Windy City Bragging Rights in Friday Matinee on North Side

Thursday, May 10, 2018 4:14 PM UTC

Thursday, May. 10, 2018 4:14 PM UTC

The lone matinee on Friday’s schedule (2:20 p.m. ET) is the battle for Chicago as the White Sox and Cubs open a three-game series on at Wrigley Field.

Chicago White Sox (9-25) at Chicago Cubs (19-15)Free MLB Pick: Cubs RL (& Over)Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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Whenever the Cubs are home on a Friday, they are generally the only matinee game on the schedule and that’s the case this week as the Cubbies host the rival White Sox in the opener of the Crosstown Cup series. It’s a 2:20 p.m. ET first pitch from Wrigley on the MLB Network. The teams play three this weekend and then three on the South Side of Chicago near the end of the regular season.

The White Sox will lose the designated hitter for the games in Wrigley. That’s usually Matt Davidson, who leads the team with nine homers and 19 RBIs, but he also can play third base. The Sox are without two regulars in outfielder Avisail Garcia and promising young second baseman Yoan Moncada, both on the DL. It was a shame to see Moncada injure his hamstring on May 4 because he had been one of the hotter players in the American League for a few weeks and starting to show why he was once the No. 1 overall prospect in baseball. The Cubs are without outfielder Jason Heyward (concussion list).

The Cubs currently hold the Crosstown Cup (if there actually is one) thanks to winning three of four last year. The teams split the previous two years. The White Sox last won the series in 2014, taking three of four. The only two sweeps were in 2013 (by Cubs 4-0) and 1998 (by Cubs 3-0).

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Tony gets toasty. #EverybodyIn

— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) May 10, 2018

Probable Pitchers: Fulmer vs. Chatwood

The White Sox still don’t know what they have in 24-year-old right-hander Carson Fulmer, the No. 8 overall pick of the 2015 draft. Fulmer (2-2, 5.02) will show signs of being a front-of-the-rotation starter at times but then others appear to be best-suited for the bullpen. For example, two starts ago he shut out the Royals on four hits over seven innings. Then last Friday, Fulmer was rocked for five runs and seven hits, four of them homers, over 3.2 innings in a loss to the Twins.

Fulmer’s 48.4 percent fly-ball rate leads to home runs, and he has surrendered seven in 28.2 innings. He also has walked 15, which is way too many. Fulmer has pitched one-third of an inning in his young career vs. the Cubs and he allowed four runs and two hits. Anthony Rizzo and Ben Zobrist are both 1-for-1 off him.

It’s new Cub Tyler Chatwood, signed to a three-year free-agent deal this past winter from Colorado. Chatwood (2-3, 3.31), like fellow free-agent addition Yu Darvish, has been wildly inconsistent. Last time out, Chatwood lasted just four innings in St. Louis, allowing four runs and three hits five walks in a no-decision. The two starts before that, he allowed just one run and six hits over 13 innings in beating the Brewers and Indians.

Control is the No. 1 issue for Chatwood as he leads the National League with 27 free passes in 32.2 innings compared to only 23 hits allowed. He has walked at least five batters in four of his six starts but has a career-high 8.82 K/9 rate and has surrendered just a single homer.

As a career National Leaguer, Chatwood has faced the White Sox only twice, going 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA in 13.1 innings. He did walk five. Only two Pale Hose have seen him: Welington Castillo (4-for-10, two doubles) and Trayce Thompson (0-for-3), who is only a part-time player.

  • White Sox are 6-23 in their last 29 overall.
  • White Sox are 0-7 in their last 7 vs. National League Central.
  • Cubs are 12-3 in their last 15 interleague games.
  • Cubs are 5-1 in their last 6 home games vs. a right-handed starter.

The Pale Hose are a terrible team right now with the worst pitching staff in baseball. The Cubs’ bats finally woke up in sweeping the Marlins to start this week. The Cubbies also have won nine of their past 11 at home overall and are 6-1 in their past seven following a win. Take the North Siders on the runline for a Friday MLB pick. Also a lean the ‘over’ as long as the wind isn’t blowing in at Wrigley.

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