AL Central Second-Half Preview

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Jul 16, 2013; Flushing, NY, USA; American League pitcher Chris Sale (49) of the Chicago White Sox tosses to first base for an out against the National League during the 2013 All Star Game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago has went from being in second place last year at season’s end to being in the final spot of the standings, looking up at a 14-game deficit to the Tigers in the Central.

The Sox’s season as being contenders for a division championship went away a month or so ago, it seems, and from the looks of things, they will be sellers once the trade deadline gets even closer than it already is.

Chicago is barely over .400 in winning percentage (.402) and have a -60 run differential this season, the fifth worst in baseball. They have losing records at home and on the road at 19-21 (home) and 18-34 (road), respectively.

Get this, the Southsiders rank in the Top 20 in one major offensive category: batting average at .249, good enough for 19th place.

What’s worse is that of 30 MLB teams, they are 29th overall in runs scored at 345, ahead of just the lowly Miami Marlins (306).

Even worse is their highest batting average for a player who qualifies to lead the stat is Alexei Ramirez at, gulp, .286. Adam Dunn leads the team in home runs (24) and RBIs (60), while Ramirez also has the most hits with 106.

The bright spot of the team is pitching. Chris Sale, though 6-8 on the year, has an ERA of 2.85 with 131 strikeouts. Plus, for good measure, Sale was the winning pitcher in the All-Star Game with two scoreless innings.

Addison Reed has done well as closer with 24 saves, and Jesse Crain (though on the DL) has 19 holds.

I’ve watched many, many White Sox games this season – they are a big part of my summer viewing – and with that said, I don’t see this team winning the division or going further than a possible fourth-place finish this season, as they are soon to be sellers at the trade deadline, in hopes to become a better baseball team in future seasons.