No more “small sample size” excuses.
We’ve watched enough baseball and observed enough statistical trends throughout the first quarter of the season to make certain declarations.
In essence, we know which teams are really good and which ones are bad. The All-Star players have mostly revealed themselves, and we’re firmly planted in the season’s developing storylines.
So we’re playing a fun game of “buy or sell” to determine what’s real and what’s fake from the players and teams off to the hottest starts.
To read about whether struggling teams will turn it round, click here.
The Chicago White Sox were supposed to be the class of the American League Central. Though the Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers made big offseason moves, they were seemingly fighting for second place.
What’s happening in Minnesota has been a revelation, considering how the Twins have done it.
The pitching staff is fifth in MLB with a 3.33 ERA. Max Kepler is tied for sixth among qualified right fielders in WAR (1.3), per FanGraphs. Rookie starting pitcher Joe Ryan was performing at an All-Star level before going on the COVID-19 injured list Wednesday.
All of this without elite play from marquee free-agent signing Carlos Correa, who has dealt with a finger injury.
FiveThirtyEight projects a 50 percent chance for the Twins to win the AL Central.
Between the pitching and an offense with the 11th-highest OPS (.717) in baseball, this looks like a complete team stepping on the White Sox’s heels.