FanShot

Hardball Times: Getting late early for White Sox

33

While you should always beware of buying high and selling low, there's an opposing tendency to guard against: Expecting an over correction. Let's say the Sox really are—or at least ought to be—a 90-win team. I'm just pulling that number out of my tuckus, but let's go with it. Say that's their true talent level: 90-72 (.556). If we assume that's the case, what should we expect from them after an 11-22 start? They'd have go 79-50 (.612) to get to 90 wins. And that's the problem. If a squad ought to play .556 on the year and is wildly off that at a month, you shouldn't therefore assume they'll automatically make up for lost ground. For the Sox, that means— going with this arbitrarily-guesstimated .556 "true talent level," the Sox should go 72-57 the rest of the year, giving them a season record of 83-79. That's if they ought to be a 90-win team. If they have 95-win talent, expect them to go 87-75 on the year. You can kick it up a couple wins since their schedule gets easier, but unless you thought they were one of baseball's best teams, they're not a good chance to win 90 games.

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