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Chicago White Sox Are Plunging Toward Their Worst-Case Scenario

One of my biggest problems with major league baseball in 2023 is the sheer volume of teams that aren’t even trying to win. Team payroll disparities are massive from top to bottom, and you can write off at least a third of the teams from postseason contention not long after the season’s first pitch is thrown.

The Chicago White Sox, for all of the bad things that can currently be said about them, are not one of those teams. (Two other members of their division, the Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers, are.) They spend a reasonable amount of money on payroll on an annual basis, rightly seeing themselves as potential contenders. It leads one to wonder what on earth has happened to drop them into their current predicament, tied for last place in the AL Central through Saturday’s games with a 7-21 record, riding a 10-game losing streak that was snapped by a miracle 9th inning rally on Sunday.

Coming into 2023, the Chisox were rightly seen as a division and playoff contender. I’d say the consensus placed them third behind the Cleveland Guardians and my choice, the Minnesota Twins. Most saw Chicago’s strengths as a potentially dominant starting rotation fronted by Dylan Cease, Lucas Giolito and Lance Lynn and an ascendant group of young position players led by Luis Robert, Andrew Vaughn and Eloy Jimenez. Sure, there were questions, like the bullpen, a couple of questionable spots in the batting order and general overall depth, but about 25 of the 30 clubs have at least one major flaw. The best-case scenario would be an easy division win and perhaps a run at 100 wins, while the worst would be………well, what they’re currently experiencing is way worse than anything that anyone could have imagined.

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