|5:05 PM PT6:05 PM MT7:05 PM CT8:05 PM ET20:05 ET0:05 GMT8:05 5:05 PM MST7:05 PM EST7:35 PM VEN4:05 UAE (+1)7:05 PM CT, June 18, 2019
Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois Attendance: 41,192
White Sox confident ahead of crosstown battle vs. Cubs
Chicago White Sox at Chicago Cubs
- After a 2-5 road trip against the Rockies and Dodgers, the Cubs return to Wrigley Field where they are 24-11. The Cubs' pitching staff has a home ERA of 3.03 and road ERA of 4.79. The difference of 1.76 is the highest in the majors (home better).
- The White Sox have a team ERA of 4.99 but have an MLB-leading 23-1 record when allowing three or fewer runs this season. No other team in baseball has lost fewer than three such games.
- Lucas Giolito, Wednesday's projected starter, has the lowest ERA (2.22) of any White Sox pitcher through 13 starts since Chris Sale (2.16) in 2014. Through 13 starts last season, Giolito's ERA of 7.09 was the highest in franchise history (earned runs became official in the AL 1913).
- Kris Bryant has a career OPS of .671 in 19 games against the Cubs' cross-town rival, his lowest versus any opponent that he has faced at least seven times. Bryant has struck out 29 times against the White Sox, or once every 2.90 plate appearances. Against all other opponents, he has struck out once every 4.38 plate appearances.
- Cole Hamels, scheduled to start Tuesday for the Cubs, hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 23 innings pitched, tied for the fourth-longest streak of his career.
- Eloy Jimenez became just the seventh White Sox rookie to have six or more RBI in a game on June 14 against the Yankees. Jimenez leads White Sox outfielders with a .777 OPS, but the group has just a .647 OPS this season, third worst mark in the majors (Giants, Marlins).
- Trout set to return for streaking Angels
- German seeks 12th win as Yanks host Rays
- A's to debut Bailey, look to extend run
- Phils walk-off on Harper 2-run double
- Yelich hits slam for 33rd, Brewers roll
The crosstown interleague rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox is a tight one, with the South Siders boasting a 60-58 edge in the 22 seasons since the annual games took hold on the schedule.
After winning the season series in 2017 and 2018, the Cubs have bragging rights for two consecutive campaigns for the first time. Still, the White Sox are brimming with confidence as the teams prepare to open a two-game series at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night, poised to keep their rebuild ahead of schedule while testing themselves during an extended stretch of games against playoff contenders.
"We can be one of the best teams in the league," White Sox right-hander Lucas Giolito said. "We 100 percent have the talent. We have more talent on the way developing in the minor leagues. The sky's the limit for us. Absolutely."
The White Sox split a four-game home series against the New York Yankees over the weekend to open a daunting stretch that includes visits to the Cubs and defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox, as well as a home series against the Minnesota Twins, the AL Central leader, to close June.
Chicago hopes it set a tone in Thursday's series opener against the Yankees, rallying from a 4-0 deficit to win 5-4.
"They fight, they battle, they try to put at-bats together," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "I don't think they worry about falling behind. They try to do what they're capable of doing."
The Cubs return home after struggling during a 2-5 road trip against the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers.
"We only won two," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "Bothersome. We're better than that. We know we're better than that. We've got to keep pushing it."
Left-hander Cole Hamels is set to get the start for the Cubs on the heels of his latest strong outing. Pitching on June 12 in Colorado, Hamels (6-2, 2.98 ERA) threw seven shutout innings of six-hit ball, striking out nine and walking one.
Hamels boasts a 0.00 ERA over his past three starts, scattering one unearned run and 23 strikeouts in 22 innings. He is 2-1 in five starts against the White Sox with a 4.32 ERA.
Righty Ivan Nova (3-5, 6.28 ERA) is expected to start for the White Sox. A former Pittsburgh Pirate, Nova is making his sixth career start at Wrigley Field, where he is 3-1 with a 5.13 ERA. He is 4-2 overall in eight starts against the Cubs, with a 3.97 ERA.
Tuesday's game continues a stretch of 51 games in 52 days for the Cubs entering the All-Star break. The Cubs are 29-22 during that span thus far, and are leaning on the experience of a similarly grueling 2018 test, when they played 42 games in 43 days.
"If we play poorly, no one is going to feel bad for us," Cubs reliever Steve Cishek said. "It's our job to make sure we're ready every single day, no matter how difficult this stretch can be.
"No one is complaining about it. Everyone is focused, and last year definitely helped. We remember how tough of a stretch that was, and we're able to reflect on that and learn from that experience. Just to push forward is a big help."
--Field Level Media
Updated June 18, 2019