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White Sox’ World Series Odds Improve From +6000 to +4700 With Grandal Acquisition, Bumgarner Rumors

White Sox manager Rick Renteria talks with the umpires
There were no 100-loss teams in the MLB in 2017, but Rick Renteria's White Sox will give that number a run this year, along with the Marlins and Tigers. Photo by Keith Allison (flickr) [CC License].
  • The Chicago White Sox haven’t had a winning season since 2012
  • Extension for Jose Abreu and signing of Yasmani Grandal have seen their World Series odds fall
  • The White Sox are expected to spend heavily this off-season

The Chicago White Sox have been one of the most active teams in MLB free agency so far. Their 2020 World Series odds have moved from an average of +6000 to +4700 over the last fortnight or so.

Sportsbooks currently price White Sox as short as +2500 to win a fourth World Series in franchise history.

Chicago haven’t had a winning season since the 2012 campaign, and have been through a lengthy rebuild. One of the best farm systems in baseball is starting to deliver in the Majors, however, and there are plenty more prospects on their way through including Luis Robert, the number three prospect in all of baseball per MLB Pipeline.

2020 World Series Odds

Team Odds
New York Yankees +500
Houston Astros +700
Los Angeles Dodgers +700
Atlanta Braves +1100
Boston Red Sox +1400
Washington Nationals +1400
Milwaukee Brewers +1600
New York Mets +1600
Philadelphia Phillies +1600
St. Louis Cardinals +1600
Chicago Cubs +2000
Cleveland Indians +2000
Minnesota Twins +2000
Chicago White Sox +2500
Los Angeles Angels +2500
Oakland Athletics +2500
Tampa Bay Rays +2500
Cincinnati Reds +3300
Colorado Rockies +3300
San Francisco Giants +3300
San Diego Padres +4000
Arizona Diamondbacks +5000
Kansas City Royals +5000
Seattle Mariners +5000
Texas Rangers +6600
Pittsburgh Pirates +10000
Toronto Blue Jays +10000
Detroit Tigers +15000
Miami Marlins +15000
Baltimore Orioles +25000

Odds taken Dec. 6.

Active Winter

The White Sox have already made notable moves this winter. All-Star catcher Yasmani Grandal arrived on a four-year, $73 million deal, the biggest in franchise history. Franchise first baseman Jose Abreu accepted a qualifying offer than extended his deal with a three-year, $50 million pact.

Chicago have been players in the starting pitcher market, too. Zack Wheeler ultimately signed with the Philadelphia Phillies on a five-year, $118 million deal, but – as reported by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal – the White Sox actually outbid the Phils. Wheeler preferred to stay on the east coast, meaning Chicago are still looking for a big-name starter.

Andy Martino reported that the White Sox – along with the rivals the Minnesota Twins – are among heaviest suitors’ for Madison Bumgarner.

Work to Be Done

With Wheeler, Michael Pineda and Cole Hamels gone, Chicago are facing plenty of competition to add to their rotation. The Twins, Yankees and Angels are just three of the teams in the market for a free agent arm.

A willingness to spend has contributed to their odds moving, but it remains to be seen if they can land a difference making starter after their rotation ranked 25th in Baseball Reference’s Wins Above Average in 2019.

If they are to construct a contender for 2020, the White Sox are not just reliant on making sensible additions this winter. They also need Lucas Giolito to pick up where he left off in 2019 and getting a fully healthy Michael Kopech back would be a huge bonus after he missed last season with Tommy John surgery.

The bullpen was solid in 2019, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Rick Hahn make a move for an experienced reliever, too. Daniel Hudson or Will Harris are two of the best free agents available with Will Smith, Chris Martin, Jake Diekman and Drew Pomeranz already having signed elsewhere.

No Value Just Yet

Being in the American League Central – with the Royals and Tigers not expected to be competitive in 2020 – gives the White Sox an advantage. The Indians could be about to embark on a retool with rumors of trades for Francisco Lindor and Corey Kluber appearing as well.

Minnesota, despite winning 101 games last season, should be strong again.

There’s no value backing Chicago at +2500 to win the World Series. The average odds of +4700 are slightly more tempting, though that still relies on multiple major moves over the next few weeks.

Even with Nick Madrigal and Robert on the way, they could use another bat. There’s uncertainty in the rotation. Fangraphs currently projects Reynaldo Lopez, Carson Fulmer, Dylan Cease and Dylan Covey to follow Giolito. Kopech impressed in Arizona, but he’s far from a guarantee coming off surgery and having appeared in four Major League games.

Adding a couple of veteran starters before opening day should be a priority for Hahn. Tying up Abreu and landing arguably the best catcher in the game has been a great start to their off-season, but it’s not enough to make them World Series contenders in 2020 just yet.

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