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Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox Preview, Monday 6/20, 7:10 CT: The City Series Returns

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This photo is here just because it's pretty: a general view of Wrigley Field at sunset as the Chicago Cubs take on the New York Yankees on June 19, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
This photo is here just because it's pretty: a general view of Wrigley Field at sunset as the Chicago Cubs take on the New York Yankees on June 19, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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For the first 12 seasons (1997-2008) of the White Sox/Cubs interleague rivalry, all of the games were played when one of the two teams, or both, had winning records and were postseason contenders. Either the Cubs, or Sox, or both, went to the postseason in 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2008 and contended in 2001 and 2004.

That changed the last two years; both teams struggled in 2009 and in 2010, they met at Wrigley Field in early June with nearly identical sub-.500 records. The Sox took two of three in that series and the only loss -- the near no-hitter by Ted Lilly on June 13 -- was followed up by a Sox 11-game winning streak and a rush into contention.

This year, not so much for either team. We don't have to rehash the Cubs mess here. The Sox look good for a few games (such as their series win this past weekend in Arizona), but then they, too, struggle. At three games under .500 they trail in a weak AL Central by 5.5 games.

So this series doesn't have the buzz that Cubs/White Sox series have had in the past, no matter how mainstream sportswriters are trying to create it. Good seats were available via the White Sox website as of this morning and many StubHub listings are near or at face value.

The Sox lead the all-time series 41 wins to 37. Time to get closer to evening up that score, at least.

Cubs lineup:

Fukudome RF, Castro SS, DeWitt LF, Ramirez 3B, Peña 1B, Soriano DH, Soto C, LeMahieu 2B, Campana CF

White Sox lineup:

Pierre lf, Vizquel 2b, Quentin rf, Konerko 1b, Dunn DH, Ramirez ss, Pierzynski c, Rios cf, Teahen 3b
Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
Carlos Zambrano
Cubs
vs. Gavin Floyd
Gavin Floyd
White Sox
5-4 W-L 6-6
4.59 ERA 3.94
67 SO 66
35 BB 22
8 HR 9
vs. Sox -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Carlos Zambrano 5-4 16 15 0 0 0 0 96.0 94 50 49 8 35 67 4.59 1.34


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Gavin Floyd 6-6 14 13 1 0 0 0 89.0 84 41 39 9 22 66 3.94 1.19

OK, if YOU want to talk about Carlos Zambrano's last start at the Cell, you go right ahead. I'm not going there. Instead, let's talk about this June 22, 2007 game where he threw eight innings there, gave up just one run, and struck out 12... OK, so you're not buying this. Big Z has a pretty poor record at the Cell, a 5.88 ERA in seven appearances. Plus, he's probably not happy that he won't be able to hit tonight or in his next start at Kansas City. And not only that, he's reunited with one of his biggest nemeses tonight, Adam Dunn; Dunn has seven HR off Z in 81 plate appearances (along with 18 walks).

Gavin Floyd was the opposition to Ted Lilly in that June 13, 2010 game where Ted nearly threw a no-hitter. Floyd threw eight strong innings in that game and has a 1.20 ERA in two lifetime starts vs. the Cubs. Current Cubs are hitting just .146 (6-for-41) against him. Clearly, we are doomed.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago (Len & Bob) and WCIU (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. Please be careful over there, though.

Today's first pitch thread will be up at 7 pm CDT and the overflow threads will post at 8 pm, 9 pm and 9:45 pm CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.