The Chicago White Sox have legitimate World Series title aspirations this season.
At 29-20, the team starts the day Friday with a game-and-a-half lead over the Cleveland Indians for the top spot in the American League Central.
The Chicago White Sox are in first place in the AL Central.
Jose Abreu leads the team with 10 HR's and 39 RBI's.
Yasmani Grandal is second in the league in walks taken.
Carlos Rodon is 5-2 and has the second lowest ERA in the league.
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) May 27, 2021
This year has been loaded with pleasant surprises for the White Sox, and none bigger than the emergence of Yermin Mercedes.
As a rookie, Mercedes is batting .340 with a .911 OPS.
He is the runaway favorite for Rookie of the Year and could very well find himself in the MVP discussion at this rate.
The two aces have 1.29 and 1.51 ERAs, respectively.
All of that said, there are a couple of players who have had slow starts out of the gate.
If Chicago wants to make a deep postseason run, they could use a boost from two guys in particular.
2. Codi Heuer
Codi Heuer broke into the league in 2020 and immediately established himself as an elite relief option for the White Sox.
Over 21 outings, the righty pitched to a 1.52 ERA, 2.77 FIP, and 0.89 WHIP.
He didn’t appear in enough games to get Rookie of the Year consideration, but he certainly was one of the most impressive rookies last season.
This year, Heuer has regressed.
Many of his numbers are alarmingly bad.
The 24-year-old has allowed 31 hits and 13 runs over 21 innings.
He has a 5.57 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, and -0.4 WAR.
Things haven’t exactly gotten better over the course of the season for the youngster, either.
In the month of May, he has a 7.27 ERA and opponents are batting .378 against him.
The White Sox are really missing his production in their bullpen, which ranks in the middle of the pack compared to the rest of the league.
But having Heuer as a weapon would take this bullpen from mediocre to good.
1. Dallas Keuchel
Dallas Keuchel has been one of the best pitchers in baseball for many years now.
The lefty is coming off of a 2020 campaign in which he posted a minuscule 1.99 ERA.
He finished fifth in Cy Young voting last year and 17th in MVP voting.
Keuchel’s best season came in 2015 when he led the league in wins (20) and WHIP (1.02) while also posting a 6.5 WAR and 2.48 ERA.
He won the Cy Young Award that season and his stock reached an all-time high.
For his career, Keuchel has a 3.62 ERA.
This year, however, the 33-year-old has struggled.
He has a 4.28 ERA, 4.33 FIP, and 1.65 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Keuchel hasn’t been bad by any stretch, but he hasn’t delivered in the way that you need your staff ace to.
Dallas Keuchel ends up with 4 IP, 6 H, 3 R, ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR, 59 of 100 pitches for strikes, with 13 swinging strikes.
Lowers his ERA to 4.28 but labored and didn’t get the length he seeks
— James Fegan (@JRFegan) May 23, 2021
Fortunately, the previously mentioned duo of Rodon and Lynn has been lights-out this season, picking up a lot of Keuchel’s slack.
Let’s not forget about Dylan Cease, either, who has a 2.98 ERA on the year.
If the team can somehow get all four of those pitchers firing on all cylinders, this rotation would become scary.