Now that we can go broader picture going through, i had uh 32 wins for the white sox i’m, winning 32 out of the 60, and i have the cubs going uh 31 and 29 uh. Overall, i have the socks coming. I have the socks coming. Second, in the central behind the twins – and i actually think the sock could win more games than 32, but the twins kind of slow them down a little bit because they play them a ton in division. So those series against the twins are going to be crucial to tipping the balance because they have a bunch of lay up games. So they’re going to win two of three three or four against the tigers and royals and then in the nhl nl central. They play the pirates a couple times who aren’t all that great, so those will be a couple of w’s for them and the cubs, i think they’ll split um, if not win the majority of those uh, so i i’m pretty optimistic. The twins are the one roadblock. I have the socks sneaking into the playoffs, but being second in the division, uh cubs. On the other hand, i have them actually finishing with that 30 uh, 31 and 29 record.

I have them finishing second as well or third excuse me, third uh, behind the reds and uh cardinals. I think they’ll beat out the uh brewers um and the uh pirates, so we will see, but a lot of well i’m sure your uh white sox fandom had nothing to do with those predictions.

Um no i’ll tell you what it has something to do. The the cup, well, you go ahead and make your point yeah it’s gon na be interesting, though, because i mean looking at a lot of other looking at a lot of other predictions, it’s very, very interesting, because, honestly, i think there’s only three teams that are not Going to win a division by like two games, you know, i think um, the the yankees let’s see, who is the yankees, the dodgers and the astros are my three and i don’t even know about them because you know, like you, said, it’s a 60 game two Month, sprint um, but it really. It really is going to come down to like one game, two games, yeah um but yeah. So i have uh right now. I think the cubs are in the 30 to 33 range um, which is interesting, because you know you get 33, you might win division. If you get 30, you might miss the playoffs kind of deal um but yeah. No, i think i mean looking at the cubs roster, i mean we said it last year, um uh, which last year was just uh.

You know a myriad of different things that affected the season, injuries and coaching needed to be changed et cetera, et cetera um. But i mean we talked about it. I think it was last podcast with the cubs um, i think the core four of contreras brian rizzo and baez.

I think you know the cubs obviously know cubs players. Management know that they’re there there might be one or two of those names, not there yep and i think and honestly i think the cubs have a pretty. I think they have a good chance. I think it’s going to be a coin flip between them and the cardinals. I think the reds are good, but i think they’re they, i don’t, i think them winning the division or fears is a little ahead of schedule, maybe maybe here’s, where i would argue with you and it’s, not just my white sox homerism that had me picking them With a better record here’s what i had factoring into it going to the reds, you look at that lineup cassiano’s, as you guys got to witness firsthand he’s a lineup changer like that. Lineup is dangerous. You have suarez, you have votto like they got some thumpers up and down that lineup and the pitching staff is still pretty good. I also look at the fact that we’ll go strictly to the cubs. I think the cardinals they won the division last year, they’re going to be a force to be reckoned with, but the cubs i’d.

Okay, not necessarily, i think you know the um, the the cubs and cardinals will be in a race for second, i think i got the reds winning that division they’re getting my dark horse pick to win, but the cubs will be right there, but my problems with Them would be number one that core four, like you mentioned, it’s kind of the last hurrah and one of the guys in the four anthony rizzo he’s having back problems, you don’t know what we’re gon na be able to get out of him as he gets older And with the back, you know that’s kind of a crippling, not old by any means.

No, but the older you get he’s had he’s dealt with back problems throughout his career and the older you get the worse it kind of is, and now you don’t have the luxury of like he would get a day off once in a while, because he’s having A back problem where now with 60 games every game matters you kind of need them. You need them out there as one of like your leaders, that’s one issue, i i think you could bring up a you know. I think i mean i’m sure you’re gon na talk about the bullpen i’m sure you’re going to talk about the starting rotation. Anthony is those injury problems for two reasons. I don’t think i’m concerned first of all, he’s taking batting practice the other day, it’s back, tightness, it’s, not going to be that big of an effect.

Something to keep an eye on second thing is: is last year the causes went down to the freaking finish when it came to making the playoffs and they didn’t get it done. Anthony rizzo, with like nine games left, had a horrific ankle sprain and he was back in the lineup like two days later yeah. He was a warrior. He was a warrior. I respect the man, no he’s, not, but you know what else happened they blew. They blew it down the stretch, they lost a bunch of games and he probably wasn’t at 100 and when you’re in a tight situation where they struggle and runners within scoring position and you’re up there with a nagging back injury, it’s kind of tough to hit a Ball out of the ballpark, so is he going to be healthy? Is he going to play this year? Yes, that’s, something to keep an eye on that’s, the first one.

You alluded to my second two points number two, and this is the huge one. Their bullpen stinks. Your closer looks like an arsonist who’s, given up bombs, left and right you’re getting humiliated in camp it’s the second year in a row he hasn’t had a spring training, which is a problem. His fastball has lost a couple miles per hour and other than you guys. So kimbrough stinks. I i wouldn’t trust him who else rowan wick you gon na trust him in a bid situation. I don’t think so.

I mean there’s, not a whole lot, wick’s, probably the second best guy in your bullpen huh. I think wick’s, probably the second best pitch in your bullpen, and i wouldn’t trust him in any high leverage situation. Okay, stuff wise is dylan maples, maybe but like he’s still pretty young see see well that’s the thing that’s the thing on paper: the cubs bullpen doesn’t. Look that great, because a lot of names you don’t, know what you’ll lose look last year’s bullpen, clearly didn’t get the job done. I think last year’s bullpen was better than uh. With a record show there was. I cannot express to you how big bullpen injuries affected last season. Like it was, i mean. Kinsler was a really good. Reliever got injured wearing a tight race, tossed him in the lineup that’s what happened and he stunk it up, because he didn’t get the time he needed, uh to heal up uh that jefferies or whatever jeffers uh jeremy jeffries.

I don’t he wasn’t that good last year for the brewers, it was horrible. I think he had like a six something era, so that’s kind of like a uh project right there, you’re thinking about this years, there’s a lot of guys uh, dylan, maples, alec mills, uh, rowan wick. They had that brad weak guy, they’re, all they’re they’re, all uh farm, guys, they’re, all young and it’s just gon na come down to are they major league ready and i think that’s right.

You have your triple a bullpen plus the arsonist back there when you have when you’re facing castianos in a late game situation, you’re blowing a lot of four to two leads in the seventh, eighth and ninth. You know uh the. Finally, the third problem is uh. The starting pitching there’s been some concerns about the depth there to begin with on how everyone will perform and you lost jose quintana, who you traded a bunch of resources for you got hurt washing the dishes and you listen to jed hoyer and theo speak. They kind of you know you could hear some concern there. You’Re gon na have to throw a guy uh, you know, there’s gon na be some spot sparks spot starts uh, making up for his spot um. Who was the kid that uh pitched a couple games last year? He has pretty good stuff, but yeah aberdell’s alley. He kind of got knocked around. You know he’s, one of those guys.

I see that can only go. He gets through like once, do the order and then guys kind of like uh. You know they figured them out so, like i don’t know how many innings you’re gon na, be getting out of him and it’s a season where every game matters and you’re gon na have one game where you’re having a bullpen game and a bunch of inexperienced untested Guys, that’s gon na be an issue there, so that’s. The third problem i have with the roster.

Now the guys are, you know, you’re going to win 30 to 31 games, you’re going to be in the race just because i have so much respect for, like you got the schwarbers and your biases and your bryants. You know so, but like there’s too many big question marks there and that where i don’t see them winning the division, i think toughness. When you look at the, i think when you look at the cubs, i i i think. Obviously, there are problems like you said when you’re looking at the starters, though you know kyle andrews, one of the most underrated pitchers in the game: he’s, reliable, he’s, not reliable, he’s, absolutely fantastic. He threw he threw a 93 game, he’s good, he’s, good, full game. I mean the dude, the dude is on top of his game. You darvish has been in the lab. He has 11 pitches. He can throw right now and the second half of the season.

He was on fire last year, yeah, but you know there’s still, but he’ll be back soon. Will he, though i don’t know i don’t know if he will be back soon enough and john lester is notorious for getting off to slow starts? He kind of needs a while to wrap things up and he’s not going to have time to do that. He’S the force starter, i mean you look at force, who’s, the white sox. Fourth, starter, uh, well, let’s, look at yeah we’ll talk about the white sox rotate, the road to that rotation’s deep.

They got a couple guys who could be the fourth starter? You got geolito as the year one yeah dallas kykel is a two. Then you could probably go you go either. Ronaldo lopez or dylan cease to pretty young arms and when all those been up and down dylan cease has got some good stuff. There’S geo gonzalez, who uh he’s a reliable veteran uh, he has had some pretty good years. Okay, i can get you got. We wan na go reliable, veteran that’s, john lester. The force starter is not a huge deal. I know it’s a shortened season, but i, i think, you’re being a little biased when you can, when you cherry pick john lester a three time world series championship: yes, he’s getting old. Yes, he had problems last year, but he’s a fighter. Okay, here’s. The difference, though tyler chatwood is our fist here’s the difference.

Yes, i’ll give you that i will give you and i think the cubs rotation top to bottom, maybe as of right now, maybe a little bit better than the white sox, but the white sox have some gum guys like cease. We don’t know what he can be geolito. I think he’s gon na be better. Keiko was good last year in a shortened year. So i think you guys you have some reliable guys there, but they have a bullpen that they’re gon na be able to close things out and lean on. That is good.

Good teams have good bullpens, and this white sox bullpen is good from top to bottom uh. Alex coleman was, i think, fourth in the league in saves last year, he was excellent. He should have been an all star at one point. He had like a uh sub two er. He was like one something era with like 27 saves at the midpoint of the season, then, on top of that, you got aaron bummer. Who was excellent. They signed him to a contract extension. He was really good in the back end. He got a good lefty there. You got steve seashek, who was used a ton last year by the cubs, and he had like a 250 something era 260., which was really good: 275. that’s, pretty darn good, considering he had like 150 appearances. I will take him any day of the week um. Well, i mean yeah, he was used a ton down the stretch and it comes make the playoffs.

Did we blow like 10 games out hey. We also got evan marshall. I like evan marshall. He had a good year last year, uh there’s. They got some arms in that back with jimmy cordero. He throws smoke. You know, he’s got his sleeve rolled up with the big guns i like jimmy. You know you got some guys. Jimmy lambert might be called up this year. They got, they got a lot of arms that are pretty good like i like them: okay, okay, i’m, not gon na dispute.

Any of the things that you said well, you talked about you said: white sox got a good rotation. We got dylan cease. Yeah! I, like doing c’s that’s a top prospect, it’s, not good, but you talk about admiral alzelay. You know last year he got knocked around a bit. He couldn’t go that far dude dylan sees is a better prospect for this, like production, wise, mlb, wise they’re. The same thing, yeah advertising just got called up too early because we had an injury ceiling’s time literally dylan got knocked around a little bit, but this is biased. When you talk about you say: oh, you know these guys. Uh he’s gon na come up this year. Dude that’s that’s a whole rotation i’m, not saying that the cubs have a better bullpen i’m, not, and i and i am saying that they have a better starting rotation, but the way you talk about it third factor by your point.

Third factor we are talking about justify your force factor extremely biased, no okay. Fourth factor you know, most of the games are against the the opposing centrals, okay, so in the nl central you’re going to be facing the brewers, who are tough, yeah the reds who, like i said, they’re my dark horse pick to win the division. You got the cardinals wait: okay hold on go back to the reds, you don’t got ta talk. I i think the cubs is between the cardinals and the cubs and you don’t got ta talk about the reds, because i’ve been on the red strain since last year.

I picked them up guys before they got mustaches and castianos. That was a horrible pick. Last year we don’t even go down there, you’re, not i’m, not saying i literally just said i was wrong, but i had recognized their talents but last year, so you don’t got ta preach to me about how the reds got louis uh, their starting pitcher castillo, luis Castillo because i already know he’s, good and sonny gray and trevor bauer, what i think, but i think right now, i think, a lot of the reds talent i would. I was one of the causing factors. I, oh, i think i over hyped them a little bit and i think they have some guys on the they’re in the middle of having guys on the way out when you talk about bottom and the dude with the massive biceps.

So i forget his name and it looks like a douchebag. Oh derek, dietrich, derek dietrich is not on the way out. No derrick is on the way, oh, and they got some sign. No, i don’t think it’s gon na be enough. No! No! No mike moustakis rakes, joey votto tremendous first baseman, probably the tenth best for hey. He has gotten older, but he’s still pro. I would put my money on him being in the top ten tenth best first baseman. If he was on the game, did you say he’s near retirement? No, no, anthony rizzo right now, back injury and all i would put him in the top five first baseman all of baseball, so that is not true.

Okay, all right! So i’m not i’m, not being biased here, but yet that division is a lot tougher than the central. Where, like yeah, you have the twins, who are tough uh. The engine indians are gon na be kind of tough, but you got two seller dwellers with the royals and tigers that you’re gon na be beating up on a lot. So i mean that that helps our cause. Uh too, and five i didn’t even get to the fact that that lineup for the white sox is gon na, be so good this year, it’s the the worst like, though, if you just look at the batting order leading off you’re gon na, have the reigning al Central batting champ, second or third, you probably have johan mankata, who could have been an all star.

I think he’ll just get better, then you got jose. Abreu led the league in rbi’s. Edwin encaracion has hit 30 homers this past, like eight years or something so you’re. Getting production there eloy jimenez, we already know what he can do. I mean he’s a young prospect. He hit 31 homers as a rookie, and i don’t even think he had that great of a year last year, so it’s only going to go up from there. Then you got yasmani grandahl who can hit homers? He gets on base, which is nice. Then you got nomar. Mazara who’s got a lot of upside um, luis robert i didn’t even get to is going to be the rookie of the year this year, he’s raking all over the ballpark.

I, our worst hitter, is going to be probably leary garcia, who hit 298 last year and if not him, we’ll have nick madrigal in who struck out only 16 times in the minors, so that line up top to bottom is a lot deeper with the cubs and You got some thumpers at the top. I don’t dislike the cubs lineup, but you’re gon na have like a kipnis in there who you know. I don’t know how good he’s gon na be like at second that’s. Not i i mean if you really want to go leo top to bottom cubs, chris bryant leading up he’s mvp, one of the most well rounded players in the game. Right.

Fine, no argument there. What no argument there continue: yeah and i’m, not i’m in no particular order. I don’t know the exact matter. You got javier bios javier, and you got anthony rizzo who’s, anthony rizzo, and i mean then you got wilson contreras one of the best offensive catchers in the game, our backups carratini. He can play dh or we can have schwarber who hit 30 some bombs last year. At d8, before you continue, you know, you know who our backup catcher is uh. Former all star james mccann last year, that’s our backup catcher james mccann – is a bomb he’s passed all star game baby. All right continue, so we got definitely uh we got and then you got a second base. You got nico horner, one of a really good upcoming guy, and then you got jason hayward, who i people love to hate on hit 21 bombs last year.

It was his best season in a long time and if you look at his stats when he wasn’t in the lead off position, which our mastermind of a manager, joe madden, put jason frickin hayward in the lead off spot. His numbers outside of that were really good. Then you got half an hour more. You can flip a coin between those two guys and yeah because they both stink elmore, is great defensively, but i don’t think you’re getting much production from him or i don’t think half’s any world they’re the last peter either they’re.

The nine hitter he’s, the worst hitter in the lineup i don’t – need elmore to be an all star. 240 and above i don’t, really care that much ian have just get a couple. Pinch hits here and there and i’ll be fine with you. You just flip. A coin it was hot that day, so i mean, if you look, if you want to go top to bottom, i i think the cubs of carolina, i don’t, know no, no, no, no! No in five years depth wise two years from now depth wise it’s, not close, not even close top to bottom no way, maybe maybe you could argue their top five. Maybe i mean, and even there there’s a couple of coin flips as much rizzo overall, better first baseman than abreu, but i’ll take a brayu batting any day. I think brady’s, a better hitter. He had more home runs last year.

He had more rbis eight times this year. Brayu is a stun he’s, the most underrated player in baseball. He does not get enough respect. Even on this team. You listen to all the white sox players, the previews it’s, all about luis robert, which i’m fine with and eloy and tim tim’s. Getting all this credit, no one ever talks about jose goodall, reliable, shows up to work every day with his lunch pal and just hits dingers and drives and runs all right.

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