2018 White Sox: South Siders Enter Year 2 of Rebuild

Mark Lathrop

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 12:51 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018 12:51 PM UTC

The Chicago White Sox started a full rebuild last year, which included the trade of ace pitcher Chris Sale. Our MLB handicapper Mark Lathrop takes a fresh look at their roster to see if they have any upside yet in the futures markets.

We will be breaking down each division team by team as we approach the 2018 MLB season to identify futures value and upcoming betting trends. Today we will take a look at the Chicago White Sox out of the AL Central. The White Sox slid just under their 69.5-win futures total with a 67-win campaign in 2017. The market doesn’t think they have improved much in the offseason, with a 68-win total set at Bovada, although with some steep juice currently to the over side of that wager.

Pitching Staff

In breaking down the White Sox rotation, one has to search for a bright spot who will make a difference in the 2018 season. Finding one is highly unlikely, although there is one to watch to see if they take steps going forward. In particular I am speaking of 23-year old right-hander Lucas Giolito, who came from Washington in the Adam Eaton trade. The 6’ 6” Giolito impressed in his cup of coffee call-up in 2017 and is forecasted to be the most valuable rotation starter in 2018. That’s not saying much, though, with a projected WAR of just 0.9. He did put up an ERA of 2.38 in 45.1 big-league innings last year, showing some skill in getting out trouble after putting up an FIP of 4.94. Giolito will need to address his dinger issues in 2018, as he gave up home runs in 6 out of his 7 appearances last year. Lefty Carlos Rodon can also be a useful pitcher if he can overcome the injury issues that have plagued him in the past; he isn't likely to be ready to start the season following shoulder surgery.

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#WhiteSox top pitching prospect Michael Kopech is set to start for the @whitesox on Monday, and is working on polishing and refining his changeup in #SpringTraining: https://t.co/AOzhrqjBwN pic.twitter.com/y2mBmPO6sa

— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) February 26, 2018


The White Sox don’t have much on offense, but what they do have is one of the most consistent batters over the last four years in Jose Abreu. There are no reasons to doubt that he will put up anything less than 3 WAR in 2018; the question, is who will put up anything besides him? Second baseman Yoan Moncada should get a full season look in 2018, and although he is the top prospect in the organization could struggle to put up his projected 1.8 WAR. The other major contributor could be Avisail Garcia, who exploded into relevancy with a 4.2 WAR season in 2017 after doing nothing in his first 5 years in the majors. He’s projected for a serious step back in 2018, but at age 26 should be hitting his physical prime. The .392 BABIP that Garcia put up in 2017 is a major red flag, however.

Wild Cards and Betting Trends

The White Sox are in the second year of their rebuild and have an entire host of top prospects to sort through. This is the source of their variability as well, as a team won’t know which of these diamonds in the rough will truly shine until given the chance. It won’t take much for the White Sox to overperform expectations, and their young rotation full of prospects is a danger zone for those that are banking on it to happen. This team is a full-blown pass for me at the moment, until any further signs present themselves that the youngsters can pull the weight.

Current Win Total: 68Best Line Offered: Bovada
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