The South Siders have a 41-24 record, while Cleveland is currently 34-28.
While Cleveland isn’t a bad team at all, Chicago seems a tier above.
Here are the most notable parts of the roster in which Chicago has an advantage.
3. Chicago Has A Better Offense
Perhaps the most obvious difference between the two teams, and the clearest advantage for the White Sox in the roster comparison, is the offense.
Chicago has one of the most potent offenses in the American League, with a 112 weighted Runs Created Plus, or wRC+.
The wRC+ stat takes all offensive contributions and adjusts them to park conditions and different eras: 100 is considered average, so the White Sox have had an offensive output 12 percent better than the average.
That 112 wRC+ is the third-best mark in the American League and the fourth in MLB.
On the other hand, Cleveland has the fifth-worst offense with an 86 wRC+.
For a more traditional measure, Chicago is third in MLB in runs scored with 328, and Cleveland is 25th, with 257.
2. Chicago’s Starting Pitching Is Significantly Better
This only became more true with Monday’s news that Bieber was headed to the IL.
Bieber’s ERA has essentially doubled from last season’s 1.63 to this year’s 3.28, and Plesac has also taken a step back and is currently injured.
The White Sox, on the other hand, have had one of the best and most surprising rotations in the American League.
In fact, by ERA, Chicago’s starters have the best in the junior circuit with 2.96, and are only behind the New York Mets’ 2.77 mark in all MLB.
Cleveland, meanwhile, has a 4.70 ERA, which ranks 22nd in MLB.
Starting pitching was supposed to be a strength entering the 2021 season, but only Bieber and Aaron Civale, and Plesac to some extent, have answered the call.
Lowest ERAs in the American League:
1. Lance Lynn 1.23
2. Carlos Rodon 1.89
— Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) June 14, 2021
Dallas Keuchel has been steady as the veteran presence, too.
The White Sox have the clear advantage when it comes to starting pitching.
1. Chicago Has A Slightly Better Bullpen
This one is much closer, but the White Sox still have a slight edge all things considered.
Cleveland’s bullpen ERA is actually better, at 3.26, whereas the White Sox’s is 3.58.
However, the difference in Wins Above Replacement, or WAR, is large in Chicago’s favor, 3.2 to 2.0.
The large margin can be explained by the fact that FanGraphs uses FIP to calculate pitching WAR, and not ERA.
FIP means Fielding Independent Pitching and is a valuable run-prevention metric, more accurate than ERA.
The White Sox’s 3.37 FIP is better than Cleveland’s 3.79 mark.
Again, the two teams are much closer in the bullpen comparison, and both have very effective relievers.
White Sox have a great rotation, lineup, bullpen, and depth. https://t.co/qNy2Fih5RR
— ethan (@okcfanethan) June 13, 2021