Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

white sox logoThe mixed feelings of the Cardinals series are also probably part of the reason I’m less hyped than usual about this series.

We’re Going Streaking

The Cubs managed to split the four-game set with the Cardinals, which included a doubleheader, and, if I’d told you that on Monday, you’d be pretty satisfied. As it stands, you are – hopefully – still modestly content with that outcome, but it’s hard to feel too good given that the Cubs were a strike away from a 3-1 series win.

The White Sox are suffering through a disastrously disappointing season after being one of the offseason’s “winners” (when are people going to stop declaring those things, by the way? busts like the White Sox, Padres, and Red Sox happen every single year … ). The White Sox did manage to take three of four in their recent series against the Blue Jays.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Friday, July 10 at 3:05 CT on CSN.
  • Saturday, July 11 at 3:05 CT on ABC-7.
  • Sunday, July 12 at 1:20 CT on ABC-7.

And, if you’re not in the blackout region, you can always watch on

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: Kyle Hendricks (3.82 ERA, 3.41 FIP; 4.41 K/BB), Jon Lester (3.48 ERA, 3.31 FIP; 3.37 K/BB), Jake Arrieta (2.80 ERA, 2.72 FIP; 4.56 K/BB)


  1. Dexter Fowler, CF
  2. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  3. Kris Bryant, 3B
  4. Jorge Soler, RF
  5. Miguel Montero, C
  6. Starlin Castro, SS
  7. Chris Coghlan, LF
  8. Pitcher
  9. Addison Russell, 2B

White Sox

Starters: Carlos Rodon (4.18 ERA, 3.68 FIP; 1.77 K/BB), Chris Sale (2.80 ERA, 2.31 FIP; 6.68 K/BB), Jose Quintana (3.69 ERA, 3.32 FIP; 3.54 K/BB)


  1. Adam Eaton, CF
  2. Jose Abreu/Adam LaRoche, 1B
  3. Melky Cabrera, LF
  4. Avisail Garcia, RF
  5. Alexei Ramirez, SS
  6. Gordon Beckham, 3B
  7. Tyler Flowers, C
  8. Carlos Sanchez, 2B
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

From the moment folks finally bought into Chris Coghlan as a consistently good hitter (even if the results weren’t there yet – and then they were), he went ice cold. He’s hitting .115/.281/.115 in his last 10 games. But, here’s the thing: His BABIP has been just .143 during that stretch, and his walk rate (18.8%) has been higher than his strikeout rate (15.6%). He’s fine.

Since coming off the DL, Jorge Soler’s numbers are, like, whatever man, not super impressive. But that doesn’t really matter to me – what matters is that he has looked patient, hasn’t been flailing at those low-and-away sliders, and he’s been absolutely scorching the ball. Keep doing that, and the numbers will start to look silly.

The Cubs will face three lefty starters in this series, which is good, but they’re all quality starters. Rodon is young and can be beat with patience. Quintana has been consistently good over the last few years. And Sale is Sale – you should very much expect the Cubs’ bats to be dominated by Sale on Saturday, and just hope that they drive his pitch count up enough that he leaves by the 7th inning.

Offensively, Jose Abreu is hitting .296/.342/.497 with a 129 wRC+. That is the end of the positive offensive White Sox stories. Literally. They’ve been brutally bad offensively, and, without the DH this weekend, that’s going to be even more exposed. Here’s hoping the Cubs’ pitchers keep pressing down the boot.

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