The Chicago Cubs will host the White Sox at Wrigley Field this week in the 1st installment of the 2009 cross-town classic. The Cubs and White Sox will battle at U.S. Cellular Field on the south side next weekend from Friday June 26 through Sunday June 28th.
In 2008, when the teams first met, it was a battle of division leaders. The Cubs swept all 3 games at Wrigley Field, while the White sweot all 3 games at the Cell.
This year is a totally different year. Both teams are hitting poorly and that has led to dismal records for each team. The Cubs are at .500 with a 30-30 record. The Cubs trail the Brewers by 3 games in the NL Central race and the Cards by 2 games. The White Sox are below .500 with a 30-34 record. The White Sox trail the Tigers by 4.5 games in the NL Central and the Twins by 1.5 games. Each team ranks in the bottom 3rd of the league in hitting – the Cubs 26th with a .246 team batting average and the White Sox 24th with a .251 team batting average. Not good.
So does that mean we should count on low-scoring pitching duels this week at Wrigley? Not likely. These teams always seem to battle it out in high-scoring affairs no matter how bad or good they are playing, so look for several close games this week at Wrigley.
Carlos Zambrano (4-2) will take on John Danks (4-5) in the Tuesday night opener. Zambrano has an ERA under 1.00 in his last 3 starts, but has only 1 win to show for it. He is 5-2 lifetime against the White Sox, but did not start against them in 2008. Danks had a great outing last week against the Tigers, but had an ERA over 7.00 in his previous 8 starts. Danks had 1 start against the Cubs in 20080 in which he pitched 6 innings of 1-run ball.
In the Wednesday matinee, Ryan Dempster will battle Gavin Floyd. In the Thursday matinee, Randy Wells will take on Jose Contreras.