White Sox, Cubs Look to Improve as Season Gets Underway


Image by Gundula Vogel from Pixabay

Written by Ryan Bennett, Sports Editor

The 2021 MLB season is more than a month in, and we are starting to see which teams are contenders for the World Series and which teams likely won’t make the playoffs. The two baseball teams that play in Chicago are in an interesting position right now. The White Sox have a record of 19-13, and the Cubs have a record of 17-17. The Sox are six games above .500, while the Cubs sit exactly at .500. It is important to look ahead to see if the Sox can maintain their current pace and if the Cubs will emerge as a playoff contender, or miss out on the playoffs.

The White Sox have a very well-rounded team. Their lineup is loaded with star players, such as Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, and reigning American League MVP Jose Abreu. But the most impressive offensive performance has come from a relatively unknown player. Yermin Mercedes has been having an extremely impressive season so far for the Sox. He has spent most of his professional career in the minor leagues, and got his first real shot in the majors to start this season. He’s made the most of it, as he currently ranks second in all of baseball with a .371 average, trailing only superstar Mike Trout.

The rotation for the Sox has been even more dominant than the lineup. Their ace Lucas Giolito has had a bit of an up-and-down year so far, but rotation mates Lance Lynn and Dylan Cease have more than made up for it with their great seasons. Carlos Rodon has also been surprisingly dominant. He threw a no-hitter at the beginning of the season and has been looking to put his injuries behind him and have a great bounce back campaign.

The White Sox are looking like a lock to make the playoffs if they keep up their current pace. They also currently have the second best record in the American League, making them a possible World Series contender. The important thing for them will be to manage their injuries. Two of their starting outfielders, Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert, are currently sidelined for the coming months. Getting one or both back in time for the playoffs will be crucial to their success.

The Cubs, on the other hand, have gotten off to a more middling start. Their rotation has been their weak spot so far. None of their starting pitchers have an ERA below 4.25. Their opening day starter Kyle Hendricks has been abysmal this season. The rotation will have to really turn it around for this team to make some noise. One positive, however, is the reemergence of closer Craig Kimbrel, who seems to be back to his dominant form after a couple of down seasons. 

The Cubs still have a decent shot to make the playoffs, despite not getting off to the best start. They are only 3.5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals, the first place team in their division. All it takes is a small hot streak for them to catch up. Their lineup has been decent, and if they can get a few starting pitchers to improve their performance throughout the season, they have the potential to be a sleeper team that goes far in the playoffs.



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Parise, Vincent. “Chicago White Sox: Sweeping Royals is huge for the 2021 season.” Fansided, 9 May 2021, https://southsideshowdown.com/2021/05/09/chicago-white-sox-sweeping-royals-huge-2021-season/. Accessed 10 May 2021.