Chicago Cubs at Chicago White Sox / MLB 2022 Predictions & Preview
It has largely been a disappointing season for the two baseball teams in Chicago, but there’s always excitement when the Cubs and White Sox play each other.
This weekend the two teams, with a combined 269 years of baseball between them, are on the South Side of Chicago, where the White Sox won two of three games in 2021 and scored a total of 37 runs in those three games.
Chicago Cubs Overview
If the Cubs were going to get back into the N.L. Central race, these last two weeks of May should’ve been when it happened. They had seven games with Arizona, three with Pittsburgh, and four with Cincinnati – three of the worst teams in the National League. But they went just 7-7 in those 14 games, including a 20-5 loss to the Reds on Thursday.
Putting that loss in perspective, in the previous seven games, the Reds scored 21 runs. Reds shortstop Kyle Farmer hit two home runs in four at-bats. Before Thursday, he had one home run in 128 at-bats.
It was an embarrassing loss to the worst team in the National League, and it underscores the problems with the Cubs this season. They’ve got some exciting players on the 11th highest-scoring offense in baseball. But they’ve got some very big holes on a pitching staff that ranks 27th in home runs allowed.
Chicago White Sox Overview
The only reason the White Sox find themselves in second place is that they’re in the American League Central. Put them in the East, and they’re a fourth-place team. Out West, they’d be in third. It’s the relative weakness of the Central that’s got them near the top of the standings.
The irony of their place in the standings is that against the weakness of the A.L. Central, the White Sox have been quite bad. They’re just 7-12 when playing inside their division, as compared to 9-7 against the East and 4-3 against the West.
The White Sox are better when playing in the better divisions, and worse when playing inside the Central. And especially bad against bad teams, with just one win in five games against the Guardians, who are five games below .500.
If Chicago can play better against Cleveland, or against a very bad Kansas City team, who’s beaten the White Sox four times already this season, they could challenge the Twins for first place.
Cubs at White Sox Prediction
The scheduled starter for the Cubs is Keegan Thompson, who’s been excellent as a reliever and spot starter both last season and this season. He’s made two starts in 2022, a five-inning zero runs allowed effort against the Pirates, and a four-inning two runs allowed game against the Padres.
Thompson’s last appearance was three innings in relief against the Diamondbacks.
The White Sox will counter with Johnny Cueto, who’s made two starts for the White Sox this season and has yet to allow a run. He’s back in the American League, where he won a World Series in 2015, after the last six seasons with the Giants.
Cueto went six innings in each of his two starts, handling both the Royals and Yankees.