RECORDS: 65-76 White Sox 62-78
GAMETIMES: Friday 7:10, Saturday 6:10, Sunday 1:10
TV: NBCSN Friday/Saturday, WGN Sunday
WALLY’S WORLD: Halos Heaven
It could feel like the Angels and White Sox are in the same place, given they have pretty much the same record and are both going to finish this year up the track. They have teams to catch that feel like they’re going to be around a while (though the Twins are a lot more unstable than the Astros), and it’s been far too long since either team was exactly relevant.
But as this week in Cleveland proved, the Sox have an upward trajectory you can at least see if they’re not fully fastened on yet. Whereas the Angels have been here forever, perennially stuck in not going forward or backward but most certainly not going anywhere. And the Sox don’t have the guilt of wasting the career of perhaps the greatest player to do it as the Angels do.
So, in a complete disservice to Mike Trout, these two teams will run out three more games on the schedule against each other this weekend on the Southside. The Sox hope for more than this soon. Trout hopes for more than this just anytime, given how long he has committed to Orange County now.
And that’s the thing with the Angels,. They don’t have a plethora or even a helping of young players that portend to anything more than this. They do have some expensive vets draining money and at-bats, and firmly ground the team in mud. One of this upcoming offseason’s big dramas will be the Angels trying to lure Gerrit Cole home, if they will and how hard. He certainly could help a lot, and with the better health of Shohei Ohtani that would give the Angels rotation a serious boost.
But that’s not enough on its own to catch the Astros, or even a wildcard spot considering how far ahead the Yankees, Rays, Red Sox, A’s, and Indians are now. Perhaps the latter will fall, but their slack might be picked up by the White Sox themselves. And you don’t build a team hoping for just a wildcard spot.
The lineup needs so much help. Only Brandon Marsh from within the system might help next year, and the Angels have a lot more holes. Catcher, 1st, 2nd, possibly third (David Fletcher might make that his own) and one of the corner outfield spots if not both. The Angels can’t spend their way to improving the lineup enough, or at least won’t. And they’ve tried that in the past, and it got them here.
Worse yet, there aren’t a lot of pieces they can flog to restock. Trout would have been one, but would have signaled a complete start-over which they didn’t want to do. There’s no pitcher they have to move, and really no position player either. They basically have to ace every draft and wait. That’s essentially what they’re doing now.
Anyway, they roll into Chicago after getting dumped on for three games by the A’s in Oakland, capping it off by blowing a 6-1 lead in the last two innings yesterday afternoon. It’s not a pleasant bunch at the moment.
The Sox will send out Giolito to carry out the momentum of yesterday’s wind, and Dylan Covey will save everyone the horror of watching Ross Detweiler start tomorrow night. They will hope the signs of life from Eloy and Collins are carried out a little more, before everyone gets to feast on a lot of Tigers and Royals before the season closes out.