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When the Chicago White Sox lost one of the best young hitters in baseball, it was a big blow. When they lost another young star, it seemed they could fade.
After posting one of the best records in baseball without Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert, White Sox fans are dreaming about what happens if they come back for the playoffs.
The White Sox have quietly been one of the best teams in baseball this season. They have solid pitching and a fantastic lineup even without two of the better hitters in baseball. The White Sox are 41-24 overall, 25-11 at home and 15-5 in their last 20.
Yet, they're underdogs on Monday.
The White Sox host the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night. They have a tough matchup against Tyler Glasnow, one of the best pitchers in baseball. But they counter with Lance Lynn, who has a 1.23 ERA. The Rays are very good but the White Sox are slight -105 underdogs at BetMGM, and it's hard to pass on the White Sox at that price.
Lynn is making a Cy Young case. Since he gave up three runs against Cleveland on May 1, he has been phenomenal. In seven starts since, he has given up no earned runs four times, one earned run twice and two earned runs once. In that stretch he has a 0.88 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP. Glasnow is great but Lynn can match him.
The White Sox are solid all around. Their team OPS is fifth in MLB. Their team ERA of 3.18 ranks third. Bettors don't need to worry about the White Sox blowing leads late; their team bullpen ERA is seventh in baseball. They have a +106 run differential, 15 runs better than anyone else.
And yes, they're shorthanded.
It's not scientific, but back in fantasy baseball draft season, Robert's average draft position on Yahoo Sports among all hitters was No. 22 and Jimenez was No. 36. However you want to measure it, both were among the brightest young stars in the game. Jimenez ruptured his pectoral tendon and Robert tore a hip flexor in early May. The White Sox are optimistic that both will return this season. If they can return in September, the White Sox — who have outscored opponents at a higher rate than anyone else in MLB — will be adding two fantastic offensive players right before the postseason. Hope you have a White Sox futures ticket already.
On a day-to-day basis, the White Sox are one of the few teams that deserve a look anytime they are underdogs. They have just a 3-9 record as an underdog this season, according to TeamRankings, but given how good Chicago has been, that seems fluky (though a reasonable argument can be made that the White Sox are beating up on bad teams and that leads to a bad record as an underdog; they are just 11-16 vs. teams above .500).
The White Sox will have to prove themselves against the better teams in the American League, but there's no reason to believe they can't. They can start on Monday night.
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