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PECOTA projects zero optimism for 2024 White Sox’ chances

by Jordan Lazowski

So, you’re saying there’s a chance?

This time, no, we are not saying that.

Baseball Prospectus released its PECOTA standings projections today, with its player-specific projections to come shortly before pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training next week. To no surprise, in what is projected to be an abysmal AL Central, the White Sox are not spared.

After finishing the 2023 season 61-101 and doing relatively little to change things over the offseason, the White Sox project to sit right where they ended last season: at the bottom of the AL Central with a 66-96 record. They are one of just three teams to have a projected 0.0% chance of making the playoffs, joining the Rockies and Nationals with that dubious honor.

TeamDivision %Wild Card %Playoff %
Kansas City0.5%0.9%0.5%

This is not meant to let the rest of the AL Central off the hook, either. At a projected 88-74, the Minnesota Twins have the projected honor of winning the AL Central, because someone has to do it despite all five teams acting as though they have no desire to do just that. They’re spared by their central counterparts in the NL for the worst projected division winnter – congratulations to the 85-77 St. Louis Cardinals for not trading away their best starting pitchers after winning the division last season.

When looking at the distribution of simulated outcomes, things don’t get any better. PECOTA gives the South Siders the slimmest of chances to even crack .500 this season, with the majority of their outcomes falling around the .400 win percentage range.

Chris Getz’s decision to prioritize defense at the expense of offense has limited the potential upside of this large group of veterans, and it’s been reflected in the range of outcomes. With a team built neither to prevent damage on the mound nor make up for it at the plate, combined with a bullpen that continues to have more questions than answers, the result becomes a bell curve that heavily favors negative outcomes.

These projections serve as a reminder that the definition of “success” in 2024, for Chris Getz and his staff, likely won’t be determined by any numbers we see collectively on the field. Rather, it will be from seeing progress from prospects who won’t be prevented from playing time by the veteran competition in front of them. The goal will be to begin to see the light at the end of a tunnel that feels longer with every passing day.

However, if there was any sense in the mind of the White Sox staff that this team would surprise fans and skeptics alike and be competitive in any meaningful way in 2024, these projections have made clear one thing: they dislike the White Sox just as much as Chris Getz claims he does.

Follow us @SoxOn35th for more throughout the offseason

Featured Image: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

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