The Chicago Cubs are going nowhere this season, while the White Sox are going to win the AL Central but you can put records aside when the two Windy City teams meet. They open a three-game series on Friday from the South Side with the Sox heavy favorites on the MLB odds.
How to Bet Cubs at White Sox MLB Odds & TV InfoWhy Bet on Cubs?
The Cubs have utilized a franchise-record 61 players this season, surpassing the 56 used in 2013. Adrian Sampson made his season debut on Wednesday, becoming the 36th to make his Cubs debut this season – that’s a single-season franchise mark, surpassing 34 in 2013.
The Cubs of course traded away all their good players and are now one of the NL’s worst teams. They split a doubleheader with the Rockies on Wednesday and were off Thursday. Chicago nearly stole Game 2 when Ian Happ tied it with a three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh, but the Rockies won in extras. Happ has been on fire lately, hitting .319/.385/.660 over the last 15 games with four home runs and 10 RBI.
If Happ can keep hitting, that could make one box on Chicago’s offseason decision list a little easier to check. Happ is 27 years old, under contract for $4.1 million and eligible for arbitration for two more years. Through 116 games this season, he has hit .198/.301/.369 with 15 homers and an 82 OPS+ in 397 plate appearances. Happ has seen a jump in contact rate (69.5 percent in ’21 vs. 66.5 percent in ’20), but the quality of contact has been the different. His hard-hit rate is down to 41 percent this year (compared to 48.5 percent in ’20).
The Cubbies remain without probably their best remaining player in catcher Willson Contreras, who is on the injured list. He has been sidelined since August 12 with a right knee sprain. No reason to rush him. It’s possible that he could be activated during this series, maybe even Friday, and serve as the designated hitter – that would save wear and tear on his knees. Contreras has recorded 17 home runs and 40 RBI through 104 games so far. His .226/.333/.417 slash line is noticeably below his career average (.258/.348/.455).
It’s Keegan Thompson (3-3, 2.42) on the mound here. Thompson surrendered two runs over four innings last Saturday in his start against the Royals. Thompson’s velocity as a starter is down a couple of mph from where was as a reliever earlier this year. He got just four misses on 39 swings and 73 pitches and finished with one strikeout. Thompson has pitched well in the majors overall this season with a 2.42 ERA and 44:24 K:BB through 44.2 innings, but he could shift back to the bullpen when Adbert Alzolay (hamstring) is ready to return.
This will be Thompson’s first career start versus the White Sox. He is 0-2 with a 2.25 ERA (2 ER/8.0 IP) in four outings (one start) vs. A.L. Central opponents this season.
Why Bet on White Sox?
The Sox swept a three-game series at Wrigley Field in the first meeting from 8/6-8, outscoring the Cubs, 21-9. The White Sox have hit 24 home runs in their last nine games against the Cubs, including five straight multi-homer efforts. Eloy Jiménez is a .389/.450/.944 (14-36) hitter with five home runs and 10 RBI in 10 career games against the Cubs.
Monitor the status of third baseman Yoan Moncada. Moncada tweaked his wrist late in Wednesday night’s loss to Toronto and didn’t play Thursday, but that was a planned day off. Moncada owns a 12-game hitting streak (career-high is 14), batting .356/.431/.467 (16-45). He has increased his season average from .251 to .262 during the hitting streak.
White Sox manager Tony La Russa said Thursday that No. 1 catcher Yasmani Grandal has a “good chance” to be activated this weekend. It could happen as early as Friday. Grandal has already played in 10 minor league rehab games between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte, going 10-for-32 (.313) with one home run, three walks, and five runs scored. He had surgery in early July to repair a partial tendon tear in his left knee.
It’s lefty Dallas Keuchel on the mound here. Keuchel was tagged for six runs in five innings last Saturday in a loss to the Rays. He had a 3.96 ERA after three months this year, but he’s given up 33 earned runs and 11 homers in 49 1/3 innings during the second half. He’s 8-7 with a 4.71 ERA overall.
Keuchel has gone 5-2 with 4.07 ERA (33 ER/73.0 IP), 48 strikeouts and .243 (68-280) opponents average over 13 games (12 starts) at Guaranteed Rate Field in 2021. He is 2-1 with a 3.04 ERA (8 ER/23.2 IP), 15 strikeouts and a .305 (29-95) opponents average over four career starts against the Cubs.
- Cubs are 8-1 in their last 9 interleague road games vs. a left-handed starter.
- Cubs are 18-6 in their last 24 interleague games vs. a left-handed starter.
- Cubs are 7-21 in their last 28 road games.
- White Sox are 4-0 in their last 4 interleague games.
- White Sox are 7-1 in their last 8 during game 1 of a series.
- Cubs are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings.
- White Sox 5, Cubs 3
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