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Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox preview, Saturday 8/7, 1:20 CT

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The North Siders look to even up the series against the South Siders.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday notes...

  • SINCE THE TRADES: The Cubs are 2-5 since they traded eight players on deadline day. That’s not the worst record in baseball in that span: The Nationals and Mets are 2-6 and the Red Sox are 1-6.
  • FUN WITH SMALL SAMPLE SIZES: Since their recall from Triple-A Iowa, a couple of sub Cubs have hit well. Frank Schwindel: .353/.389/.588 (7-for-16), a double, a home run. Andrew Romine: .438/.438/.688 (6-for-17), a double, a home run.
  • ACTIVE LEADERS: Here are the current team leaders among players still on the Cubs active roster. Runs: Willson Contreras, 47. Doubles: Contreras, 14. Triples: Sergio Alcántara, 3. Home runs: Contreras, 17. RBI: Contreras, 40. Stolen bases: Rafael Ortega, 5.
  • CUBS/SOX PLAYERS: Eighteen players (13 pitchers) have appeared in a game for the Cubs and White Sox in the same season, including three this year: Pitchers Codi Heuer, Craig Kimbrel and Ryan Tepera. The three most recent such players prior to 2021: José Quintana in 2017, Mike Olt in 2015 and Josh Paul in 2003. Olt is the only player to homer for both the Cubs and Sox in the same season.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

White Sox lineup:

Adbert Alzolay, RHP vs. Carlos Rodon, RHP

USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY NETWORK

One of these days, Adbert Alzolay will have that great start that fulfills all the promise he’s had.

Could today be that day? Well, sure. Any day he takes the mound could be “that day.”

He’ll have to throw better than he has over his last nine starts: 6.39 ERA, 1.512 WHIP, 14 (!) home runs in 43⅔ innings. Yikes.

Alzolay did have a good outing in his only career start vs. the White Sox, September 27, 2020: five innings, two hits, one run, eight strikeouts. So there’s that, anyway. Also, Alzolay has started throwing a changeup a bit more — previously, he was under five percent, now at 5.7 percent. In my view, an effective changeup is the key to Alzolay’s success.

Statcast

Sigh. As you know I really wanted the Cubs to sign Carlos Rodon last offseason. He’s having by far the best year of his career, and has stayed healthy, something he wasn’t able to do in his previous six MLB seasons.

He’s faced the Cubs before, but not most of THESE Cubs — no current Cub has more than five career AB against him. That one guy is Willson Contreras, who is 2-for-5 with a home run against Rodon, who hasn’t been quite as good over his last six starts (4.06 ERA, 1.258 WHIP) as he had been prior to that.

That’s all I’ve got. Good luck, Cubs hitters.

Statcast

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee. It’s also on NBC Sports Chicago (with the Sox announcers).

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

Please visit our SB Nation White Sox site South Side Sox. If you do go there to interact with 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 2021 Game Thread procedure will be a bit different than previous years. It will be similar to what we’ve used for Spring Training.

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, titled “Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of week/date) game threads.” It will contain every post related to that particular game, including the First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread, as well as the recap when it’s published. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread and the overflow thread in the box marked “Chicago Cubs Game Threads” at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). The StoryStream for each game can also be found in that section.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at 90 minutes after the scheduled game time.

Discuss amongst yourselves.