The Chicago White Sox, against all odds, are playing .500 ball at the time.
They are 56-56, which is highly disappointing since they were widely expected to comfortably take the AL Central division like they did last year.
Of course, unexpected circumstances have gotten in the way: injuries, slumps, demotions, a lack of action at the deadline, and other scenarios have undoubtedly affected the Sox.
The most interesting part is that they are still very much alive in the playoff race.
Before Friday, they are 3.5 games behind the division leaders, the Cleveland Guardians.
That is definitely not an insurmountable difference.
They will need to show some thump with the bat, though.
“705 of the White Sox’s first 1,000 hits this year were singles. Most recent teams to finish a season with at least 70% of their hits being singles: 2018 Marlins (63-98), 2016 Marlins (79-82), 2015 Marlins (71-91), 2015 Braves (67-95). The Tigers also are on pace to join this list,” stats guru Jeremy Frank tweeted on Friday.
705 of the White Sox’s first 1,000 hits this year were singles.
Most recent teams to finish a season with at least 70% of their hits being singles:
2018 Marlins (63-98)
2016 Marlins (79-82)
2015 Marlins (71-91)
2015 Braves (67-95)
The Tigers also are on pace to join this list.
— Jeremy Frank (@MLBRandomStats) August 11, 2022
The White Sox Lineup Lacks Punch
As you can see, hitting mostly singles doesn’t exactly correlate with a lot of wins: all of the aforementioned teams were under .500.
The White Sox are currently at .500, but they won’t make the playoffs if they can’t show some slug.
At the moment, they rank 18th in MLB in slugging percentage, with a disappointing .386.
The almighty Sox, lauded as one of the best lineups of the last few years, are 25th in homers with just 98 so far.
That’s definitely something they will need to change if they want to repeat as AL Central champs.
The Guardians and the Minnesota Twins, Chicago’s main competitors for a place in the postseason, are prepared to fight until the very end to be in October.