White Sox picked to finish with best record in American League

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Will Chicago’s wave of offseason acquisitions be enough to carry the White Sox to the top of what looks like the deepest division in baseball? At least one publication thinks so.

USA Today came out with its 2016 MLB projections Monday and has the White Sox winning their first division crown since 2008.

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At 90-72, USA Today projects Chicago to be not only the most improved team in the American League, but also tied for the best record in the league. Houston was picked to win 90 games in the AL West.

In the central, which includes five teams with legitimate playoff hopes, the White Sox are projected to best the World Series champion Royals by six games. Only 10 games separate first-place Chicago and last-place Minnesota in the projections.

Via USA Today:

This is baseball’s deepest division, with five teams capable of winning it – and almost as many that could finish last. We feel random things happening, so hello, White Sox (90 wins). Everyone loves their Todd Frazier acquisition, and the ball should jump off his bat at U.S. Cellular Field. We prefer the possibly unparalleled 1-2 rotation punch of Chris Sale and Jose Quintana, backed by a full season of Carlos Rodon, who struck out 139 batters in 139 1/3 innings as a rookie.

Chicago’s seven-season playoff drought is among the longest in the AL, but the additions of Todd Frazier, Brett Lawrie, Alex Avila and Mat Latos – coupled with one of the best rotations in the league – should make the Sox contenders once again.

In the National League, the Cubs are projected for an MLB-high 101 wins and their first NL Central crown since 2008.

Click here to check out the complete projections.

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