Although they currently find themselves in last place in the AL Central, the Chicago White Sox have a golden opportunity to finish May at the top of their division.
Chicago is 5.5 games behind the Detroit Tigers, who lead the AL Central right now. However, the Sox not only have a much easier schedule than the Tigers for the remainder of the month, they have the easiest schedule in the entire division for the rest of May.
With 15 games against losing teams remaining in May, the Sox are the only team in the AL Central to face more teams with losing records than teams with winning records for the final three weeks of the month.
The Minnesota Twins face just three opponents with losing records for the rest of May, the Cleveland Indians have 15 games against winning teams remaining, the Kansas City Royals have 12 games left versus teams above .500 and the division-leading Tigers do not face one team with a losing record for the rest of the month.
There’s no doubt the South Siders have played the most inconsistent baseball of any team in the Central to begin 2013. That being said, I believe this trend will come to an end by the time May is over. Obviously, the easier schedule should give the Sox a boost, but their success from here on out will have more to do with certain players returning and guys beginning to settle in.
With John Danks, Dayan Viciedo and even Gordon Beckham seemly not too far off from returning, the Sox will immediately become an improved group as soon as these guys are able to come back. Newcomer Jeff Keppinger should begin to find his swing as he gets more and more comfortable in a White Sox uniform, which will provide the Pale Hose will more chances to score runs.
Tyler Flowers, who’s in his first season as an everyday catcher in MLB, figures to get better as the year goes on as well.
With what should be a lighter schedule, a few key players returning from injury and the hope that players adjusting to new roles will begin to find their groove, the Sox have the opportunity to turn their season around in the blink of an eye.