October is one of my favorite months. Most people love it because of Halloween or pumpkin spice everything. But me, I’m here for one thing above all else:
Unfortunately for White Sox fans, our team will not be making an appearance in the festivities. But that does mean for the next month and change, we can all cosplay as fans of better teams!
Currently, six teams have clinched a spot in the race to the World Series, and I’ve listed them below by record as of 8:35 p.m. on September 23:
- Atlanta Braves (99-55)
- Baltimore Orioles (96-59)
- Los Angeles Dodgers (94-59)
- Tampa Bay Rays (95-61)
- Milwaukee Brewers (88-67)
- Minnesota Twins (82-73)
We also have the following teams fighting to get in:
- Texas Rangers (85-68)
- Philadelphia Phillies (86-69)
- Toronto Blue Jays (86-69)
- Houston Astros (85-69)
- Seattle Mariners (84-69)
- Arizona Diamondbacks (81-73)
- Chicago Cubs (81-74)
- Miami Marlins (80-75)
- Cincinnati Reds (79-76)
- New York Yankees (78-76)
- San Francisco Giants (77-77)
- San Diego Padres (76-78)
- Pittsburgh Pirates (73-81)
Now that we’ve listed the teams, let’s discuss them, in reverse order, and why you, a White Sox fan, should consider loaning yourself out to their fanbase.
There’s no reason to really have this conversation. They’re guaranteed to be at best a .500 team. Even if they somehow win out, they would have to be the luckiest team in the history of sports to make it in. They’re only on this list because of a hot start.
But also who doesn’t love a great underdog/comeback story. Especially one that almost has to screw over the Cubs to work.
San Diego Padres
Well, this one is unexpected considering how they started. But, that’s why they say all 162 games matter. They’re the inverse of the Pirates, and got hot late.
I know people don’t exactly love Fernando Tatis Jr. right now, but come on he’s so cool. Also, Blake Snell is the Cy Young favorite and Manny Machado is great and should’ve been on the White Sox.
San Francisco Giants
The best way to describe this team would be ... inconsistent. The team doesn’t have someone I would consider a superstar, but Mike Yastrzemski is a star. They also have Camilo Doval to protect the majority of the leads they have.
The issue is Alex Cobb is on the injured list with a hip injury and Anthony DeSclafani more than likely won’t be coming back this season, as he received a platelet-rich plasma treatment to deal with a flexor strain in his right elbow. The starting pitching is still solid with Alex Wood leading the charge, but a lack of experience could hurt them in October brings.
The youth movement is here! This is a top-three fun team in baseball, and a lot of that has to do with their young stars.
There’s Elly De La Cruz, Hunter Greene, Joey Votto...
Wait, Joey’s still here? Yes, Joey’s still here, as the only person on the active roster born in the 1980s. But that youth could come back to haunt them, like some other teams here.
New York Yankees
The Yankees are an interesting look at what happens when you use money and resources wrongly.
Yes, Aaron Judge, injuries be damned, is a superstar and one of the 10 best players in baseball, and Gerrit Cole has a good shot at AL Cy Young. But Giancarlo Stanton has not produced. Josh Donaldson was designated for assignment and has gone on to help the Brewers clinch their playoff spot. They’ve been hurt by injuries across their rotation. They’re not making it in.
I mean, they have Jake Burger AND Johnny Cueto, approximately 85% of the White Sox ’22 fun factor. Do I need to say anything else?
Oh, and I guess Jazz Chisholm is cool and it was fun to see Luiz Arráez flirt with hitting .400 as long as he did. Plus, the Marlins getting in is another scenario that probably screws over the Cubs.
OK, as many regular readers may know, my dad is a Cubs fan. That is the only reason I will give you to root for the Cubbies.
Cody Bellinger should be on the White Sox, but Jerry’s cheap. Marcus Stroman regressed and got hurt, but he’s still solid. Justin Steele blew the NL Cy Young race, but at least he was in it, however briefly.
They have the NL Rookie of the Year in Corbin Carroll, and Zac Gallen will probably be a NL Cy Young finalist. Old friend Seby Zavala is on their roster after the White Sox designated him for assignment. Christian Walker is one of the most underrated players in baseball. A fun team, but they could run into issues with youth in October.
Our first team to clinch a playoff spot, the Twins won the AL Central. Behind the bats of Royce Lewis and Carlos Correa, the team easily won the weakest division in baseball.
But old friend Dallas Keuchel is there, so I’ll pass on them. Cool baby blue jerseys, though.
The Mariners have one of the most fun teams in baseball. Julio Rodriguez is my favorite player who does not play for the White Sox. I flew to Seattle for Felix Hernandez’s jersey retirement. But they also have an issue with consistency and youth, so that can be worrisome.
Another team that many fans dislike, the Astros do have José Abreu, and who doesn’t love him? But also, they did cheat, no matter how you slice it. But they also won again in 2022, so was that redemption?
They’re here every year. You know their stars. José Altuve, Alex Bregman, Framber Valdez and, returning in a trade from the New York Mets, Justin Verlander. But, rarely for them, they still have not clinched a spot in the postseason, and a division title seems to be slipping from their fingers.
Toronto Blue Jays
Another fun team in the past, things have not gone so smoothly for the Jays this season. Alek Manoah has struggled to the point of getting sent to their Florida Complex League team to work on his stuff. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has not had a great season. I can see them falling out of the wild card race.
The Phillies are led by two-time NL MVP Bryce Harper, Aaron Nola and J.T. Realmuto. But old friend Craig Kimbrel is there, so do what you will with that.
The team that lost to the Astros in the 2022 World Series added Trea Turner in the over the winter, and late in the season he’s come alive. A solid team, in the driver’s seat for a wild card spot.
Imagine if the White Sox would’ve signed Marcus Semien. Things might be a little different right now.
Anyways, the Rangers traded for Max Scherzer, who is currently on the IL, but could return for a potential postseason run. They sent the White Sox Lance Lynn, who’s now a Dodger. They still have Dane Dunning. They have the upper hand in the AL West race at the moment, and Corey Seager is once again one of the best players in baseball.
Everyone left has clinched their spot, and first up are the Brewers.
Consistently one of the best rotations in baseball, the pitching usually makes up for sometimes lackluster offensive production. Christian Yelich is having a return to his 2018 NL MVP form, and they have contributors such as William Contreras and the recently-acquired Mark Canha. More than likely they will clinch the NL Central next.
Tampa Bay Rays
A team that is always in the postseason, so of course they are here. Randy Arozarena is one of the bright young stars in the league, and Tyler Glasnow headlines one of the best rotations in baseball.
But, they are such a boring team at times, and they are the reason that the White Sox think being cheap can work.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Another team that’s always here, the Dodgers took Lance Lynn off of our hands and gave a solid haul for a 6+ ERA. Mookie Betts is in a heated race for NL MVP with someone we will talk about soon. Freddie Freeman is having another great season, and the pitching staff is solid but dealing with injuries.
Likely to win the AL East, the Orioles have arrived ahead of schedule and have called up almost every prospect that they had to go for broke. The team even traded for Jack Flaherty at the trade deadline.
They are probably the most fun team in baseball thanks to the presumed AL Rookie of the Year Gunnar Henderson, Adley Rutschman and Cedric Mullins. They even have old friend James McCann.
The best team in baseball, and it doesn’t feel close, the Braves feature Ronald Acuna Jr. the favorite for NL MVP and the newest member of the elite 40-40 club. Along with him Atlanta features Matt Olsen, who was the first and possibly will be the only hitter to crack 50 home runs in 2023 and Ozzie Albies (who is more known for being a contact hitter, but has hit 30 homers for the first time in his career).
A strong rotation lead by Max Fried but facing injuries across the front lines, the team still seems to be the most likely to win the World Series this season.
October is the best month of the sports year, as you have all four North American sports leagues going at once. But no other has higher stakes in October than MLB. October is where stars are born and legends are made.