Expert Cappers Picks
Major League Baseball
Preview
Chi. Cubs at Chi. White Sox
When: 7:10 PM ET, Saturday, September 22, 2018
Where: Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, Illinois

The Chicago Cubs have been pounded in two straight games, a trend they hope to cut short when they play the middle contest of a three-game series at the Chicago White Sox on Saturday. After falling 9-0 at Arizona on Wednesday, the Cubs opened the Windy City Showdown with a 10-4 loss on Friday.

Seven Cubs pitchers allowed a team season-high 19 hits as the club saw its lead in the National League Central division reduced to 1 1/2 games over Milwaukee. The setback came at the end of a tumultuous day for the Cubs, who saw shortstop Addison Russell placed on administrative leave by major league baseball after his ex-wife's accusations of domestic violence. The club will try to turn a page behind stalwart Jon Lester opposite Lucas Giolito for the hosts. Ryan LaMarre was 3-for-3 with three RBIs and Kevan Smith went 2-for-2 with three runs knocked in to pace Friday's attack for the White Sox, who have won two in a row following a 3-10 slide.

TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network, NBCS Chicago (Cubs), WGN (White Sox)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs LH Jon Lester (16-6, 3.43 ERA) vs. White Sox RH Lucas Giolito (10-11, 5.77)

Lester reached the 30-start mark for the 11th straight year in a win over Cincinnati last Saturday, holding the Reds to two hits with nine strikeouts over seven scoreless innings. The 34-year-old is 4-1 with a 1.73 ERA over a span of six starts, including three on the road in which he's allowed one run across a total of 17 2/3 innings. Lester defeated the White Sox with 5 2/3 solid frames earlier in the year and he is 8-6 all time against the crosstown rivals.

After finishing August with four straight quality starts - during which he went 3-0 - Giolito is 0-2 with a 6.91 ERA in three September outings. He gave up six runs (four earned) while striking out just one batter over six innings at Baltimore on Sunday. The 24-year-old defeated the Cubs earlier in the year, allowing two hits and walking seven in 5 2/3 frames.

WALK-OFFS

1. White Sox OF/DH Daniel Palka has five home runs in his last five games.

2. Cubs 2B Daniel Murphy is 5-for-9 with two homers, three RBIs and five runs scored over a three-game stretch.

3. White Sox 2B Yoan Moncado has consecutive three-hit efforts and is batting .324 in September.

PREDICTION: Cubs 6, White Sox 4
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Chi. Cubs 89-64 L2 47-27 42-37 22-11 37-32 19-14 11-7
Chi. White Sox 61-92 W2 29-47 32-45 16-16 29-40 10-24 6-12
Last Meeting
Chi. Cubs Chi. White Sox
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
9/21/18 CHC 4 CHW 10 .243 1 .633 .487 2 1.206
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Chi. Cubs W. Contreras .538 7 1.956
Chi. White Sox J. Abreu .417 5 .962
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Chi. Cubs W. Contreras 3 4 10
Chi. White Sox M. Davidson 2 4 6
Pitching ERA Avg K
Chi. Cubs 5.14 .261 36
Chi. White Sox 5.82 .289 31
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Chi. Cubs B. Zobrist .309 129 .831
Chi. White Sox J. Abreu .265 132 .798
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Chi. Cubs J. Baez 33 96 107
Chi. White Sox D. Palka 27 54 64
Pitching ERA Avg K
Chi. Cubs 3.70 .259 1256
Chi. White Sox 4.74 .244 1186