(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the 10th of 30 major league baseball previews leading up to the opening game on Sunday, April 3. On deck: Milwaukee Brewers.)
Some baseball teams decide to conduct fire sales while the Chicago White Sox basically hold a Chris Sale once every six days.
Here is a tall, left-handed sidearm pitcher throwing gas or a big time curve at defenseless batters, especially those from the left side. Southsiders may not carry the World Series optimism being generated from Wrigley up north, but Sale and slugger Jose Abreu are a show worth seeing especially when both are on stage at the same time.
The White Sox aren’t 4-1 like the Cubs, but at 30-1 their chances for postseason greatness are lots better than the Reds and Braves.
Chicago won 76 games a year ago and Westgate SuperBook projects the Pale Hose for 80. Sale won 13 and struck out 274. Abreu hit .290 with 30 homers and 101 RBI. Both can and should do better in 2016.
The big acquisition was third baseman Todd Frazier, who the Reds inexplicably gave up after having a career season and making the NL All Star team for his hometown Cincinnati Reds.
The White Sox will no longer have Hawk Harrelson shouting out “Alexei” but “you can put it on the board, yes,” will again be on full display.
So fans of the White Sox take heart. You will play the Cubs during the season. That’s a guaranteed win for viewers.
Where it goes right: That lefty John Danks can somehow turn a 7-15 record into something close to 15-7 and give Sale from help in the starting rotation.
Where it goes wrong: That Frazier turns into David Freeze and becomes a one-season wonder severely overpaid. And that David Robertson doesn’t get enough chances to save games.
Projection: The White Sox are in a division with the world champion Royals, improving Twins and Indians plus the dangerous Tigers. An 81 win season would not be all bad.