The Cubs look to avoid being swept by their cross-town rivals on national television.
Chicago White Sox at Chicago Cubs
The Chicago White Sox have won four straight games and five of their last six as they continue a nine-game, 10-day road trip. It’s only helped to have starting pitchers Jake Peavy, Gavin Floyd and Mark Buehrle scheduled to throw in this series, as the three have combined to go 34-15 with a 3.25 ERA in interleague play. “We’re getting the good pitching and timely hitting,” White Sox outfielder Juan Pierre said following Saturday’s 2-1 victory. The lineup is filled with hitters that have been Cubs’ killers in the past, including OF Mark Kotsay batting .405 in his last 10 games against the club and OF Alex Rios being a red-hot 11-for-16 with six RBI in his last four. The team continues its winning ways against the National League, currently having a 4-1 record this year (+340), after going 12-6 in 2009.
White Sox SP Gavin Floyd is 2-6 with a 6.18 ERA in 13 starts this season (-780) and will be making his sixth appearance away from U.S. Cellular Field. The right-hander is 5-1 with a 2.13 ERA in eight career interleague starts, making his second career start against the Cubs. He did not factor in the decision in a 6-5 loss at Wrigley Field on June 18, holding the cross-town rivals to just a single run and four hits over seven innings. Floyd is a disappointing 1-4 with a 6.67 ERA in five road starts this year (-310). He will hope to build on his last outing, as he allowed just a single run over six innings of work against the Detroit Tigers. “He threw the ball great. That’s the Gavin we expected all year,” catcher A.J. Pierzynski said.
The Chicago Cubs are 5-11 in its last 15 contests and now sit a season-low eight games under .500, the first time that has happened since June 2007. “We’ve been .500 four times this year and we haven’t been above .500 at all,” said manager Lou Piniella. “We’ll have to wait and see what happens. We’re trying like heck.” The team will hope to improve upon its 17-26 mark against right-handed starters this season (-1,410), after having its six-game winning streak against southpaws snapped on Saturday. After going 9-1 against the White Sox from 6/2/06 – 6/22/08, the Cubs are just 2-9 against them in their last 11 meetings.
Cubs SP Ted Lilly is 1-5 with a 3.28 ERA in nine starts this season (-500), despite allowing just 49 hits in 60.1 innings of work. The veteran left-hander is coming off a sharp outing against the Brewers, allowing just a single run and four hits over eight innings, but the Cubs still fell in defeat. “Unfortunately, I’ve done that a couple times and given up a lead,” Lilly said about his last start. He has produced a solid 5-2 record against the White Sox in 10 career starts (+560), but has a 5.94 ERA in the process. Lilly will need to be wary of 1B Paul Konerko, who is 6-for-21 with three home runs against him. The White Sox captain is also riding a seven-game hitting streak that has him batting .480 with a home run and seven RBI.
The linesmaker has created a line that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, except for the fact that the public will likely have a great interest in playing a home team that’s looking to avoid a sweep. Before diving in and playing the underdog, it’s important to note that the Cubs are 5-0 in Lilly’s last five starts as a home favorite of -110 to -150. The White Sox are also a dismal 1-7 in Floyd’s last eight starts as a road underdog.