MLB Baseball: Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox Preview, Prediction & Odds - Aug. 28, 2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 7:10 p.m. ET
Venue: Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, IL
Where to watch: Marquee Sports Network, NBCSCH

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: White Sox -305, Cubs +240
BetMGM: NL
FanDuel: NL

Season record (entering Friday)
Cubs: 56-73 (4th place, NL Central)
White Sox: 74-55 (1st place, AL Central)

Jack Banks went 3-0 in MLB on Thursday night, extending his record with his 3-play MLB packs to 18-6. Jack is involved in one game on Friday, a 10-star MLB Bank Job Mismatch. Check out Jack and other plays available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers.

Cubs - White Sox preview and analysis


Recent form
Cubs: 4-6 in last 10
White Sox: 5-5 in last 10

Not a bad way for Carlos Rodon to return to the Chicago White Sox rotation.

The All-Star left-hander made his first start since Aug. 7 after dealing with shoulder fatigue and picked up right where he left off. Rodon went five innings and held the Toronto Blue Jays to five hits and two runs in helping the White Sox to a 10-7 win on Thursday.

Chicago’s rotation is back to full strength as it ventures to the north side for a crosstown series against the Chicago Cubs starting on Friday, but the second game of this series favors the home team greatly.

The White Sox enter Saturday as a -300 favorite for only the second time this season (0-1), but with good reason. Chicago will turn to Cy Young candidate Lance Lynn after Dallas Keuchel does his thing on Friday in the series opener.

Chicago’s bats were relatively quiet in this series against Toronto, scoring seven runs combined through the first three games. On Thursday, they woke up to the tune of 10 runs on 12 hits, including back-to-back homers from Luis Robert and Jose Abreu. Eloy Jimenez provided insurance in the ninth with a solo shot to withstand a Toronto comeback; the Blue Jays trailed 9-2 in the sixth and scored five in the bottom half of the frame.

Tim Anderson delivered once again in the leadoff spot, going 3-for-5 and driving in two runs. Chicago’s top batter is now at .303 while closing in on 20 homers and 60 RBI this season.

Lynn has not won a decision since July 25, but the White Sox have done more than enough to make his starts count. Chicago has won five ot Lynn’s last six starts; the lone loss coming at the beginning of the series against Toronto, 2-1 after Lynn went seven innings and only needing four strikeouts. But even then he wasn’t charged with a decision.

The White Sox enter Friday with a nine-game lead on the Cleveland Indians for first place in the American League Central. Cleveland has a three-game series this weekend with the Boston Red Sox. You can check our preview for Game 1 of that set here.

The Cubs will put Alec Mills on the mound to follow Keegan Thompson’s efforts on Friday. Chicago got a day off Thursday following the three-game series it won over the Colorado Rockies; had it not been for a wild few extra innings, it could’ve been a sweep.

But as we talked about Friday, the Cubs are just trying to weave through the darkness that is a rebuild in the north side of Chicago. When CM Punk is even saying it’s a depressing time in the north side, you know it’s bad. You go on ESPN’s stats page for the Cubs and the likes of Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez are still among the Cubs’ leaders in offense.

There’s a Chicago Italian restaurant called Amore in the southwest part of Las Vegas. Before you walk in, there are window-sized pictures of those three aforementioned players plastered from the outside. Talk about not accepting that the trade deadline happened. It’s just a dark place.

Shoutout to Patrick Wisdom for even carrying the offense for as long as he has.

But imagine, if you will, had the Cubs never won the World Series. Imagine that Game 7 in Cleveland was decided by a walkoff home run, and Bryant never grabs the final out to send the city of Chicago into euphoria. Imagine if that MLB 12: The Show commercial just remained the closest thing to ever winning a championship. This rebuild would lead to fires in the streets and Wrigley Field would be torn down from the inside.

The pain and suffering is almost over for Cubs fans this year, and you can’t blame them for wanting to hit fast forward.

Prediction


Lynn’s Cy Young candidacy should continue with no problems. The White Sox should handle this game with no problem. White Sox win 7-0.

Betting trends


The White Sox are 12-6 (+2.4 net games) when favored during Lynn’s starts.

The Cubs are 13-35 (-14.9 games on the moneyline) as an underdog this season.

Key injuries


Cubs: C Wilson Contreras (hamstring, 10-day IL)

White Sox: LF Adam Engel (shoulder, 10-day IL)

Players to watch


Cubs: Third baseman Patrick Wisdom is going for broke at the plate. The slugger has three homers in his last seven days while batting .227.

White Sox: Eloy Jimenez has cooled down from the power surge he had earlier in the month. His homer on Thursday was his first since Aug. 12 in the Field of Dreams game. His return was a luxury, and the White Sox should hope he gets back to that. He’s hit safely in 14 of his last 15 games, however.

Projected lineup


Cubs:
Michael Hermosillo (R) RF
Frank Schwindel (R) 1B
Matt Duffy (R) 3B
Patrick Wisdom (R) LF
David Bote (R) 2B
Ian Happ (S) DH
Rafael Ortega (L) CF
Austin Romine (R) C
Andrew Romine (S) SS

White Sox:
Tim Anderson (R) SS
Luis Robert (R) CF
Jose Abreu (R) 1B
Eloy Jimenez (R) DH
Yoan Moncada (S) 3B
Yasmani Grandal (S) C
Cesar Hernandez (S) 2B
Andrew Vaughn (R) LF
Leury Garcia (S) RF

Statistical leaders


Cubs:
Batting average: Wilson Contreras (.226)
Hits: Wilson Contreras (78) 
Home runs: Patrick Wisdom (21)
RBI: Patrick Wisdom (44)
Stolen bases: Rafael Ortega (8)
Wins: Kyle Hendricks (14)
Saves: N/A
ERA: Kyle Hendricks (4.09)

White Sox:
Batting average: Tim Anderson (.303)
Hits: Tim Anderson (138)
Home runs: Jose Abreu (27)
RBI: Jose Abreu (97)
Stolen bases: Tim Anderson (17)
Wins: Dylan Cease, Carlos Rodon & Lance Lynn (10)
Saves: Liam Hendriks (29)
ERA: Lance Lynn (2.20)

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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