By: Trent Pruitt
Pitchers and Catchers from the Grapefruit and Cactus Leagues have been reporting this week and that means only one thing – Baseball season is finally here. Absolutely nothing gets me more fired up than seeing videos of bullpen sessions and hearing that pop as a 95 mph fastball hits the catcher’s mitt.
There is a lot of hype around the White Sox heading into the 2020 campaign and as both a fan and sports bettor, I’m buying it. I wanted to write a brief article explaining why I think the White Sox are a great investment if you’re looking to bet the futures market in the MLB this upcoming season.
The Sox Roster is THAT Good
A brief background on me real quick since I’m sure there are a lot of first-time readers (welcome and thanks for reading!). I’m an absolute realist when it comes to our Chicago sports teams. I’m a sports bettor by trade so I’ve trained myself to put my emotional ties to the side, as you’ll see this season when I write previews and predictions for all 162 (and hopefully more) games. Alright great, with all of that being said, this roster is spectacular. It feels like all of the pieces are finally falling into place on the Southside. Chicago will have a solid rotation featuring Lucas Giolito coming off an excellent year, a former Cy Young winner in Dallas Keuchel, a healthy Michael Kopech, a veteran Gio Gonazalez, and up-and-coming Reynaldo Lopez and Dylan Cease. Do I even need to talk about the hitting potential they have?
On paper, this is the most optimistic we’ve been about a lineup going into Spring Training for as long as I can remember. The most important thing is that they stay healthy and reach at least 80% of their potential. This may sound obvious but I feel that it needs to be said – there is a lot of unproven talent on this team. Sure, Moncada is coming off of a monster year with a .315 average and 25 bombs, James McCann had a career year, and Tim Anderson won the Batting Title, but will we get similar production in 2020? That’s why I say, with how talented this roster is, if they can play at 80% of their peak potential then they have a good shot at taking the Central, if not making a run at the World Series.
The A.L. is Wide-Open
One team I know we can count out is the Astros. First off, no one is winning a pennant with Dusty Baker at the helm. Second, they lost Gerrit Cole to free agency so it’s going to be a tall task filling those shoes. There are only two other teams that really worry me – the Yankees and the Angels. The Yankees are the frontrunner at +150 to win the American League which is insane to me. Talk about absolutely no value there. I also like the Angels to have a really solid season but without a strong rotation, I don’t see them being too much of a threat to the American League come playoff time. Similarly, the Twins proved they have the bats, but will their pitchers be able to excel, unlike we saw in the ALDS in 2019? My vote is no since the additions Minnesota made were only Homer Bailey, Rich Hill, and Kenta Maeda. They traded a huge bullpen arm for Maeda and the pen was already unstable (although this was the right move for them since they need starting pitching).
Besides the Yankees, the American League is wide-open for the taking! As a fan, the championship window is officially open and as a bettor, I couldn’t love the Sox more in terms of the potential ROI a small wager can yield.
Current Odds to Win the A.L. Pennant
Curiosity of Oddsshark.com, here are the odds to represent the American League in the World Series:
Chi White Sox: +1600
Kansas City: +25000
LA Angels: +1600
NY Yankees: +150
Tampa Bay: +900
*+1600 means a $100 wager will pay $1,600.