MLB Bettting Preview
Chicago White Sox at Chicago Cubs
Sunday, 8:05 pm Eastern – ESPN
The battle of Chicago wraps up on Sunday as the Cubs host the White Sox. Neither team is treating this as a big series although the fans might be. “One thing about Sox fans, they show up and watch the game,” White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said, “I think it’s great. I think it’s fun. I think it’s good for the fans, good for everybody. Even if you try to avoid the circumstances, you can’t avoid the circumstances. But we’re in first place, they’re in first place. They’re playing great baseball.”
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Guillen realizes that the fans do care in Chicago. “A lot of people ask about the New York series,” Guillen said, “I don’t think the New York Series is bigger than this series. With all the respect to New York fans, this series here, I can’t believe it’s that important to the fans … but from a manager’s point, the only good thing about this series is when the game starts, you’re going to compete against one of the game’s best managers and one of the best teams in the game right now, and that’s the only good thing in my way.”
Many fans are hoping that the World Series will be an all-Chicago affair this year. The last all-Chicago World Series saw the White Sox beat the Cubs four games to two in 1906. Two years later the Cubs won the World Series and they have not won it since. The White Sox won their latest title in 2005. This will be the first time since Interleague play started in 1997 that both teams will start the series in first place. “It’s great for the fans, it really is. It’s great for the city,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said, “Both teams have played well this year, which adds to it. We look forward to the challenge of facing them.”
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The pitching matchup on Sunday night should be a good one. The Sox go with Javier Vazquez who is 7-5 with a 4.13 ERA this season while the Cubs counter with Ryan Dempster who is 8-2 with a 2.76 ERA. Vazquez has struggled a bit of late. He has allowed 14 runs in his last three starts but is 2-1 as the Sox have supported him well. He has started three games against the Cubs in his career but does not have a decision. He has a 4.95 ERA in his career against the Cubs.
Dempster did not get a decision in his last start against Tampa Bay. He will be happy to be back at Wrigley where he is 8-0 with a 3.13 ERA.
Before this series began the White Sox were 1-6 in the last 7 meetings between the two teams. Before this series began the last five games between the two teams at Wrigley had gone over the total. Overall, the series was tied 30-30 heading into Friday and the home team had a 16-14 edge.
Pick Cubs 2 units