Series Preview: Cubs at White Sox, May 28 - May 29, 2022

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Series Preview: Cubs at White Sox, May 28 – May 29, 2022

Chicago Cubs

Who’s ready for a jam-packed week+ of baseball? Starting today, the Cubs are playing 11 games in 9 days against the White Sox, Brewers, and Cardinals … ALL IN CHICAGO.

Are you hyped or dreading it? Because for as exciting as this stretch may be, it also has the potential to be twice as painful. But during a season that isn’t likely headed anywhere, you have to enjoy the fun baseball when you can.

The only bummer is that despite two double-headers, we’re not going to see the Cubs top pitching prospect, Caleb Kilian, this stretch. But on the flip side, Keegan Thompson is likely going to get two more starts (he’s starting today) and that’s going to be fun to follow.

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (18-26) keep getting close to a nice stretch, with multiple winning streaks on their record since the middle part of May, but they keep letting the losses pile up immediately after. In other words, they’re very streaky. Starting on May 14, they won four games in a row, lost four games in a row, won three games in a row, and lost two games in a row.  They’re eight games under .500 and will require an absolutely unthinkable stretch to seriously jump back in this race.

The Chicago White Sox (22-22) have clawed their way back up to .500 after their big 8-game losing streak at the beginning of the year. They’re in second place of the AL Central, but still 5.0 games out of first. Oh, and they’re coming of a series win loss to the Red Sox, preceded by a series win against the Yankees.

Hot or Not and What to Watch

Keegan Thompson is getting some more exposure in the rotation this weekend, and it’s not a terrible matchup all things considered: White Sox vs. RHP (84 wRC+, 28th in MLB). Hopefully, he can give you 70+ pitches and 4-5 innings.

Seiya Suzuki has *looked* a little better lately, but he still hasn’t had a multi-hit game since April 27 and hasn’t turned his looks into results. The good news is that he’s still hitting the ball very hard, very often, and is elevating as much as he needs to. I genuinely believe we are close to a corner-turn.

Ian Happ is still hot, but better than that, the power is showing back up. In his last 69 plate appearances, Happ is slashing .288/.377/.525 with five doubles, 3 homers, and a .237 ISO. And he’s kept his strikeout rate under 19% during that stretch.

Tim Anderson (208 wRC+) and Jose Abreu (207 wRC+) have been on fire over their last ~50 plate appearances. The Cubs pitchers would be wise to avoid them as much as possible right now. Pitch around them, walk them on purpose, whatever.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

•   Saturday, May 28 at 6:15 CT on FOX, 670 The Score,
•   Sunday, May 29 at 1:10 CT on MARQ, NBCSC, 670 The Score

Pitching Probables

Game 1: Keegan Thompson (R) vs. Johnny Cueto (R)
Game 2: Wade Miley (L) vs. Dylan Cease (R)

Chicago Cubs

•   C – Willson Contreras
•   1B – Alfonso Rivas
•   2B – Jonathan Villar/Christopher Morel
•   3B – Patrick Wisdom
•   SS – Nico Hoerner
•   LF – Ian Happ
•   CF – Rafael Ortega/Christopher Morel
•   RF – Seiya Suzuki
•   DH – Frank Schwindel

Unavailable: Michael Hermosillo, Jason Heyward, Clint Frazier, Ethan Roberts, Nick Madrigal, Yan Gomes, Sean Newcomb, Michael Rucker, David Bote, Adbert Alzolay, Brad Wieck, Codi Heuer, Alec Mills

Cincinnati Reds

•   C – Yasmani Grandal
•   1B – Jose Abreu
•   2B – Leury Garcia
•   3B – Yoan Moncada
•   SS – Tim Anderson
•   LF – AJ Pollock
•   CF – Adam Engel
•   RF – Andrew Vaughn
•   DH – Gavin Sheets

Unavailable: Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez, Joe Kelly, Jonathan Stiever, Lance Lynn, Garrett Crochet

By the Numbers:

Run Differential:
Cubs: -8
White Sox: -42

Runs Scored Per Game:
Cubs: 4.36
White Sox: 3.66

Runs Allowed Per Game:
Cubs: 4.55
White Sox: 4.61

Author: Michael Cerami

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