The White Sox have been one of the busiest teams this offseason and are expected to make a big jump in 2020. How big of a jump remains to be seen.
The White Sox won 72 games last season and have added Yasmani Grandal, Gio Gonzalez, Dallas Keuchel, Edwin Encarnacion, Steve Cishek and Luis Robert (who was in-house but is expected to debut on Opening Day after signing a big-league contract extension). What's all that worth?
According to Caesars Sportsbook, it's worth a dozen or so wins. The offseason isn't over yet, but Caesars already has over/under win totals for the 2020 MLB season.
The White Sox opened at 84.5 on Tuesday, but have since moved up to 85.5 wins. That likely means a lot of White Sox fans and bettors thought the number was low and forced the line to move. Either way, it puts an early projection on what to expect for the White Sox in 2020.
That puts the White Sox in third in the AL Central, just where they finished last season. The Minnesota Twins lead the way at 91.5. They got a bump from 90.5 after reportedly agreeing to a deal with Josh Donaldson. The Cleveland Indians are just ahead of the White Sox at 86. Then there's the Kansas City Royals (65) and the Detroit Tigers (56.5).
While there's a lot of excitement around the White Sox, the number is a sobering reality check that it's hard to make a big jump in wins from one year to the next. A look at other notable recent rebuilds in baseball show that it's possible, but rare.
The Houston Astros went from 51 wins in 2013 to 70 in 2014 to 86 in 2015. They made another big jump in 2017, going from 84 wins in 2016 to 101 and the World Series title, but they did produce two winning seasons before making that final jump.
Similarly, the Royals gradually increased from 72 to 86 to 89 wins before winning the World Series in 2015 with 95 wins.
The Cubs are the exception, going from 73 wins to 97 in 2015, but needed to make another jump to 103 wins and the World Series title in 2016.
In each of the past three seasons there has been one team that has made a 20-win improvement while also winning 90 or more games. The Twins went from 78 wins to 101 last season. The Oakland A's moved up to 97 wins in 2018 after winning 75 the year before. The Arizona Diamondbacks went from 69 wins to 93 in 2017.
Maybe the White Sox are 2020's team that can make a massive jump. If you think that, hit up a sportsbook.