White Sox: Back Home, South Siders Bringing Big Hits To Guaranteed Rate

Sidney Brown follows the Chicago White Sox for WARR

In a year where no expectations of postseason play are hanging over their heads, the 2018 Chicago White Sox have started off this new campaign as a hit — literally.

In a 3-2 start featuring two comeback wins against division rival Kansas City Royals along with a win in Toronto that helped them avoid being swept in Canada, the South Side Hitmen may not resemble the 1927 New York Yankees as of yet, but they’ve put fear into their opponents early on. Yes, we’re only five games into 2018, but standing in first place in the AL Central should make Sox fans happy along with a never say die attitude that’s making itself very clear.

2016: 6 HR in first seven games
2017: 6 HR in first seven games
2018: 6 HR on opening day

Opening day’s victory at Kansas City was one for the history books, especially for designated hitter Matt Davidson who joins a group of selected few in the team’s 100 plus year history to start off a new year with such a bang.

Most Home Runs In White Sox Season Openers 

Jim Thome (4)
Matt Davidson (3)
Paul Konerko (3)

3 Home Runs in Season Opener

Matt Davidson — White Sox (3/29/18)
Dmitri Young — Tigers (4/4/05)
Tuffy Rhodes — Cubs (4/4/94)
George Bell — Blue Jays (4/4/88)

3 Home Runs — First Four White Sox Games

2018: Matt Davidson/Tim Anderson
2017: Geovany Soto
2014: Alejandro De Aza
1994: Robin Ventura
1960: Minnie Minoso
1955: Bob Nieman
1934: Zeke Bonura

Throughout history, the Sox have been known to drive in runs via the long ball but in recent years that hasn’t been the case beyond Jose Abreu’s prolific hitting. Can this young core maintain this hot start? Only time will tell but the numbers may suggest otherwise.

Home Run Rankings

2018: Home Runs (14); MLB Rank (1st)
2017: Home Runs (186); MLB Rank (24th)
2016: Home Runs (168); MLB Rank (22nd)
2015: Home Runs (136); MLB Rank (26th)

Most White Sox Home Runs Through 5 Games 

2018: 14
1994: 13
2008: 9
2004: 9
1978: 9

As we all know, starting pitching is the key to any team’s success. The Sox’s pitching hasn’t really been up to snuff but the offense has made it easier to overlook at least for the time being.

James Shields (3/29 at KC): 6 IP; 5 Hits; 4 Earned Runs; Walk (ERA 6.00)
Lucas Giolito (3/31 at KC): 6 IP; 4 Hits; 3 Earned Runs; 4 BB, Strikeout (ERA 4.50)
Carson Fullmer (4/4 at TOR): 5 IP; 5 Hits; 3 Earned Runs; Walk; 5 SO (ERA 5.40)

Momentum is clearly on the Sox side as they’ll start their home portion of their schedule against the Detroit Tigers and Tampa Rays. With the hitting, starting pitching and perhaps the cold weather, let’s see if the DON’T QUIT White Sox can catch their opponents off guard and stack victories on the South Side.

Should fans go all in for the playoffs this year? NO. Go all in for individual player performances, how manager Rick Renteria manages tough situations, for the prospects coming up later on this season such as Eloy Jiminez and Michael Kopech and how the team plays fundamentally. 2018 should and will determine the ultimate direction of this rebuild including if and perhaps how soon the Sox will become playoff contenders again.

Batting Leaders

Batting Average: Jose Abreu (.400)
Home Runs: Matt Davidson (4)
RBI: Matt Davidson (7)
On Base Percentage: Yolmer Sanchez  (.474)
Hits: Jose Abreu (8)

Pitching Leaders

Wins: Danny Farquhar, Nate Jones, James Shields (1)
ERA: Reynaldo Lopez (1.50)
Strikeouts: Reynaldo Lopez (6)
Saves: Joakim Soria (2)
Holds: Nate Jones (2)

Team Stats

Batting Average: .267 (5th in AL)
On Base Percentage: .359 (5th in AL)
Slugging Percentage: .547 (1st in AL)
Runs: 28 (10th in AL)

Follow Regal Radio on Twitter @regalradio1 and on Facebook under Regal Radio and Sidney Brown on Twitter @sidkid80

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