Cubs vs. White Sox Preview, Monday 5/27, 6:10 CT: Do You Still Care About This Matchup?

Joe Robbins

There's a trophy sponsored by an oil company at stake in the four Cubs/White Sox games this week. I can sense your caring level jumping considerably as you think of that.

On June 27, 2009, the White Sox beat the Cubs 8-7 at the Cell. That tied up the all-time series between the two teams at 35 wins each; not only that, but the overall runs scored in the series was nearly even at that moment, 344 for the Sox, 341 for the Cubs.

Since then, this interleague matchup has been all White Sox; the Sox have won 14 since then, the Cubs just six. The Cubs have been outscored 83-55 in those 20 games, including being shut out six times. Of course, the Cubs have been pretty bad since late 2009 and the White Sox have been at least marginal contenders.

More fun with numbers: the Cubs and Sox have nearly identical run differentials, but not nearly identical records. The Sox are 24-24 with a run differential of -11. The Cubs are 19-30 with a run differential of -12. The two bullpens are the primary (really, only) reason for the 5½ game difference in record.

This week is "natural rival" week, where teams so designated play two-game home-and-home series. That works out great for players on the Cubs, White Sox, Mets, Yankees, Athletics, Giants, Angels, Dodgers, Nationals and Orioles, who can all sleep in their own beds all week.

Not so much for these "natural rivals", who all have plane flights of at least two hours after their first two-game set: Braves/Blue Jays (741 air miles, plus having to go through customs), Rockies/Astros (863 air miles), Rangers/Diamondbacks (867 air miles) and Padres/Mariners (1,053 air miles). Texas and Arizona are, at least, doing something that makes sense -- the teams are playing a scheduled split doubleheader today in Phoenix (the first such home DH in D'backs history) then taking tomorrow off as a travel day to Texas.

Bud, wake up. These matchups aren't as popular as they once were. It's very likely that none of the four Cubs/White Sox games will sell out (partly because the White Sox have greatly overpriced their two home games). For next year's schedule and beyond, I hope MLB returns to the original way they scheduled these: one per year, alternating parks. Three Cubs/White Sox games per season is enough. CBS Sports' Danny Knobler agrees with me.

And beyond that, most of Chicago's attention tonight will be on the Blackhawks.

One more note: Naveen's weekly statistical wrap will appear tomorrow.

Cubs lineup:

Borbon CF, Castro SS, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Hairston DH, Castillo C, Ransom 3B, Sweeney RF, Barney 2B

Another chance for Scott Hairston to do something against a LHP. We're still waiting.

White Sox lineup:

De Aza CF, Ramirez SS, Rios RF, Dunn DH, Konerko 1B, Viciedo LF, Gillaspie 3B, Keppinger 2B, Flowers C

Today's Starting Pitchers

Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija


Cubs

vs. Jose Quintana

Jose Quintana


White Sox

vs. Sox

--

vs. Cubs


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Jeff Samardzija 2-6 10 10 0 0 0 0 63.2 50 27 23 6 22 72 3.25 1.13


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Jose Quintana 3-1 9 9 0 0 0 0 51.2 46 22 20 5 15 39 3.48 1.18

Jeff Samardzija faced the White Sox May 18, 2012 at Wrigley Field, a game most memorable for Kerry Wood's final appearance. Shark threw seven solid innings, but lost. (Heard that one before, I'll bet.) Current White Sox are 7-for-30 against him with two home runs (Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko). You'll note that I've changed Shark's photo above; I'll be changing all the Cubs pitcher portraits to more closely match the opponent. (Better luck? Hope so.)

Jose Quintana has never faced the Cubs. The only Cub he has faced is Cody Ransom (0-for-3). This Cubs team doesn't do well against lefties. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago. It's also on WGN with the Sox announcers.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation White Sox site South Side Sox. Be careful over there, though.

Here's the scoop on game threads for 2013. You'll find the game preview -- like this one -- posting as the first link in the StoryStream™, which will then contain all the overflow threads and the recap. The recap will also be on the front page as a separate post; once I post a game recap, the stream for each game will be retitled "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

In general, game previews will post two hours before game time. Exception: for day games after night games, that will usually be 90 minutes.

You will also be able to find the First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in this StoryStream™. As I've done for each regular-season game for several years now, we'll have the First Pitch thread at five minutes before game time (moved up from actual game time per your requests), then an overflow one hour, two hours and 2:45 after game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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