us cellular fieldThe Cubs will have to win today and tomorrow at The Cell in order to split the season series Crosstown Cup thing with the White Sox. That is a bummer. And if the Cubs want to ensure that the White Sox leave this series at no better than .500, the Cubs will have to win at least one of the next two. I really dread the vomitous narratives that will emerge if the Cubs get swept by a White Sox team that is then two games over .500.

Travis Wood starts for the Cubs tonight, but he is NOT in the lineup, despite his powerful right-handed bat, which could be well-used against lefty starter John Danks (who has been a shell of himself since his shoulder injury a couple years ago). I imagine there’s an element of health protection here – although he’s a great hitter, Wood is far, far, far more valuable to the Cubs as a pitcher – but, still, I’m not so sure he wouldn’t have been one of the three or four best bats in the lineup.

Because the Cubs have just four men on the bench, one of whom is the back-up catcher, they have to start a couple of lefties (Valbuena at third, and Kalish in right) … which is not really a big deal, because Danks actually has a slight reverse split for his career.



The bat that essentially replaces Wood in the lineup is Mike Olt’s, so, you know, no pressure, Mike.

Game Info

Chicago Cubs (11-19) at Chicago White Sox (17-17), 7:10 CT on ESPN, CSN.

Game Thread and Series Preview

The Game Thread lives here. And, of course, for those who aren’t into message board-style game threads, please feel free to use the comments on this post for your in-game commentary/outbursts.

The Series Preview lives here.

Starting Pitchers

John Danks (5.00 ERA, 4.78 FIP, 5.48 xFIP; 1.05 K/BB)

versus

Travis Wood (3.35 ERA, 2.90 FIP, 3.40 xFIP; 5.29 K/BB)

Chicago White Sox Lineup

1. Gordon Beckham, 2B

2. Alejandro De Aza, CF

3. Jose Abreu, 1B

4. Dayan Viciedo, LF

5. Alexei Ramirez, SS

6. Paul Konerko, DH

7. Moises Sierra, RF

8. Marcus Semien, 3B

9. Adrian Neito, C

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Emilio Bonifacio, CF

2. Junior Lake, LF

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Starlin Castro, SS

5. Welington Castillo, C

6. Mike Olt, DH

7. Luis Valbuena, 3B

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Ryan Kalish, RF




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