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Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox preview, Friday 9/21, 3:10 CT

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The Cubs return to Chicago for a series against their crosstown rivals.

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The new Addison Russell story is being covered here. You’ll note below that he is not starting in this game. MLB has placed him on administrative leave. More on this to come here later this afternoon.

For the 20-plus years that the Cubs and White Sox have faced each other in interleague play, the Sox have often scheduled Friday games in this series at 3 p.m. The reason given in years gone by was that they wanted this game to be an “event,” sort of a second Opening Day.

That’s all well and good, but today? The season’s almost over, their stadium is going to be filled with Cubs fans... and the Sox played a night game in Cleveland Thursday. That game (naturally) went into extra innings and Sox players didn’t arrive back in Chicago until after 1 a.m.

No big deal to the Cubs, who at last enjoyed an off day at home Thursday. You’d think Sox management would have wanted to be kind to their players and schedule a night game for today.

But they didn’t, and here we are, with a rested Cubs team likely facing some exhausted Sox. I’m okay with that. You?

Friday notes:

  • The Cubs finished their 30-day, 29-game marathon with an 18-11 (.621) record. The last time any Cubs team had a stretch of at least 30 consecutive days with a scheduled game and posted a .600 winning percentage or better was from April 20-May 22, 1932 when the club went 18-10 (.642) in a 33-day stretch that featured 28 games and five rainouts. (H/T: Ed Hartig)
  • The Cubs enter this series with an 11-6 record in interleague play. The Pirates are the only N.L. team with fewer interleague losses, having completed their interleague contests with a 15-5 record. If the Cubs win at least two of three they’ll finish with the second-best record of any N.L. team vs. the A.L. this year, a season in which the N.L. won more interleague games for the first time in 14 years.
  • The Cubs bullpen has posted a 3.30 ERA this season, by far the lowest bullpen ERA in the National League, nearly a quarter point ahead of the Padres (3.50 ERA). The Cubs pen has limited foes to a .655 OPS against, also lowest in the National League.
  • Jose Quintana owns a solid 3.59 ERA in 84 appearances (82 starts), the fourth-lowest ERA of any pitcher to make more than 30 starts at Guaranteed Rate Field. Quintana had a run support average of 3.66 in this park while with the White Sox, the lowest ever of any pitcher to make more than 30 starts here. Hopefully, the Cubs do better for him with run support today. More on Q below.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

White Sox lineup:

Jose Quintana, LHP vs. Reynaldo Lopez, RHP

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Quintana has struggled at times this year, but over his last six starts he has finally pitched like the Cubs hoped he would when they acquired him last summer: 2.10 ERA, 1.136 WHIP, just two home runs allowed in 34⅓ innings. Q chose last year right around this time to throw his best game as a Cub, the complete-game shutout of the Brewers at Miller Park.

This will be his first time facing his former White Sox teammates. The only current Sox he has faced are Welington Castillo (1-for-6) and Avisail Garcia (2-for-5), so that tells us little. Hoping Q doesn’t get overamped for a start against his old team.

Reynaldo Lopez got off to a good start this season, then had a rough go for a while midseason. Over his last five starts, though, he’s been lights-out: 1.10 ERA, 0.866 WHIP with just one home run allowed and 35 strikeouts in 32⅔ innings. Caveat: three of those five starts were against really bad teams, the Tigers and Orioles.

Lopez has never faced the Cubs or anyone on the current active roster. There have been times in the past where this has been an advantage for the pitcher. Hopefully, they’ve got good scouting reports on him.

Today’s game is on NBC Sports Chicago with Len & JD. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Chicago market), and the White Sox broadcast is on WGN.

NOTE: MLB Network usually picks up the home team broadcast.

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. If you do go there to interact with White Sox fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

The 2018 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2017. Here’s how it works.

You’ll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).

At the same time, a StoryStream containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads” so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap 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 the game’s StoryStream as noted above.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.