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Previewing A Potential Yankees White Sox 2021 Playoff Matchup

(Elsa/Getty Images)

Baseball Deserves A Yankees-White Sox Playoff Series

A series between the Yankees and the White Sox would be incredible. Two teams that match up with each other so well, it certainly would live up to the hype,

We’re about a quarter of the way through the MLB season, and we’re starting to see who’s living up to their expectations, who’s exceeding expectations, and who is completely nowhere near their expectations.

Teams such as The New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox are starting to look like the teams we expected them to, while teams such as the Boston Red Sox are completely turning heads with the best record in baseball. It’s been an exciting start to the year so far, and it will only get better.

While there are many possible outcomes with who will play who in the playoffs, a Yankees-White Sox series could be absolutely incredible.

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White Sox Loaded With Talent

The White Sox have a great pool of talent on their roster. Their offense absolutely kills lefties and features powerful right-handed hitters. Yermin Mercedes, Tim Anderson, Jose Abreu, Yoan Moncada, Nick Madrigal, Yasmani Grandal, and Adam Eaton currently highlight their lineup.

Unfortunately for the White Sox, two of their sluggers reside on the Injured List for an extended amount of time. OF Eloy Jiménez suffered a ruptured left pectoral tendon after attempting to rob a home run in a spring training game against the Oakland Athletics, video via MLB Network.

In addition, Outfielder Luis Robert is out 12-16 weeks with a torn hip flexor. The White Sox are down two outfielders currently, which opens the door for highly-touted prospect Andrew Vaughn.

Due to their prolific offense, the White Sox rotation has been overlooked. They have one of the game’s best in Lucas Giolito. Although Lucas hasn’t pitched to his capability yet, he has the ability to take over any game. They have a great number 2 in Carlos Rodon as well. Rodon currently is posting a 1.27 era in 42 innings pitched with 62 strikeouts.

Their rotation also features former Cy-Young Dallas Keuchel, Lance Lynn, and Dylan Cease. The White Sox certainly have one of the most dangerous rotations if they can stay healthy.

Yankees Also Loaded With Talent

The Yankees entered the 2021 season with a ton of talent as well. Like the White Sox, the Yankees are known for their offense. D.J. LeMahieu, Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, Gio Urshela, Giancarlo Stanton (currently on IL), Gary Sanchez, and Rougned Odor have been their biggest contributors so far.

Similar to the White Sox, the Yankees’ rotation is also overshadowed by their perennial offense. Led by ace Gerrit Cole, the rest of their rotation looked like a bunch of question marks. To no avail, all starters have shown promise and flashes of brilliance.

Corey Kluber recently threw a no-hitter, and Domingo German has pitched very well after serving a suspension for the 2020 season. Along with this, lefty Jordan Montgomery has shown he can be a great back-end starter with his changeup and curveball combination.

While Jameson Taillon’s numbers don’t reflect success, his stuff is starting to come to fruition. After many surgeries including two Tommy John’s and testicular cancer surgery, Jameson has shown a lot of potential.

So, Who Takes A Seven Game Series?

If the Yankees and White Sox were to meet up in either the Divisional Series or AL Championship Series, it could easily go the distance. These teams are both oozing with talent, and to me, are foils of each other.

Both teams rely on their offense and the home run to win them games. At the same time, both teams have sneaky good rotations. Both teams have a powerful bullpen of hard throwers, with elite closers at each helm. The White Sox signed Liam Hendriks last offseason, and the Yankees of course have the notorious Aroldis Chapman, who looks better than ever this year with the addition of his spitter.

What separates the Yankees and White Sox to me is the playoff experience. The Yankees have made the playoffs for four consecutive years and made the ALCS in both 2017 and 2019. The White Sox, on the contrary, made their first playoff appearance since 2008 last season, but fell in the wildcard series to the Oakland Athletics, two games to one.

In a five-game series, I would take the Yankees in five. Subsequently, in a seven-game series, I take the Yankees in six. These teams are incredibly similar. Both offenses have the potential to explode for double-digit runs on any given day. They both are just too talented with the bat and on the mound, the idea that this series would end quickly is a fallacy.

Yankees’ Pitching The Difference in Weekend Series

The aforementioned teams got together this weekend for a highly anticipated three-game series. Two of the favorites to win the American League this year, this series previewed what we could see in October.

Yankees’ starters are on a roll, with four consecutive starts of 7+ innings and zero earned runs. Something they haven’t accomplished since 1932. They have three pitchers who are top 10 in American League earned run average: Gerrit Cole, Corey Kluber, and Domingo German.

The Yankees won the first game on Friday, 2-1. After a historic outing between White Sox Carlos Rodon and Yankees Jordan Montgomery, the game featured many fireworks. A triple play in the 9th to escape a jam, and a walk-off home run by Yankees Gleyber Torres proved to be the difference.

Gerrit Cole did his thing in game two, posting 7 scoreless innings. White Sox Dylan Cease came out looking exceptional with his fastball and curveball combination but began to falter in the fourth inning, surrendering 3 runs, he did not go past the fifth inning.

Yankees finish Sweep

Sunday’s game was a matchup between the Yankees’ Taillon and the White Sox Keuchel. The Yankees opened the scoring in the 2nd with a two-run single off the bat of Gleyber Torres. Andrew Vaughn tied the game in the top of the 9th with a home run off Aroldis Chapman, the first earned run he’s surrendered all year.

It was Aaron Judge who walked it off in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded. Aaron walked on five pitches, and walked it off for the first time in his career, as the Yankees completed the sweep.

While the White Sox scored only five runs across three games, it’s evident the absence of Luis Robert and Eloy Jiménez is affecting their offense drastically. If these teams are to meet at some point in the playoffs, it will certainly live up to its expectations.

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