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Best Team in AL: White Sox

The White Sox will be the top AL team this season

The White Sox will have the best team in the American League this year.  I’m tired of hearing about the Yankees and Red Sox and how they dominate the AL.  It’s time I stick up for my boys from Chicago.  The White Sox are better than both.  With the recent signing and re-signings of Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko, and A.J. Pierzynski, respectively, Chicago has put together a ridiculously strong lineup, and has one of the best rotations in baseball.  Nevertheless, Las Vegas odds still has Boston and New York (AL) way ahead of the White Sox to win the World Series.  My question is why?  Do the Red Sox and Yankees really have that much more talent?  I decided to analyze this situation.

Comparing each projected starter from their respective team at their main position, I awarded 3 points to the best at their position, descending down.  The team with the highest amount of points…wins.

Position White Sox (pts) Red Sox (pts) Yankees (pts) Notes

(2010 stats)

Aj Pierzynski (3) 

.270, 9 HR, 56 RBI

Jacob Saltalamacchia (1) 

.167, 0 HR, 2 RBI

Russell Martin (2) 

.248, 5 HR, 26 RBI, 6 SB

Not a strong position, but AJ leads in the majority of categories.
1B Paul Konerko (2) 

.312, 39 HR, 111 RBI

Adrian Gonzalez (3) 

.298, 31 HR, 101 RBI

Mark Teixeira (1) 

.256, 33 HR, 108 RBI,

A tough call.  Very close play between all three 1B’s, among the best in the league.
2B Gordon Beckham (1) 

.252, 9 HR, 49 RBI

Dustin Pedroia (2) 

.288, 12 HR, 41 RBI, 9 SB

Robinson Cano (3) 

.319, 29 HR, 109 RBI

Cano narrowly edges out the former MVP with an MVP-like season.
3B Brent Morel (1) 

.231, 3 HR, 7 RBI

Kevin Youkilis (2) 

.307, 19 HR, 62 RBI

Alex Rodriguez (3) 

.270, 30 HR, 125 RBI

A-Rod is a future Hall of Famer. Yooooook, is not.
SS Alexei Ramirez (3) 

.282, 18 HR, 70 RBI, 13 SB

Marco Scutaro (1) 

.275, 11 HR, 56 RBI, 5 SB

Derek Jeter (2) 

.270, 10 HR, 67 RBI, 18 SB, GG

Alexis surpassed Jeter in most major offensive categories in 2010, and could have won the Gold Glove.
LF Juan Pierre (2) 

.275, 1 HR, 47 RBI, 68 SB

Carl Crawford (3) 

.307, 19 HR, 90 RBI, 47 SB, GG

Brett Gardner (1) 

.277, 5 HR, 67 RBI, 47 SB

No contest.  Crawford may be the best OF in the league.  Pierre edges out Gardner with 21 more stolen bases.
CF Alex Rios (3) 

.284, 21 HR, 88 RBI, 34 SB

Jacoby Ellsbury (1) 

.192, 0 HR, 5 RBI,

7 SB

Curtis Granderson (2) 

.247, 24 HR, 67 RBI, 12 SB

Rios had an overall strong season (20/20).  Granderson couldn’t crack .250 and Ellsbury couldn’t stay healthy.
RF Carlos Quentin (2) 

.243, 26 HR, 87 RBI

J.D. Drew (1) 

.255, 22 HR, 68 RBI

Nick Swisher (3) 

.288, 29 HR, 89 RBI

A big year for Swish, and a career high batting average.
DH Adam Dunn (3) 

.260, 38 HR, 103 RBI

David Ortiz (2) 

.270, 32 HR, 102 RBI

Jorge Posada (1) 

.248, 18 HR, 57 RBI

Dunn carries a bit bat, and can play the field.  Papi has been slipping.
Starters 

(combined stats 2009-2010)

Buehrle, Danks, Floyd, E.Jackson, Peavy (2) 

114-102 (.528)

1,224 strikeouts

Beckett, Lester, Lackey, Bucholz, Matsuzaka (3) 

119-71, (.626)

1,435 strikeouts

Sabathia, Burnett, Hughes, Nova, Miltre (1) 

93-58 (.616)

1,063 strikeouts

A young rotation with a healthy Peavy may give the Chi Sox the edge, but the Bo Sox currently have the most impressive starters.  CC and Hughes are the only starters to win 15 games in the past two seasons
Middle Relief 1 3 2 Bard, Jenks, Wheeler, and Wakefield make the Red Sox middle relief tough to beat.
Closer Matt Thornton (2) 

5-4, 2.67 ERA, 21 HLDS,

8 SV, 81 K

Jonathan Papelbon (1) 

5-7, 3.90 ERA, 37 SV, 76 K

Mariano Rivera (3) 

3-3, 1.80 ERA, 33 SV, 45 K

Rivera is still the man.  Thornton was an All Star last season, and Papelbon slumped to an ERA near 4.
Totals 25 23 24

Based on these totals, the White Sox have the edge per position.  Arguably it’s tough to see guys like Mark Teixeira and Jacoby Ellsbury, rank last at their respective positions, but the statistics were closely monitored from the 2010 season, and they couldn’t hang with their position rivals.  Teixeira did score another Gold Glove, but Adrian Gonzalez is a Gold Glove winner as well, and Paul Konerko hit 56 points higher.  Don’t count out the White Sox, they may surprise you this season, and honestly, who really wants to see the Yankees or Red Sox in the World Series?

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