If the Cubs can find a way to sweep the worst team in baseball this weekend – in their own park, I might add – they’ll wind up seven games over .500, which would be their high mark of the year. Lose just one game, however, and they’ll be only five games over.
Of course, the White Sox might be the worst team in baseball, but, as Brett said in the bullets this morning, they tend to play up when they’re facing the Cubs, because there’s some bragging rights on the line. Sure, the Cubs/Sox rivalry hasn’t quite been as spicy as it once was/over the past half-decade or so (first, the Cubs were rebuilding, and now the White Sox are), but it’s still a fun matchup and I still want to kick their teeth in.
To get there, the Cubs will need a good performance from Tyler Chatwood, who had put together nice back-to-back starts against the Indians and Brewers, before lasting just 4.0 innings against the Cardinals last weekend. Chatwood still hasn’t quite figured out his command this season (he’s had five walks or more in four of his six starts), but perhaps today is the day. And once he starts to locate his pitches … watch out, he’ll be dangerous.
Carson Fulmer will start for just the 12th time in his Major League career today, and all the Cubs need is for him to be himself: Career 18.4 K%, 12.2 BB%, 32.6 GB%.
Plus the splits:
Versus Lefties: .336 wOBA
Versus Righties: .357 wOBA
When I was reviewing his numbers (particularly those splits), it made me realize something, which I’ve since shared on Twitter dot com:
I just realized that today's Sox starter, Carson Fulmer, is a reverse-split righty both this season and for his career, but Ian Happ, not Albert Almora, is drawing the start.
For the most part, Almora was getting his righty-hacks in against reverse split types, but not today.
— Michael Cerami (@Michael_Cerami) May 11, 2018
And the crazier thing is that Happ is actually doing worse against righties this year (77 wRC+) than Almora (84 wRC+). Although, maybe it’s not crazy at all. Maybe this is just Happ getting some extra reps in, the way Almora was (i.e. for practice/to develop).
Chicago White Sox (9-25) at Chicago Cubs (19-15) – 1:20 CT on NBC Sports Chicago, MLBN (out-of-market only), 670 The Score
Game Thread and Series Preview
Your game thread is down in the comments, so let’s have some good, clean (safe-for-work) fun today.
Cubs: Tyler Chatwood (R): 3.31 ERA, 4.26 FIP; 1.19 K/BB
White Sox: Carson Fulmer (R): 5.02 ERA, 6.44 FIP; 5.81 K/BB
Chicago White Sox Lineup:
- Nicky Delmonico, LF
- Leury Garcia, CF
- Jose Abreu, 1B
- Carlos Sanchez, 2B
- Daniel Palka, RF
- Welington Castillo, C
- Matt Davidson, 3B
- Tim Anderson, SS
- Carson Fulmer, P
Chicago Cubs Lineup:
- Ben Zobrist, RF
- Kris Bryant, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Javy Baez, 2B
- Kyle Schwarber, LF
- Willson Contreras, C
- Addison Russell, SS
- Ian Happ, CF
- Tyler Chatwood, P