Why The Chicago White Sox Are A Great Long Shot Bet To Win The World Series

Could the Chicago White Sox be the third team in the last four years to be longshots in June but go on to win the World Series?

That’s what baseball fans on Chicago’s South Side hope. The Sox, who toil in a mediocre division and have the talent to be one of the most balanced teams in the American League, have the looks of a club that could go all the way in October. If they do, and if you place a bet on them to do so now, you could cash a nice winning ticket.

Longshots To Win World Series Since 2010

TEAMYEARPRESEASON ODDSODDS ON JUNE 1
Atlanta Braves2021+1000+2000
Washington Nationals2019+1600+6250
San Francisco Giants2012+2000+2500
San Francisco Giants2010+2500+2200

The White Sox were +1100 before the season to win the 2022 World Series. As of June 8, the team is +2000 to win it all on most of the big sports betting apps.

Both the Braves and Nationals, in 2021 and 2019, had equal or longer odds to win the title. Both teams navigated the postseason to capture the World Series. In 2022, an extra team will make the playoffs in each league, making it easier for the ChiSox to get into the mix in October.

If we go back to 2010 and add in the Giants teams that won a pair of titles, we can patch together a description of a team that has the chops to come from long odds to win the World Series.

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Characteristics Of a Longshot World Series Champion

Excellent Pitching

Last season, the Braves rode the arms of ace Max Fried and several relief pitchers to navigate the labyrinth that is MLB’s postseason, knocking off the favored Dodgers and Astros. Likewise, in 2019, the Nationals had Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg at the top of their rotation.

Superb pitching proved pivotal for all of the longshot World Series winners, both in the regular season and in the playoffs.

The White Sox have suffered injuries to a few key pitchers, but at the head of the team rotation are Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease, and Lucas Giolito, all of whom are pitching well. Each of the members of that trio has the stuff to be a bona fide postseason ace.

Getting Hot In The Second Half

In 2021, the Sox played over .600 ball in the first half and tapered off, but still captured the AL Central. Through Thursday, June 9, the team is a game under .500, but only 1 1/2 games out of a playoff spot. It’s possible the team could flip the script and this season and play its best after the All-Star break.

Is there reason for optimism that Chicago could get hot in July?

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Key White Sox Batters, Career First Half & Second OPS

PLAYERFIRST HALF OPSSECOND HALF OPS
José Abreu825897
Luis Robert7751011
A.J. Pollock787829
Yasmani Grandal785802
Tim Anderson757764
Yoán Moncada782774

Most of the key bats in the Pale Hose lineup have a history of being better once the weather warms.

Some Luck

In 2021, the Braves were helped by sagging competition in the NL East Division race, and in 2019, the Nats entered the postseason as a wild card and survived a few tense moments to win the pennant. The 2012 and 2010 Giants famously teetered on the edge of elimination, winning several games that could have ended a playoff run. The Giants benefitted from facing teams that were good matchups.

The Sox play in baseball’s weakest division the anemic AL Central. Currently, the Twins rest atop the division, but uneasy rests the crown. Neither the Royals nor the Tigers will be much trouble for the Sox, and the Guardians (at least on paper) are a flawed team. That clears the way for the defending division champs to drift to the top and grab a postseason spot.

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Why The White Sox Could Win The World Series

The Sox are underachieving because the lineup has been unhealthy and inconsistent. Yasmani Grandal is typically one of the best catchers in the game, but this season he’s hitting .163 and looking lost at the dish. That shouldn’t continue, but it’s just one of the reasons the White Sox can get back on course, enter the playoffs, and get to the Series.

Here are my top reasons the Chicago White Sox could win the 2022 World Series:

  1. Grandal, Jose Abreu, and Tim Anderson get back to where they should be offensively. All three are former All-Stars who can carry a team for a week or more at a time. No other team in the division has the firepower the Sox have in the middle of the order.
  2.  Johnny Cueto finds some of that old magic. The veteran righty has served well as a spot starter. He can no longer carry a staff, but Cueto’s deceptive deliveries, arm angles, and crafty pitches are enough to fool opposing lineups. If the Sox get into the playoffs, Cueto Baseball can be an X factor.
  3. The Sox have a great up-the-middle defense. Luis Robert in centerfield, Anderson at short, and Leury Garcia at second base make up a dependable defensive core.
  4. Experience: the team acquired left fielder A.J. Pollock as much for his postseason pedigree as anything else. The 34-year-old has played in each of the last three postseasons.
  5. Manager Tony La Russa has seen it all and done just about everything in the game. Including leading two teams (the 2006 and 2011 Cardinals) to unlikely World Series titles. Neither of those teams had great regular seasons. But in today’s MLB, it’s about getting to the dance, then showing off your moves.

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

About the Author

Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes has written three books about sports. He previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He enjoys writing, running, and lemon bars. He lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters and usually has an orange cream soda nearby.