The BP Crosstown Cup Series Rivalry Match-Up Classic of Chicago is back for its second half. The White Sox swept the first half at Wrigley Field, so I can only assume the Cubs will return the favor. It won’t win them the BP Cup, though, which stays with the reigning champion (White Sox) in the event of a tie.

By way of reminder, the Series Preview hooks you up with what you need to know about every series this year – streaks, broadcast information, pitchers, expected lineups, etc. That way, if you want to check only one place to get a sense about an upcoming series, or to plan ahead, you’ve got it. Oh, and there will be pictures of beautiful women, too.

We’re Going Streaking

The Cubs once again did the ‘ole win the first game, drop the latter two games of a series thing against the Red Sox, and they continue their .333 pace unabated. The Cubs remain the worst team in baseball.

The White Sox are four games over .500, and a game and a half up in the AL Central. How nice for them. They’ve lost four straight series, though.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Monday, June 18 at 7:10 CT on WCIU.
  • Tuesday, June 19 at 7:10 CT on CSN.
  • Wednesday, June 20 at 7:10 CT on WGN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded, but you’ll want to check each day’s Pre-Gamin’ post for the actual lineup.


Starters: Matt Garza (2-5, 4.04), Travis Wood (0-3, 4.58), Ryan Dempster (3-3, 2.11)


  1. Tony Campana, CF
  2. Starlin Castro, SS
  3. David DeJesus, RF
  4. Alfonso Soriano, DH
  5. Bryan LaHair, 1B
  6. Reed Johnson, LF
  7. Geovany Soto, C (could be back today)
  8. Darwin Barney, 2B
  9. Luis Valbuena, 3B

White Sox

Starters: Zach Stewart (1-1, 5.18), Jake Peavy (6-2, 2.91), Gavin Floyd (4-7, 5.63)


  1. Alejandro De Aza, CF
  2. Gordon Beckham, 2B
  3. Adam Dunn, DH
  4. Paul Konerko, 1B
  5. AJ Pierzynski, C
  6. Dayan Viciedo, LF
  7. Alex Rios, RF
  8. Alexei Ramirez, SS
  9. Orlando Hudson, 3B

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Matt Garza is still trying to get on track. Well, that is to say, the track he road last year, when he looked like one of the top 15 starters in the game.

Was Friday’s start Ryan Dempster’s last as a member of the Cubs? Or just his last at Wrigley? We’ll see if he’s on the mound for the Cubs on Wednesday, but I’m betting he is.

Bryan LaHair has quietly gone on another cool streak, hitting .167/.286/.222 over his last six games.

David DeJesus has been not-so-quietly cold, going just .146/.288/.268 in his last 14 games. Say, when did DeJesus start hitting third regularly? … Ah, yes. Fourteen games ago.

AJ Pierzynski has a .500 OPS in his last eight games. Face!

On the flip side, Paul Konerko, who leads the AL in BA (.359) and OBP (.435), is hitting .400/.465/.656 since mid-May.

Adam Dunn is officially back. He leads the league in homers (23), walks (53), and … strikeouts (104).

Series She-View

The Series She-View is one beautiful woman representing the Cubs taking on another (usually) beautiful woman representing the opponent. The Cubs’ representative will change as the team’s needs change – in other words, if the Cubs are winning, the rep will stay the same. But if the Cubs’ performance calls for a change, someone new will step in. The opponent’s representative will change from series to series, at my whim. But at least she’ll probably be wearing the opponent’s colors or have some connection to the team or something like that. It is immature, and the connection to baseball is tenuous at best. These things, I know.

We’re going to stick with Brooklyn Decker for another series for the Cubs for at least three reasons: (1) the Cubs lost two of three to the Red Sox under her watch, but that’s their season average, so it’s not like she did worse than anyone else; (2) it’s another relatively important series, so the Cubs need all the help they can get; and (3) do you really need a third reason to enjoy the beauty of Brooklyn Decker?

The White Sox are not getting a sexy representative. They still get what they get.


  • ibcnu2222 (John)

    Valbuena vs O-DOG

  • chiorgerg

    at least we don’t see Sale

  • Jason “Thundermug”

    I heard the Yankees don’t like Dempster they feel he will muddy in water with their other starters. Well Yanks all I have to say is your Loss if u don’t go after Dempster and someone else’s gain

  • mudge

    bat Soto 3rd, Campana 8th.

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    Lahair should play everyday… ill take the risk- reward factor involved and say the guy has earned a crack at an everyday spot in the line up. rizzo will soon take his position, and as of now baker has his place in the line up WTF (baker). poor guy just cant get a break, no matter how well he performs at any level… the doubt is always there with this guy, regardless of the stat line, and lack of a decent option. does anyone not love lahair so far? anyone besides dale i mean?

    • Cheryl

      I know. He won’t get that option with te cubs. That’s why I hope he gets traded.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      LaHair is a very good hitter against RHP.  However, the same numbers that demanded that he be given a shot to start in MLB also say, “but not against LHP.”

      Moreover, if LaHair gets traded, then it will be to a contender. The contending teams cannot afford to have him facing LHP.  Most of the contenders these days are nearly as stats savvy as Theo & Jed: they make their own projections based on miLB performance, and they’ll reach similar conclusons.  They won’t “take a chance” because if they are contending then they really cannot afford to do so.

      • Cheryl

        Doc, Try to look at it in another way other than statistics. I’m trying to take in your statistical arguments even though I disagree with some of them.

  • Jack Weiland

    I don’t love LaHair. Like, don’t love. He’s solid, but if you’re trying to turn him into a star in your mind you’re going to be really disappointed.

    Baker has “his” place in the lineup because LaHair is absolutely horrible against lefties and Baker has historically crushed them. Seems reasonable to me, no?

  • RWakild

    Baker is not part of any long term plan. Lahair could be. Let the guy play to see if he can hit lefties and improve.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Again, there are 8 years of miLB data on how LaHair (doesn’t) hit lefties.  He’s 29, so he’s long past the point where we can expect appreciable improvement.

      • KyleNovak

        While this is true, Baker has demonstrated zero power this season and really has shown no value this season against anyone pitching, righty or lefty. In LaHair’s very small sample size against LHP, he has K’ed a lot, but still drawn some walks and has the power potential regardless. (Just ask the St. Louis leftys) I believe it has gotten to the point that LaHair numbers in this state may have more upside than Baker.

        Plus, Baker’s defense at first has been poor.

        Example: Maddon continues to trot Pena out there and he has also been dreeadful against LHP, despite a good walk rate. I know they are dealing with injury over there, but Pena is better than the alternatives. I’m really feeling the same about LaHair over Baker.

        • Jack Weiland

          I think it’s too early to make that statement. 82 plate appearances is not sufficient evidence (to me) that 30-year-old Jeff Baker has fallen off a cliff against lefties and the Cubs would be better off tossing LaHair out there.

          Also Carlos Pena and Bryan LaHair are very different players.

          • KyleNovak

            I’m curious as to why you say they are very different. I’m inclined to disagree.

            They both are very patient hitters and rank in the top tier of Pitches/PA. They both have high K-rates and similar swinging strike % rates. They both have a good deal of raw power. (LaHair probably has better power projections due to the fact that he is so much younger and “in his prime”, so to speak) LaHair swings more often, making more contact while Pena is more selective and draws a higher percentage of walks.

            Offensively, that may not be exactly the same, but it sure isn’t “very different”, say. . . like comparing Pujols to LaHair. What is your reasoning?

            Defensively, yeah. Pena is historically a much better, more nimble first-baseman, even if his UZR and DRS numbers are middling at best this year.

        • Drew7

          I see what you’re saying, but that’s why Dale has gone to the “law of averages” arguement: A career-average Baker sports an .867 OPS against LHP.

          If assumed everyone would perform at their average given enough PA’s, you’d take Baker over there every time. Like I said, neither is a great option right now.

          Also, We’ll have to wait for Rizzo-time before we see anything resembling good defense at first!

          • KyleNovak

            And that argument, while sound and statistically responsible, doesn’t eliminate the possibility that a change * might * need to be made anyways, especially in a tight race.

            Those decisions are why front office types and managers make the big bucks.

            (see the response right below this to Doc’s post)

            For a team already twenty-games below .500, it’s really six of one, half-dozen of the other when it comes to Baker and LaHair at the moment. But on a contender. . .

        • DocPeterWimsey

          I should clarify. Baker is not a very good option against LHP.  That does not mean that he is not the Cubs’ best option against LHP.  Ultimately, I think that the real problem is that because LaHair has played so little MLB ball, it still is “unknown” as to whether he can hit lefties.  Because LaHair has hit righties so well, there is a hope that he might hit lefties nearly as well (or at least better than Baker) and that we won’t know until we wait and see.

          • KyleNovak


            I believe the whole “his BABIP is too low and is due for a regression to mean/small sample size, let’s keep running him out there because it will get better. . trust us” situation is the next thing that managers are going to have to figure out. When do you make a change? Even if you play probability, sometimes you’ll get the 2011 Adam Dunn season, chance be damned.

          • Drew7

            “Ultimately, I think that the real problem is that because LaHair has played so little MLB ball, it still is “unknown” as to whether he can hit lefties.”

            Now wait a second Doc…You’ve been telling Cheryl for 2 months now that there is statistical evidence of LaHair’s inability to hit LHP. It may not be enough of a sample in the Big Leagues, but rarely does a player *figure it out* after years of struggles in the minors.

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    baker has not “crushed ” lefties… and he hasnt crushed anything this year… lahairs historical troubles with lefties are exposed let him figure it out… i mean it couldnt hurt this team right now…and i do think lahair could be a late bloomer star

    • Jack Weiland

      His career ISO against lefties is .209 … Aramis Ramirez ISO last season was .204.

      • KyleNovak

        It’s statistically clear that he fares better against lefties, but using career ISO isn’t the best measuring tool on a player who played most the time in Coors Field prior to joining the Cubs.

        • Jack Weiland

          I agree completely. My one sentence demonstration was by no means intended as a full picture of Jeff Baker’s career.

          Either way: I’m not convinced the best way to maximize LaHair’s value is to display how bad he is against lefties to the rest of the league. I think it’s probably more likely they can flip him for something of some use if they keep his numbers nice and shiny like they are now.

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    improvment comes with AB not replacment

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    if lahair is traded to a contender than they can opt to bat him against right handers exclusivly… but we are not contenders… let the guy get his ABs and make some adjustments, this is a year of adjustments in cub town. this team is hard to watch… its even harder to watch without lahair in the line up…im just saying

    • Jack Weiland

      I’m guessing you would find watching Bryan LaHair “adjust” to lefties at the Major League level very, very hard to watch.

    • Jack Weiland

      It’s about trying to maximize the value of their assets. That means Bryan LaHair as much as it means everyone else on the team, Jeff Baker included.

      And who’s to say the best way to do that is by showing the league exactly how horrible LaHair is against lefties? I’m not in a position to say so, and neither are you.

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    that is a very valid point jack… too-shay!

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    maybe im more stir crazy than high on lahair… loosing is getting to me as it always does as a cub fan. pointing out what we should do differently is always easy when things are as rough as they are

    • Jack Weiland

      Stir crazy = I feel ya. This has been a very long season. And it’s not even July. Oy.

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    im ready for the off season…go bears!

  • rbreeze

    Epstein to Sveum the day he was offered the job as manager of the Cubs:

    “Look Dale this is going to be a lousy team for a couple of years.  All we can expect you to do is play by the book, the law of averages, play everyone we give you and don’t worry about the results until we get you a real team.  Don’t get too excited and upset over the losses because it will only make you look older than you realy are.  Agreed?”  Handshake and here we are………

    Cubs Highlights for 2012 will be:

    1)Amateur Draft.

    2)Trade Deadline.

    3)Off season trades and free agency and winter meetings.

    4)Maybe a Rizzo sighting for a couple of months.



    • Shawon O’Meter

      I know Dale understood…I get it, and I believe most BNer’s do, but unfortuately some can’t see the forest through the trees and expect Theo/Jed/Jason to turn water into wine. By the way, that would have been an awesome letter to send to the season ticket holders. ;)

      • calicubsfan007

        @Shawon: If this trio can turn water into wine, we have bigger issues than the Cubs being able to win this year. (;

    • calicubsfan007

      rbreeze: I do agree with Theo’s convo with Sveum. And I also agree with the offseason plan.

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    lets not forget the addition of soler, and getting rid of sori…wishful thinking.

  • http://bleachernation loyal100more

    pleasent surprises (a few) lahair dempster and the shark… god im ready for the off season!

    • calicubsfan007

      @loyal: As Mr. Bart Scott said: “Can’t Wait!”

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