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On The Horizon: Cubs vs. White Sox series preview

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Suddenly, these two games seem really important.

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

These two teams last met June 19, with the Cubs winning 7-3 at Wrigley Field.

Since then, the Cubs are 6-9 and the White Sox 6-6 and therein lies one tale of why the Cubs’ record is worse. The Cubs have had just one off day (Friday) since that series and the Sox have had three. Cubs off days have not been spaced out well this year; quite a number happened in April and early May, not many since then. They’ll be spread out a bit better in the second half.

That’s not to use them as an excuse for the Cubs’ mediocre play lately, but playing 50 games in 52 days is not optimal. The Cubs went 22-28 in those 50 games, but in all that time lost just 2½ games in the N.L. Central race. Here’s hoping the off day Friday helped recharge the Cubs for the final two games before the All-Star break.

Fun fact

On June 24, Jon Jay became the 188th player to play in a game for both the Cubs and White Sox. He is the only former Cub on the current White Sox active roster. The only former Sox player on the current active Cubs roster is Jose Quintana. (This doesn’t include players from farm systems who didn’t play for either team in the major leagues, such as Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease, or players currently on the injured list.)

Pitching matchups

Saturday: Jon Lester, LHP (7-6, 3.89 ERA, 1.307 WHIP, 4.19 FIP) vs. Lucas Giolito, RHP (11-2, 2.72 ERA, 1.021 WHIP, 3.16 FIP)

Sunday: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (7-6, 3.45 ERA, 1.161 WHIP, 3.45 FIP) vs. Ivan Nova, RHP (3-7, 5.92 ERA, 1.558 WHIP, 5.43 FIP)

Times & TV channels

Saturday: 6:10 p.m. CT, Fox-TV (regional — coverage map). Announcers: Len Kasper and A.J. Pierzynski.

Sunday: 1:10 p.m. CT, NBC Sports Chicago (WGN with Sox announcers)

Prediction

This series screams out “split,” but I think the Cubs were energized by Thursday’s game and they can take both of them.

Up next

The All-Star break! Javier Baez, Willson Contreras and Kris Bryant will participate in the All-Star Game in Cleveland on Tuesday, followed by two days off. The Cubs resume play after the break with a three-game series against the Pirates at Wrigley Field beginning Friday afternoon.

Poll

How many games will the Cubs win against the White Sox?

This poll is closed

  • 50%
    2
    (116 votes)
  • 38%
    1
    (89 votes)
  • 11%
    0
    (26 votes)
231 votes total Vote Now