This model focuses upon Cubs throughout the year but scripts that make Cubs reports work for any team. White Sox are supposed to be an up and coming team and have been sellers at trade deadline for many years to rebuild their farm system. The year 2019 was not very kind to them again. Let’s look at White Sox final team status for 2019.
2019 CHA MONTHLY
The above is a snapshot taken of records at the beginning of each month like what was done for the Cubs. White Sox were 39-42 on July 1, 2019 which represents 3 months of play or 1/2 season. Their BAT derived from runs scored was horrible and PITCH derived from runs scored against was bad.
PE estimate based upon run differential on 7/1 gave them a record of 33-48. The second half of 2019 both BAT and PITCH tanked further as well as their real win loss record of 72-89 , WAA = -17 ( WAA is odd because CHA only played 161 games ). Unlike the Cubs, the White Sox were 4th in top 5 MLB teams winning more games than their PE estimate.
Why teams over or under perform PE estimate is a mystery and different for every team. Winning only 72 games is terrible and PE suggests they win only 68. Bottom line: Both real and estimate suggests the White Sox were a bad team and bad teams typically are not loaded with superstars.
Top White Sox 2019
Above are the top White Sox players for 2019 according to this data model. 7 players in top 200 which isn’t bad for a very sub average team based upon real wins and losses. Three guys in top 100. Lucas Giolito had a rough and tumble year but still landed in the top #50 which is a good sign for him and may be a good sign for things to come with White Sox starting rotation.
He was ranked #9 on 7/1/2019, the halfway point of the season, and pitched around average for the second half. Monthly team status shows White Sox tanked during second half of the season.
The 4 other pitchers above are relievers who don’t get much credit with WAR and Draft Kings but do get credit with this data model. In modern baseball relief pitches around 1/3 of each game. A run given up in the 7th is exactly equivalent to a run given up in the 9th. The guy pitching the 9th often gets a save which may help his Draft Kings team. The guy pitching the 7th gets no accolades. Middle relievers are typically overlooked — especially by WAR.
With the above relievers White Sox could put together a decent relief squad next season.
Although Tim Anderson won the batting title he’s unranked but above average in this data model. White Sox ended the season with -74 runs below average with respect to runs scored which is one of the worst in MLB. That Anderson is above water on this team is a testament to his hitting. Most Sox hitters are under water. They have to be. Someone has to be responsible.
Could it be that with such a high batting average Tim Anderson was saddled with a bad team that couldn’t drive him in and didn’t give him RISP opportunities? is it really his fault? If you assume that Anderson got ripped off for being on a bad team then you must assume the burden for that poor team run production is on the rest of the team. Who could that be?
Jose Abreu drove in 123 runs scoring 85 times. Anderson drove in 56, less than half of Abreu’s haul and scoring around the same. WAR ranks Abreu #166 , Anderson #66. The potential runs Anderson should have gotten based on his league leading batting average is far greater than the actual runs Abreu scored helping White Sox win real games, according to WAR and stats like wRC+.
This data model calculates runs above average in RISP situations which can only be done once event data is release by retrosheet.org; which it has now. Seasonal RISP is usually related to seasonal WAA. Tim Anderson is very slightly below average in RISP situations compared to the rest of MLB which concurs with his slightly above average seasonal WAA. A post showing top and bottom of RISP for the 2019 season coming shortly and it sometimes produces interesting results.
White Sox fielded a Tier 1.5 relief squad each day at the beginning of August which tanked to 0 by the end of the season. They made a lot of acquisitions this winter which we’ll get into more during Spring training. Let’s look at the recent additions to their starting rotation.
Player acquisition is gambling and there are very few pitchers who are consistently good year to year. Both Keuchel and Gonzalez below had their bad years but also very good years. If these two play like their good seasons and Giolito plays like last season and … White Sox might have a decent starting rotation next season to go along with what looks like a decent set of hitters too.
We’ll cover minor leagues next for both Cubs and Sox. In Spring training we’ll look at all the new guys on each team in more detail. Until then ….
UPDATE: The Cubs broke out in 2015 after a tremendous run of terrible teams. There may be similarities between the 2014 Cubs team that preceded 2015 and the 2019 White Sox.
2014 CHN MONTHLY
At the end of 2014 the Cubs had an almost identical final record to White Sox in 2019. Unlike the 2019 White Sox, Cubs took a sudden trip to the cellar that year. Let’s look at top Cubs players that season to see how that compares with 2019 White Sox.
Top Cubs 2014
Players in bold break top 200 next season. One of them wins a Cy Young award. Cubs acquire Lester, bring up Bryant late April, Kyle Schwarber mid June and the rest of the team didn’t suck allowing Cubs to win NLDS. The next season they played even better.
No one can predict the future however.
END OF UPDATE