The Chicago White Sox visit their crosstown rival Cubs on Friday afternoon. The game starts at 1:20 pm central. The White Sox are a miniscule 9-25 giving them the second worst record in the league, just one half game better than the league’s worst: the Baltimore Orioles. Meanwhile, the Cubs are 19-15 on the season, good enough for 3rd place in the National League Central division. They trail the Brewers and the surprise team from the division: the St. Louis Cardinals.
A win against the Sox would certainly be a boost to the Cubs’ morale, but a loss would be an embarrassment. Highly touted youngster Carson Fulmer takes the mound for the White Sox, with a 2-2 record. Fulmer also has a 5.02 ERA on the year. For the Cubs, Tyler Chatwood will take the mound. Chatwood owns a 2-3 record, with a 3.31 ERA. The Cubs are favored in this matchup: at -255.
Ever since Carson Fulmer began his major league debut for the Sox, there have been questions about his readiness and consistency. While there’s no denying that he has big league stuff and beyond, Fulmer has never been able to string together quality starts. He will have a great game, as he did 2 weeks ago, where he pitched 7 innings of shutout ball. Then he will generally follow up with a sloppy start full of walks, leaving Sox fans scratching their heads.
On the other side of the ball, the White Sox don’t look terrible on paper. 9 players are batting .250 or above. Leading the pack is utility man Yólmer Sanchez at .302. Sanchez is on pace to be the White Sox’s lone all-star. The problem they have had isn’t purely confined to hitting the ball; the Sox have shown that they have major troubles getting it done with men on base. This will have to change if they will have a chance against the perennially contending Cubs.
On paper, the Cubs’ batting averages are similar to those of the White Sox. However, the fact is that they are faring much better record-wise in a much tougher division. In fact, the White Sox would barely have a record at all if they hadn’t spent so much time in Kansas City, seemingly the only place they have been able to win thus far. The Cubs have 8 players batting .250 or above, with Albert Almora Jr. leading the way at .295. The Cubs are looking for a winning streak to keep up with the Cardinals, who keep winning.
Tyler Chatwood has had his share of struggles this season as well. With his respectable mid-3’s ERA compared against his losing record, it is clear the Cubs will need to put up more runs to support him.
Cubs Top White Sox
The facts don’t lie: the Sox are losing in a weak division, and the Cubs are contending in a tougher one. This spells trouble for the White Sox. Fulmer could throw a great game like earlier in the season, but his inconsistency would make me hedge my bets toward the Cubs. Take the Cubs at -255
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