outscored the White Sox 27-17 over that three-game span.

Current projections do not look good for the Chicago White Sox

The starting pitching has not been what we all expected. Lucas Giolito started the year out horribly versus the Twins, but his second outing versus Cleveland was very promising and more of what we envisioned based on his 2019 performance. The only other starter to show signs of good things to come was newcomer Dallas Keuchel. Keuchel has two wins under his belt and has allowed only four runs over two games. He has pitched at least five innings in those two outings.

Dylan Cease, Carlos Rodon and Reynaldo Lopez have looked like garbage to start the season though. If these three cannot find a way to lock things down (or Gio Gonzalez while Lopez deals with shoulder soreness) the team’s chances at the playoffs are bleak at best.

Many of you may be saying, eh, it is early. Well, it is, but this is not a normal season. If the White Sox can sweep the Royals this weekend (already won the first outing), then the team will be 5-4 over the first 15 percent of the year. Still not great, but better. Thank goodness for a strong bullpen this season. The problem is the team cannot count on the bullpen longterm and needs the starting pitching to find its true form.

The way the team started the season puts them on a path to finish 34-26 on the year. Will that be enough to make the playoffs? Who knows. What I do know is if they can only win one of the next two games they project to finish 26-34. If they lose both? Yikes. We are looking at a 20-40 projection.

Next. Chicago White Sox roughed up in opening series vs. Twins. dark

Neither of the last two projections have a chance at making the playoffs. Now, I know baseball comes in spurts, but in such a shortened year the team cannot afford to keep losing. The team could go on a hot streak and exploit this as a bad take, but in order to prove the team can even put together an impressive run of wins, it must dominate teams like the Royals.