Predicting 2019 White Sox over/unders

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Ryan McGuffey
With the season nearing, Ryan McGuffey takes his picks at some season-long White Sox over/unders.
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Predicting 2019 White Sox over/unders originally appeared on nbcsportschicago.com

In our debut edition of OVER/UNDER, I dissect season totals in five categories for key White Sox players in 2019. Sam Panayotovich provided the totals. Our bankroll begins with 1000 points.

Daniel Palka, 24.5 HRs (Under, 300 points)

Palka exploded onto the scene for the 2018 White Sox. His 27 HRs led the team and his personality captured the fanbase. Palka's monstrous home runs and his quick wit made him one of the team's most likable and colorful characters.

But, all that being said, I'm taking the under here. I believe that Palka will have to find at-bats moreso in 2019 than he did in 2018. The addition of Yonder Alonso to a lineup that already features Jose Abreu will make it tough for Palka to find at bats as a DH. The arrival of top prospect Eloy Jimenez also takes away a corner outfield spot.

Palka is a dangerous bat off of the bench, and if that becomes his primary role on the 2019 White Sox, it'll be tough to hit the over here.

Eloy Jimenez, 23.5 HRs (Over, 200 points)

Yoan Moncada's debut in 2017 was special. Michael Kopech's debut in 2018 was memorable. But, the debut of Eloy Jimenez in 2019 might be the most anticipated from a White Sox rookie since Frank Thomas in 1990. That's how special many inside and outside of the organization believe Jimenez will be.

23.5 HRs is a good number here. Like many, Eloy will have struggles during the 2019 season. However, I believe the good will outweigh the bad. Jimenez is as confident and as motivated a young player as I can remember, even going so far as to say he wants to win AL Rookie of the Year. I'll take that confidence and roll it into the over here.

I believe Eloy will be closer to 30 HRs than to 23.5 and I think he comes in somewhere around the 28 mark. It'll go down to September, but you'll hit the over.

Carlos Rodon, 9 wins (Over, 100 points)

Easily the toughest of this group to decipher. Rodon has never made 30 starts. He's never won more than nine games in a season. It's understandable that there could be reason for skepticism.

This will mark the first time since 2016 that Carlos Rodon will throw a pitch before June! He's finally healthy and the White Sox are leaning on Rodon to be the ace of the staff. 2019 is a big year for Rodon. There have been flashes of dominance. His wipeout slider is amongst the best in the bigs.

Wins are a tough stat to measure success. So much is out of a pitcher's control. Heck, Jacob deGrom won just 10 games in 2018 and took home the Cy Young Award. Tread lightly, but I believe Rodon reaches double digit wins for the first time in his career. But, like Jimenez, you'll have to wait this one out, well into the dog days of summer.

Tim Anderson, 30.5 stolen bases (Under, 150 points)

Tim Anderson has publicly stated that he'd like to steal 40 bases in a season. In his first three seasons, his totals have progressed from 10, to 15, to 26 in 2018. He's flashy on the basepaths and has a swagger that few can compete with.

But, of those 26 stolen bases in 2018, just five came after the All-Star break. However, Anderson's defense greatly improved in the second half. A correlation? Perhaps. While Anderson is a threat when on base, he might be a bigger asset in the field. I still believe he'll reach the 20s, but the White Sox will be smart when to send him in 2019.

I'll take the under here, with more confidence in this pick than I have with the Rodon wins total above.

Jose Abreu, 102.5 RBIs (Over, 250 points)

The White Sox All-Star will return to his old ways in 2019. Abreu had career lows in every category offensively in 2018, playing just 128 games with fluke injuries that will not have any long-term impact on one of the game's most underrated sluggers.

Prior to last season, Abreu hit the 100 RBI plateau in each of his first four seasons, averaging, you guessed it, 102.5 RBIs per season during that time. A perfect O/U number here set by our house book.

I'm happily pouncing on the over here. Abreu is in a contract year and for the first time in his career with the White Sox, has real protection in the lineup, both in front of and behind him. Abreu is motivated. He wants to prove why he was the AL starter at first base in last year's All-Star Game and why he won the 2018 Silver Slugger, despite having his worst offensive season.

I believe Abreu reaches a career high in this category which leads to an extension to keep Abreu here for the next two to three seasons.

 

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