Crosstown Series Preview: White Sox at Cubs, August 6 - August 8, 2021

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Crosstown Series Preview: White Sox at Cubs, August 6 – August 8, 2021

Chicago Cubs

Don’t run from it. Don’t be defensive. Own it. The Chicago White Sox are jockeying for better playoff seeding and the Chicago Cubs are battling for a top-10 spot in the 2022 MLB Draft. There’s no use hiding. Your annoying White Sox friend will still find you and bug you.

The only thing you can hope for is that the Cubs absolutely trounce the White Sox this weekend. It probably won’t hurt their playoff odds (the AL Central is as big of a joke as the NL Central this year), but it will be annoying. And it could help keep them in a matchup against a top division leader instead of the Wild Card winner in the first round. That’s not nothing.

But win or lose, be prepared for pain. Eloy Jimenez is back and playing. Dylan Cease is scheduled to start. Craig Kimbrel hasn’t pitched in five days, so he’ll get in there. And Ryan Tepera has appeared just twice in August so far. We’re going to see them all. In White Sox uniforms. At Wrigley Field. It is what it is.

Go Cubs.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (52-58) are once again six games under .500 and 13.5 games out of first place (10 games out of the Wild Card if you were wondering). They just dropped a series to the Rockies, so, yeah, things aren’t great. That said, they’re currently in position for a top-10 pick in the 2022 MLB Draft. So, silver lining? The Chicago White Sox (63-46) are actually going through a tough time, themselves, having lost 6 of their last 10 games, including five losses to the Royals. Ouch. I feel terrible. 

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

•   Friday, August 6th at 1:20 CT on MARQ, NBCSC, 670 The Score
•   Saturday, August 7th at 1:20 CT on MARQ, NBCSC, 670 The Score
•   Sunday, August 8th at 6:09 CT on ABC, 670 The Score

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Lance Lynn (R) vs. Kyle Hendricks (R)
Game 2: Carlos Rodon (L) vs. Adbert Alzolay (R)
Game 3: Dylan Cease (R) vs. Zach Davies (R)

Chicago Cubs

•   C – Willson Contreras
•   1B – Patrick Wisdom
•   2B – David Bote
•   3B – Matt Duffy
•   SS – Sergio Alcantara
•   LF – Ian Happ
•   CF – Rafael Ortega
•   RF – Greg Deichmann?

Unavailable: Dillon Maples, Nico Hoerner, Rowan Wick, Jonathan Holder, Austin Romine, Nick Madrigal, Jose Lobaton, P.J. Higgins, Kohl Stewart, Brad Wieck

Chicago White Sox

•   C – Seby Zavala
•   1B – Jose Abreu
•   2B – Cesar Hernandez
•   3B – Yoan Moncada
•   SS – Tim Anderson
•   LF – Eloy Jimenez
•   CF – Luis Robert
•   RF – Andrew Vaughn

Unavailable: Jake Lamb, Yasmani Grandal, Billy Hamilton, Jimmy Cordero, Luis Robert, Evan Marshall

By the Numbers:

Run Differential:
Cubs: -38
White Sox: +109

Runs Scored Per Game:
Cubs: 4.23
White Sox: 4.57

Runs Allowed Per Game:
Cubs: 4.50
White Sox: 3.89

Keep An Eye Out For …

Ian Happ. It’s not much. It’s not much at all. But thanks to a double, a couple homers, a few scattered singles and six walks (17.1 BB%), Ian Happ actually owns a 116 wRC+ since July 27. He’s still striking out a ton and hasn’t managed any multi-hit games, so this is nothing more than a fine stretch mired in an awful offensive season, but we have to find the light where and when we can.

Eloy Jimenez might be back, but he’s also not gotten started yet. With just 3 hits (2 for extra bases) throughout his first 23 PAs, Jimenez is slashing just .136/.174/.318 (31 wRC+) so far this season. I’d like to prolong his slow start if at all possible.

Dylan Cease will not make you feel nearly as good. Since the beginning of July, he’s struck out 46 batters in 33 IP, walking only 11. Fortunately (for us), he can’t keep the ball on the ground during this stretch (31.6 GB%) and he’s allowed plenty of hard contact (89.1 average EV), so his overall run prevention is lacking: 4.36 ERA. The 3.22 FIP looks a lot better, but that overlooks the quality and type of contact we’ve seen.

Greg Deichmann is going to be fun to watch this weekend. I have no idea what to expect – he’s reportedly got massive raw power, but has scaled it back for contact and may have over-corrected, but he’s got a chance to be a useful player. Color me interested.



Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami