Things are about to become more difficult for the White Sox. Much more difficult.
The next road trip will include seven consecutive games against first-place teams, the Houston Astros and the Minnesota Twins. These two teams are, according to their winning percentages at the time of writing this article, the two best baseball teams.
The much-missed American League composition of this season means that it is rare to meet high caliber competitions for any team playing outside the AL East. The Astros are one kilometer ahead of the rest of the American West. The Twins have emerged, so far, as the only team capable of winning an aggressively weak Central AL. The New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays – three teams the White Sox have seen once – will be competing for the AL East crown all season, but let's be honest, they all seem to be able to bet wisely the post-season.
The fact that the five teams likely to qualify for the playoffs have already been at the top of the competition and that even Memorial Day is not even a topic of discussion, its subject of discussion given that the tendency to rebuild covers the junior circuit. But for the 2019 edition of the Chicago White Sox, it simply means that this week will probably not be good.
In the 10 games they played against the Rays, the Yankees and the Red Sox, the White Sox were 3-7. They were stuck by the Rays and Red Sox, who beat them 58-18 in seven games on the south side, and they took two of the three Yankees in the Bronx.
Of course, all expectations can be disappointed in a small part of the 162 game season. Remember 2017, when the White Sox swept a three-game series played by the future world champion Astros. The Southern Siders have recorded 95 losses this season, but they have won the number of champions in three games in August.
Will this week be the same? May be. But that does not seem likely.
The Astros are on fire, or at least they were there before the Red Sox broke away from their 10-game winning streak on Sunday. This does not change the fact that the Astros have a plus-92 differential that counts as the best of the game. Or their team ERA 3.43 (second in the AL). Or their batting average of .279 and base .353 base percentage, breathtaking, both score the best in baseball.
The Twins, rivals of the White Sox in the division, will see for the first time in 2019, from Friday, their delay. This offense was also sensational in the first two months of the season, with his second best baseball baseball differential (over-77) and his second best team batting average (.270). No team in both leagues scored more than the Twins, who had 87 in 45 games.
The White Sox, meanwhile, have a fragile starting rotation and affected by injuries – after Sunday's game, the manager Rick Renteria did not specify who started the game on Monday – and a team of pitchers with a BPM of 5.09 that has given 68 circuits this season. On Sunday, Reynaldo Lopez had six innings of the ball, but the White Sox's pen only managed two home runs for the Toronto Blue Jays (one of the worst baseball offenses) in the last two rounds of the game. It was the sixth time of the season that the White Sox scorer allowed several home runs in one game.
"Gulp" could be an appropriate reaction to the White Sox 's seven – time confrontation with Houston and Minnesota over the next seven days.
That does not mean that the White Sox are just a boxing bag for these two giants of the American League. Certainly, most of the teams that faced the Astros and Twins suffered a lot less than desirable. But the gaps between the White Sox rebuilding and this pair of suitors are not small.
The White Sox are trying to accomplish the same thing as the Astros, spending several frustrating years waiting during a rebuilding process before becoming on the other side an eternal opponent and World Series champion . The same Astros who are now harassing the rest of the American league have lost 416 games in the four seasons leading up to their first playoff season in a decade in 2015. By the end of the 2017 campaign, they were world champions. This is the model that the White Sox try to follow.
But the White Sox are not at the top of the mountain yet, and that may be painfully obvious at the end of the next road trip. This does not mean that their rise will not bring them to the same point, but do not try to compare the 2019 White Sox with the 2019 Astros this week. It's not the comparison that counts.
The Twins are a little different, having rearranged their lineup during the off season with free-agent acquisitions that have paid huge dividends. C.J. Cron, Jonathan Schoop, Marwin Gonzalez and Nelson Cruz (currently in IL) have a total of 31 homers in 45 games. But local guys like Jorge Polanco, Mitch Garver, Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler all play as well. This quintet has 43 of the 87 circuits of the Twins this season. It's a solid core of young local hitter, the kind of thing that the White Sox are hoping to have very soon, the kind of thing that is emerging with Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson getting off to a good start and Eloy Jimenez at the major league level (and probably get off the list of injured on Monday).
The White Sox have obviously had positive points this season, and they are clearly in a better position than last year (a record of 21-24 after Sunday's game, against 14-31 in the first 45 games of 2018). ). But their reconstruction process has not yet reached the point where they will trade their shots with the two best baseball teams.
There could be surprises on this road trip. But they do not think it's easy to find. Buckle up, here are the two best baseball teams.
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