CHICAGO — To say the 2022 Chicago White Sox were disappointing would be an understatement. Before the season started, the baseball pundits on ESPN predicted they would finish with a 93-69 record—with other places thinking they’d win as many as 95, and make the playoffs. One writer even said the White Sox could win the World Series.
Unfortunately for the Sox, a series of unexpected events, namely significant injuries to significant players helped them sputter to an 81-81 record.
This year, the White Sox are hoping to rebound and forget about their disastrous 2022. And now that Spring Training is just around the corner, the first 2023 predictions have made the rounds and the White Sox are at an 83 ½ win total according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Locked On White Sox host Nick Murawski wondered if that 83-win prediction was being too generous or possibly too stingy. Murawski came to the conclusion that it was too low.
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In baseball, it’s true that a lot of things have to go right for a team to win but the opposite is also true, a lot has to go wrong for a team to go from being a possible World Series contender to finishing at .500 like the White Sox did last season.
Murawski mentioned Luis Robert, Yoan Moncada, and Lucas Giolitto as guys the White Sox who need to be healthy in 2023 along with Michael Kopech and Eloy Jimenez. Starter and Cy Young Finalist Dylan Cease was one of the only White Sox players not stung by the injury bug in 2022.
Some fans may not have been happy with the seemingly complacent offseason the White Sox front office had. Their only major moves were signing free agent outfielder Andrew Benintendi to a five-year/$75M deal this winter and having a new manager in Pedro Grifol, The team received the lowest grade from The Athletic which graded every MLB team’s offseason moves—and they were the only team to receive an F. But the Sox have the same group of core guys coming back and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Murawski thinks the law of averages could work in the White Sox’s favor in 2023, especially after nearly every core player suffered an injury of some kind in 2022. It can’t happen again. Years like that are almost as unlikely as predicting a team to win wire-to-wire in a 162-game season.
And that’s the beauty of baseball and of sports in general. You get to predict how you think a team will do before a pitch is thrown and then you watch and see how that prediction plays out. Sometimes you’re close and sometimes you’re way off the mark.
Last year, many baseball pundits were way off the mark with more than a few teams. The 2022 Baltimore Orioles were forecasted to be the worst team in the league by ESPN and they ended up being better than the White Sox, Boston Red Sox, and Minnesota Twins, though that might be more of an indictment against ESPN’s baseball writers and their predictions than those teams and their performances.
Still, it’s fun to come up with predictions and the reasons for them before a game is even played so should White Sox fans expect the 2023 squad to perform better than 2022? The odds are in their favor.