LaRoche has retired due to the disdain of the Chicago White Sox management, we'll have to see where this leaves the White Sox on the MLB odds as they're not expected to be a contender.
First of all, a clubhouse is meant for the players and not for a 14 year old kid that's not actually participating in the action. That said, the White Sox allowed this and to have to take this away from LaRoche, I wouldn't retire, but I would definitely would've requested a trade. It really shows the character in the man.
Maybe the White Sox had thought LaRoche was expendable as he was a DH that hit just 12 HR, 44 RBI, and a .207 BA in less than 500 at-bats last season.
Jose Abreu will take over as DH part-time, but the question to the management is would they have given an ultimatum to a player such as Abreu? LaRoche was nearing the 300 HR mark and the entire thing is a shame. We'll see if karma hits them in the rear.
You can't talk Chicago White Sox baseball without mentioning their ace, who is a strikeout machine. Last season, Sale surprisingly had a weak season for his standards as he went 13-11 with a 3.41 ERA and 274 strikeouts in 208 2/3 innings. Sale still allowed opponents to a mere .233 BA, but the problem was, when he had a poor outing, he could get knocked up for 5 runs or more in an inning.
Look for Chris Sale to bounce back as he's a legitimate ace of a respectable pitching staff. If he earns near 17-20 wins, the White Sox would have a much better chance at attaining a .500 record and the over the win total would be the correct choice.
Abreu is the offensive leader of this squad and I look for him to have a monster season as more responsibility will be thrust upon him as he will be responsible for 1st base and DH. Last season, the 29 year old Abreu had a very good season, hitting 30 HR, 101 RBI, and batting .290. I also look for Abreu to have even a better season as he knows there will be a lot of responsibility resting upon his shoulders. Abreu should definitely hit over .300.
Monster Pick Up
Todd Frazier comes over from the Cincinnati Reds to hit in the American League and man 3rd base. This is a guy that might not hit for average, but can bash the ball.He's been in the home run derby contest and fared well, therefore you know that he's quite capable of hitting the long ball.
Sometimes a change of scenery does wonders for a player and this is a player that is coming off of a 35 HR season with a modest .257 BA. He provides support for Abreu and is definitely the “x-factor” in this team becoming a winning team or being unsuccessful. Don't expect the LaRoche drama to affect this native of Toms River, N.J. And former participant in the Little League World Series. This is a huge pickup for the team from the South Side.
Other player such as Melky Cabrera and Adam Eaton (14 HR, 56 RBI, .287 BA) are contact hitters that have gotten timely hits and look for them to do so this season.
I see no reason why the White Sox shouldn't reach the 81 win mark. Are they a World Series contender? No, but this is still a team that will show improvement and be exciting to watch. Some people might disagree, but chemistry off of the field is important and this recent Adam LaRoche debacle could have an effect on the outcome of the season. I'm still leaning towards the over as there's too much talent on this squad to be losers. Our MLB pick is to go Over 80.5 Wins with the Chicago White Sox -115 at Bovada. When the MLB kickoff happens, be sure to check back on the MLB odds to get some of the best value games.