RECORDS: Cubs 46-42 White Sox 41-43
GAMETIMES: 6:15 Saturday, 1:10 Sunday
TV: Fox Saturday, WGN and NBCSN Sunday
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PROBABLE CUBS LINEUP
Kyle Schwarber – LF
Kris Bryant – 3B
Anthony Rizzo – 1B
Javier Baez – SS
Jason Heyward – RF
Robel Garcia – DH
Albert Almora – CF
Addison Russell – 2B
PROBABLE WHITE SOX LINEUP
Leury Garcia – SS
Yoan Moncada – 3B
Jose Abreu – 1B
James McCann – C
Eloy Jimenez – LF
Jon Jay – RF
Yolmer Sanchez – 2B
Ryan Cordell – CF
Zack Collins – DH
After what can only be described as an obscene scheduling choice to have both teams off on a Friday, the Cubs and Sox will head into the All-Star Break by finishing up their interleague duel, this time on the Southside. Needless to say both teams couldn’t be feeling much different before they get away from each other for four days.
The Cubs are something of a mess, even with their Independence Day thumping of the Pirates. Everyone seems just about miserable, they may have decided to chuck it on their manager who might be trying to his last throes to keep his job. Everyone is being threatened by the front office. And yet despite all that they’re in first place, and are really only a Kris Bryant or Anthony Rizzo binge from opening up some space in the Central.
The Sox on the other hand, though still under .500, have something of a bounce in their step after series wins over the Twins and Tigers, and the call-up of Dylan Cease, and the team starting to resemble what it very well might look like when the games matter more than this in a year or two. You can feel it starting to bubble at The Rate/Cell/Comiskey. Taking two from the Cubs and confirm or heighten their death spiral will certainly feel like the dawn of something on 35th.
They’ll send out their best in Giolito, whom strangely the Cubs paddled at Wrigley last month, and then Ivan Nova, who throttled the Cubs strangely before that. Nova has had decent career numbers against the Cubs going back to his Pirates days. At least for the Cubs, they’ll send out their best which is Hendricks, and can hope Lester can muscle through another start. And of course even if that happens, any appearance by Craig Kimbrel is going to raise the pulses on all sides after his entrance and then last Wednesday’s hiccup. Maybe Aaron Bummer can impress the Cubs’ brass enough this weekend too to avoid paying Alex Colome prices.
Going into Sunday, Hendricks has had particular problems with Abreu and Yolmer, bothin hitting over .400 against him. And Abreu just happens to be having his best season.
So all set then. Figures to be one of the livelier occasions between these two in a while, added to by Eloy’s heroics last time we did all this. There actually feels something at stake on this one, more than bullshit bragging rights between two teams in different leagues. The Cubs have a season to save, the Sox have steps to take. All laid out before us.