The Crosstown Traditional kicks off Friday evening at Wrigley Field, pitting the White Sox against the Cubs. Or not it is a ways a three-sport sequence starting at 7: 15 local time on Friday, and it is a ways going to likely maintain a total bunch eyes on it in Chicago. Here’s why — along with eight things to know.
1. Both teams are correct form — and that’s the rationale uncommon
On condition that they play in the third-largest market in league, it mustn’t be a gargantuan deal for every teams to be competitive, but it completely is. The last time the two teams confronted off after they were every over .500 used to be the total diagram encourage in 2008. Seriously. That’s pathetic, is just not it? Aloof, it makes the 2020 bout enjoyable. The 16-8 Cubs would be the No. 2 seed in the Nationwide League if the playoffs started now and the 15-11 White Sox would be No. 7 in the it looks tougher AL (they’d maintain the third-most productive legend in the NL).
The White Sox are white sizzling, too, having obtained five in a row and 7 of 9. We could perchance paint the image either diagram for the Cubs, who maintain long previous 3-5 since their 13-3 initiate, though they’ve also obtained three of 4 since their four-sport losing scamper.
2. OBP vs. SLG
The White Sox can thump. Their .459 slugging share is 2d in baseball to the mighty Yankees. They’re fourth with 43 house runs. Four regulars maintain .500-plus slugging percentages. They’re an faded-college slugging crew in that they don’t indubitably bewitch many walks, meaning that despite ranking fourth in batting practical, they’ve the 13th most productive on-base share.
The Cubs are inverses on this entrance. They’re no doubt one of basically the most affected person teams in baseball and inappropriate fourth in on-base share despite a woeful .228 batting practical that ranks 23rd in all of baseball.
It’ll be spellbinding to seek what gives, since the White Sox pitching workers is just not basically liable to walks while the Cubs’ pitching workers in frequent has been amongst the finest in the league at limiting laborious contact and inducing gentle contact.
3. Cubs maintain pitching lined up
Friday is Lester. He is 2-0 with a 2.74 ERA and 0.87 WHIP, though he’s coming off his first clunker of the 365 days in which he coughed up five runs on 9 hits in six innings.
Saturday is Hendricks. He is carrying a 3.32 ERA and 0.92 WHIP through five outings. He is looked the fragment of ace for all but about two innings.
Sunday is Darvish. He is 4-1 with a 1.80 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 34 strikeouts against five walks in 30 innings. He is on the quick list of Cy Younger candidates to this point and has a 1.04 ERA in his last four starts after a shaky season debut.
4. White Sox maintain killed lefties
Though we did mention that Lester starting for the Cubs is correct form for them, it could perchance indubitably be greater for the White Sox. In 233 plate appearances versus left-handed pitching this season, the White Sox maintain fully used them out to the tune of .291/.366/.576 with 15 homers. The total lineup has been like an MVP candidate against lefties. Let’s spotlight one.
Tim Anderson is slashing .650/.682/1.700 with five homers in 20 at-bats against southpaws.
5. Is Kimbrel fixed?
He completely could perchance very successfully be. Or not it is now three straight dominant appearances in which Kimbrel has increased creep, looks to maintain his advise and has struck out seven of the 11 batters he’s confronted. The glimpse take a look at says he’s there, even supposing I’m collected waiting on a total meltdown ensuing from what now we maintain considered so critical in 2019 and 2020.
6. All eyes on the alternate for Sox
Famously, at the least on the South Facet of Chicago, the White Sox fleeced the Cubs for prospects Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease in 2017 for Jose Quintana, who has mainly been mediocre for the Cubs since the tip of 2017.
Jimenez enters the sequence slugging .560 with eight homers and 19 RBI. I wish he’d discontinue working into the wall/nets so he could perchance cease on the area and he could perchance stand to stroll more and strike out less. However overall he’s indubitably enjoyable to survey rake. He has so critical energy.
Cease gets the ball on Sunday against Darvish. He is 4-1 with a 3.16 ERA and 1.36 WHIP.
7. The Cubs maintain some foremost slumpers
Kris Bryant is hitting .177/.271/.323 and has a wrist damage he’s battling. Javier Baez is hitting .189/.237/.344 with 34 strikeouts in 90 at-bats and the in total jovial superstar has started to display cover visible indicators of frustration with himself. He looks to be to be like like he’s guessing and it be making things worse. Willson Contreras is hitting .077 with a .115 slugging in his last 10 video games. If we bring to an end the first three video games of the 365 days, Kyle Schwarber is hitting .212 and slugging .379. Anthony Rizzo is hitting .224 and slugging .362 in August.
I correct went through the five-man nucleus of the offense. Are they in a position to bust out or will the struggles continue? That’ll walk a prolonged diagram in deciding this sequence.
8. Both teams are extremely enjoyable
This is a must-survey sequence and it has nothing to enact — at the least for me — with every teams being from the identical metropolis. As fundamental earlier, they are every correct form. They’re also extremely enjoyable to survey, thanks to the likes of Baez, Anderson, Yoan Moncada, Contreras, Luis Robert, Rizzo and we could perchance walk on and on right here. All facets are teeming with expertise and enjoyable-to-survey types.