The White Sox Are AL Central Favorites and They Deserve It

Photo: Hannah Foslien - Getty Images

The Chicago White Sox must’ve missed the memo. It’s supposed to be a cheap and quiet MLB offseason but they continue spending money directly under the noses of their divisional rivals.

While Cleveland was trading away Francisco Lindor, successfully closing their championship window, and the Minnesota Twins were frozen in COVID time, the Sox got busy and have been taking advantage of a stagnant free agent market. Now, on paper… they look sizably better than everyone else.

The national media has jumped on the Sox’ bandwagon and I certainly can’t blame them. They’re a fun, young team that has a front office unafraid of going all in when the time is right.

Blowing by the Twins

The Twins barely outran the Sox during 2020’s 60-game sprint, taking the AL Central by just one game. That was despite a top-6 pitching staff and the South Siders’ clear superiority on offense. Minnesota can hit but Chicago had 4.0 more points of WAR than any other AL team last season.

So what did Chicago do to address their pitching, which most wouldn’t even call a “weakness”? They did what contenders should do. The front office signed Lance Lynn for their starting staff, a top six Cy Young finisher in consecutive seasons; along with Liam Hendriks, the best relief pitcher in baseball (according to MLB Network).

If you look at the two batting lineups side-by-side, it looks even worse. Here are the projected lineups for the Chicago White Sox and Minneosta Twins this season, according to

Remember, the Twins haven’t even had the stones to sign Nelson Cruz back into their DH spot yet.

Does Minnesota have a clear advantage at any position? Max Kepler in right field over Adam Eaton probably… but even Max is looking to bounce back from a down 2020. Outside of RF, you could argue that Chicago is better at every position.

There are still moves to be made… for both teams.

This offseason is far from over and a fair amount of action is yet to be had. Both the Twins and White Sox will add players and, consequently, the Twins could claw their way back to the top of the AL Central preseason power rankings. But I honestly don’t see that as a likely scenario anymore.

The Twins will probably bring back Nelson Cruz, but I expect the Sox to sign a DH before all is said and done too. Much like the Twins, I expect Chicago to go out and get both another legitimate arm and bat before innings start counting in a couple of months.

Chicago is trying to steal the AL Central crown and the Minnesota Twins front office is just watching it happen. Now I’m concerned this is about to be the White Sox’ division.

Cooper Carlson | Minnesota Sports Fan