Friday, May 28, 2004

Killing Lefties

It's truly amazing how the White Sox have thrashed lefties this year to the tune of a .313/.393/.562 line. Roughly speaking, they are generating about 1 run per every 3 outs, or about a 9-run-per game average.

This is a good thing, considering the fact that the White Sox play in a lefty-heavy division. Right now, the following port-siders are starting for AL Central teams: C.C. Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Brian Anderson, Jimmy Gobble, Darrelly May, Mike Maroth, Nate Robertson, and Johan Santana. If the combined rotations of the other 4 teams are 20 members strong, that means 40% of the Sox's division games will be against left-handers. Scoring 9 runs per game on average against those pitchers would obviously put the Sox way ahead.

The other positive aspect of this is that the Sox will be able to keep their platoon members sharper. Rowand, for one, really hits lefties - he's hitting at a .351/.442/.622 pace this year after hitting .298/.356/.463 from 2001-2003.

I'm beginning to believe more and more that the White Sox, if they can stay healthy, will be poised to explode in the second half of the year when they get to feast on the Royals, Tigers and Indians. These matchups are extremely good for the White Sox as constituted and, if things break the right way, we could see the Sox with a 95 win season - far better than my 84 win pre-season projection.

OK - Upgrade the optimism level from "guarded and mild" to "guarded and good." If the Sox get to 95 wins, it'll be "barely contained enthusiasm."

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