Even before the season started, the Chicago White Sox were viewed as one of the favorites to reach the World Series from the American League.
Once the action started, they suffered some serious injuries such as Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, and Nick Madrigal, but it’s clear that the White Sox are serious about mounting a World Series challenge.
— Jim Scheffres (@JimScheffres) June 22, 2021
As of Thursday afternoon, the White Sox are the leaders in the AL Central division with a 44-30 record, and have an 85.2 percent chance to qualify to the postseason.
However, they can’t blink, since the Cleveland Indians are very, very close at just 2.5 games behind the pale hose.
In any case, Chicago is the favorite to take the division and is more than prepared to challenge the Tampa Bay Rays, the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, the Indians, the Oakland Athletics, or even the Houston Astros for a spot in the Fall Classic.
Is the 2021 season considered “World Series or bust” for the White Sox?
It may seem unfair given how difficult it is to get to the World Series, but in the eyes of most fans, yes, it’s World Series or bust this year.
A Team That Has Been In The Build-Up Process For Years
Ever since the White Sox traded Chris Sale to the Red Sox in 2017, and even before that, the rebuild in Chicago has been in full swing.
Last year represented the first one in an opening contention window, as they advanced to the postseason but were eliminated soon after.
Lynn has been phenomenal in the rotation, with a 2.14 ERA in 75.2 frames, and Hendriks has been as good as advertised as the closer, with a 2.01 ERA.
The former is a Cy Young candidate with a 1.83 ERA, while the latter has a 3.81 ERA but has pitched like an ace at times.
Two Injured Stars Will Make Or Break White Sox’s Season
The key for the White Sox will be getting back Robert and Jimenez at some point in the second half.
Both suffered serious injuries weeks ago that will keep them sidelined well into the second half.
However, if Chicago can somehow recover those two crucial offensive pieces in time to get some at-bats to get their timing back, their offense in the playoffs could be downright scary.
Jimenez suffered a torn pec in spring training and was given a 5-6 month timetable.
He was cleared to begin performing baseball activities in mid-June, so while he still has a lot of hurdles to clear, he could play again this season.
Robert has a flexor strain in his right hip and could return in August or September.
They are one of the best right now, but right now does not matter. I want the Chicago White Sox to be the 2021 World Series Champions. Then the White Sox will be the best. pic.twitter.com/30R1YZOxm2
— retiredmarine (@retired_marine1) June 17, 2021
If those two can get in form right before the playoffs, Chicago’s chances will increase.
Even without them, fans have tolerated too much losing since 2005 and consider the season a “World Series or bust” one.