The Cubs stay in town for a road series, but head to an AL park, so it’ll feel all the more like a real road game. Can the Cubs keep up their winning ways? Can the Cubs claim the Crosstown Cup Thing?
We’re Going Streaking
The Cubs swept the Brewers for the second time in a couple weeks, and won their seventh straight. They’ve won 13 of their last 14 overall, which, wow.
The White Sox are also coming off of a sweep, having taken three in a row from the Angels. Before that, though, they lost six of seven, and pretty much killed any crazy post-deadline playoff hopes they had after not selling off.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Friday, August 14 at 3:10 CT on CSN.
- Saturday, August 15 at 6:10 CT on ABC-7.
- Sunday, August 16 at 1:10 CT on CSN.
And, if you’re not in the blackout region, you can always watch on MLB.tv.
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 (3.73 ERA, 3.41 FIP; 4.00 K/BB), Jake Arrieta (2.38 ERA, 2.65 FIP; 4.05 K/BB), Dan Haren (3.55 4.70 ERA, 4.55 FIP; 3.46 K/BB)
Lineup (the whole AL park thing, plus facing lefties thing will make this tricky):
- Dexter Fowler, CF
- Kyle Schwarber, DH
- Chris Coghlan, LF
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Jorge Soler, RF
- Starlin Castro, 2B
- Miguel Montero, C
- Addison Russell, SS
Starters: Jeff Samardzija (4.62 ERA, 3.82 FIP; 3.71 K/BB), Jose Quintana (3.59 ERA, 3.23 FIP; 4.10 K/BB), Chris Sale (3.47 ERA, 2.50 FIP; 6.43 K/BB)
- Adam Eaton, CF
- Tyler Saladino, 3B
- Jose Abreu, DH
- Melky Cabrera, LF
- Avisail Garcia, RF
- Adam LaRoche, 1B
- Alexei Ramirez, SS
- Carlos Sanchez, 2B
- Tyler Flowers, C
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Kyle Schwarber hilarious rookie line check: .330/.420/.621 through 119 plate appearances. That’s a .442 wOBA and a 187 wRC+. That last figure is good for second in all of baseball among players with at least 100 plate appearances. It’s hard to describe just how good he’s been with the bat in such a short time.
Schwarber’s 1.6 WAR is 7th best for NL positional rookies, and he’s got less than half the PAs of anyone else.
Over the past month, there’s a Cubs batter who has a 21.0% walk rate against a mere 16.9% strikeout rate, and is hitting .292/.444/.490 in the 124 plate appearances during that stretch. Know who it is? Dexter Fowler.
Couldn’t help but notice that all three White Sox starters in this one have better FIPs than ERAs, which immediately made me wonder about the defense behind them. Turns out they’ve had some truly brutal defense, especially in the outfield, where all of Melky Cabrera, Adam Eaton, and Avisail Garcia rate as terrible.
As rough as the defense has been for Eaton, at least he’s hitting .266/.344/.413 on the year.
Although he’s had some rougher games lately, that Chris Sale-Dan Haren match-up figures to be a tough one for the Cubs. It’s probably going to be a game where the Cubs’ bats have to make Sale work, and try and survive him for seven innings or so, and then try and win the game against the bullpen.