The Cubs nearly erased 100 years of futility this season with an amazing run at World Series glory, but fell just short. The team’s rival on the other side of town had a season nearly opposite of the North Siders with an underachieving 76-86 record.
Although the season ended just days ago, the White Sox received no love from early preseason rankings while the Cubs are slated to be among baseball’s elite teams. ESPN’s “way too early” power rankings couldn’t have had the two squads on as different ends of the performance trajectory.
The oddsmakers in Las Vegas have already established the Cubs as the betting favorite to win the World Series and I’m inclined to agree. Coming off a 97-win season, they were starting four rookies in the National League Championship Series and you can expect all four of those players to improve. With so many young players and Anthony Rizzo signed to a team-friendly deal, the Cubs have padding in the payroll to make a big free-agent splash and many expect them to reunite David Price with manager Joe Maddon.
While the Cubbies are believed to be the MLB’s top performer heading into the 2016 season, expectations for the South Siders were much less flattering. In the early rankings, the White Sox were selected 22 spots behind the Cubs at No. 23. Schoenfield said the Sox haven’t done much to fix it’s problems in the past, which should act as a foretelling that it won’t make ground-breaking acquisitions to fix holes in the roster this season.