Welcome, Chicago fans. To say the White Sox have been a disappointment thus far in 2023 would be a MASSIVE understatement. Going into their series opener against Toronto on Monday, the Sox have the 3rd-worst record in the American League at 7-15.
Key offseason additions haven’t lived up to expectations in the early going, but there is reason for optimism on the South Side.
The infield is depleted with both Tim Anderson and Yoan Moncada both on the IL. Good news is that both are expected back soon, hopefully early this week.
The BEST news for White Sox faithful is that Liam Hendricks has recently announced that he is CANCER-FREE!
Back to the diamond. Here is my best bet on Tuesday as the Sox look to turn things around during their trip to Toronto.
White Sox at Blue Jays, 7:07 ET (TOR -195, O/U 9.5)
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On the surface, it seems like Mike Clevinger has been pitching fairly well. He has a 2-1 record and a 3.26 ERA. This is why we dig deeper. ERA is not an indicator of success in 2023. His xERA (expected ERA) is well over 6.
Clevinger has actually been objectively terrible as far as starting pitching goes. He has just 6.98 K/9 and a pathetic 5.12 BB/9. He is allowing virtually no soft-hit baseballs (11.9%), and I already mentioned that he isn’t missing bats. His swinging strike rate is just 7.6%, which ranks 217th out of 246 among pitchers who have thrown at least 10 innings in 2023. Yikes.
Additionally, Clevinger allows FAR too many walks (11 in just 19.1 IP), but the Blue Jays also have the 8th-lowest K rate in MLB. The likelihood of this combination working out well for the White Sox is…not good.
Can we Trust Jose Berrios?
On the opposite side, Jose Berrios got off to an incredibly rocky start to 2023. He allowed 14 runs (12 earned) in just 9.2 IP in his first two starts.
Finally, he has since turned a corner in two tough matchups (Tampa Bay and Houston). Berrios served up just three earned runs on nine hits with a 9/1 K/BB across 12 innings. Additionally, only Arizona has been less patient at the plate (5.3%) than the White Sox and their 6.7% BB rate.
Berrios just doesn’t allow a lot of free passes, and the White Sox are allergic to walks. Besides, over the past week, Chicago has a 26.4% K rate, 7.1% BB rate, and are batting .180 as a TEAM. They have scored just 20 runs in six games (and SEVEN of those came in one game).
This one doesn’t look pretty on paper, and I don’t expect that it will be.
Give me the Blue Jays RL -1.5 (+105 at DraftKings)
The Rogers Centre won’t be kind to the Sox in this one.