Detroit Tigers: 2 AL Central teams fans should fear and 1 who is a fraud
1 team who is a fraud: Chicago White Sox
The 2021 Chicago White Sox ran away with the AL Central. They won 95 games and were loaded with talent. They ran into a buzzsaw in the Houston Astros in the playoffs, but they had a very bright future ahead of them. Some people even though they could make the World Series.
Instead, 2022 was a borderline disaster. Like the Twins, they also had a ton of injuries. OFs Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert as well as C Yasmani Grandal all missed significant time. Also, the Tony La Russa experiment mercifully came to an end, much to the chagrin of 29 other fanbases. He had some health issues last year and ultimately stepped down.
This offseason, they hired Pedro Grifol to be their manager. He can't be any worse than La Russa. They also signed OF Andrew Benintendi to a long term deal and SP Mike Clevinger to a one-year deal. It was an interesting offseason for them to say the least.
Unfortunately, star closer Liam Hendriks was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in January. We wish nothing but the best for him in his recovery, but that's a huge blow to the White Sox bullpen. They don't really have a lot of depth there. Other than Kendall Graveman and Joe Kelly, there just isn't a whole lot there.
The rotation has some question marks as well. Dylan Cease broke out and became an ace last year, but both Lucas Giolito and Lance Lynn took a step back. Clevinger, Michael Kopech, and Davis Martin are the other starters vying for a spot. That's...not great.
On paper, the White Sox should score enough runs to be a decent team. If they stay healthy, they have one of the more potent lineups in baseball. But at the same time, players like Grandal and Tim Anderson are already in their 30s. Yoan Moncada is going to have to bounce back as well. Much like the Tigers, they're banking on a lot to go right this season.
I could see this being a really bad year for the White Sox. I could see them and the Tigers having nearly identical records. I could also see them competing for the division title. Simply getting rid of TLR could create an addition by subtraction situation. But needless to day, I'm very skeptical. I don't think Tigers fans should worry too much about the South Siders this season.