Chicago White Sox are baseball's biggest surprise of 2016

Chicago White Sox are baseball's biggest surprise of 2016

A look at the team that is currently hiding in the shadow of the other team in town, but the south side Chicago White Sox are brilliant in their own right.

caleb-wahlgren
Caleb Wahlgren

Through the days of May 15, 2016, the Chicago White Sox have been one of the best teams in baseball and lead the American League Central by five games over the Cleveland Indians.

Yet, there is little to no information about them anywhere as they aren't even the best baseball story in their hometown. They shouldn't get overshadowed by the Chicago Cubs, not because the Cubs are not a quality team in their own right, but because the White Sox are doing outstanding work at 24-14. 10 games over .500 is nothing to laugh at, and let's take a closer look at the players on the team.

Chicago White Sox pitching staff

It goes without saying that if you don't know who Chris Sale is, then you simply are not paying close enough attention to baseball over the past several years. He is 8-0 with 8 starts and a nice and low 1.67 ERA. He is tied for third in the American League with 53 strikeouts. He also has a beautiful WHIP of 0.76, which is the best in the American League amongst all qualifiers.

Next on the roster is Jose Quintana with a 5-2 record. He also has a very low WHIP at 0.99 and a better ERA than Sale at 1.54. He has 47 strikeouts. Another left handed pitcher as the one-two punch of Sale and Quintana have been dominating southpaws on the south side.

The biggest surprise on the south side though has been Mat Latos. He is a righty and he is currently 5-0 in seven starts as they have simply done well with him on the mound. He has a 3.40 ERA but it's not terribly clear how he is avoiding having the runs cross the plate.

Chicago White Sox hitting staff

Looking down the batters on the White Sox, there is not a lot that many people would get excited about, as the team is primarily built around the pitching and fielding of the team.

Todd Frazier getting a hit at home field at US Cellular Field (Source: Mike McGinnis/Getty Images North America)
Todd Frazier getting a hit at home field at US Cellular Field (Source: Mike McGinnis/Getty Images North America)

The White Sox signing of Todd Frazier was not seen as a big move by many people in the industry, but Frazier has been great for the White Sox with his power hitting. He is only batting .228 right now, but he has been able to hit 12 home runs, which is more than double when compared with anyone else on the roster right now. He does have a decent OBP of .319

Jose Abreu has been slower this season than he has in the past, but he does have a solid 24 RBI's through this point in the season. If it weren't for Frazier and Abreu driving home the runs, the White Sox would be struggling to score more than the other team in most of their games. With the two of them though, the White Sox have just enough power to support their pitching staff.

What will happen from here?

Clearly, the White Sox are looking to end their playoff drought as they have not been able to make it to the postseason since they lost to the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008. With them up five games right now on the Indians, they are in one of their better positions to do that than in previous years. The major concern would be if the Kansas City Royals are able to find some of their strength they had in the past few years.

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