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Cubs Look To Strike Back

Anthony Rizzo and the Chicago Cubs will look to get the better of their crosstown rivals on Wednesday.

Anthony Rizzo and the Cubs will look to get the better of their crosstown rivals on Wednesday.

After beginning the week with a pair of games at historic Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox will now switch to the South Side for a brief two-game set.

First pitch at U.S. Cellular Field is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET.

Interleague play may have been watered down by recent realignment but the Crosstown Classic remains one of the marquee matchups outside of league play, one of the reasons the game will be broadcast on national TV on Wednesday night.

The White Sox snapped a four-game losing streak against the Cubs in a 3-1 victory at Wrigley Field on Monday before earning a 5-1 win on Tuesday to sweep the short series on the north side of Chicago.

Now Robin Ventura’s team will look to do the same at home, avenging last year’s four-game sweep at the hands of the Cubs.

Both sides come into the game looking to find some consistent form after slow starts to the year.

20140506_NL_CentralExpected to struggle once more this season, the Cubs (11-20, 4-9 road) are rooted to the bottom of the tough NL Central, 9 1/2 games back of the division-leading Milwaukee Brewers, but just one-game back of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Since a 4-1 stint saw the Cubs pick up wins against the Brewers, Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals – all tough teams – the Cubs have dropped four straight, including Monday and Tuesday’s games against their crosstown rivals. They’ll look to stop the rot on Wednesday.

20140506_AL_CentralThe White Sox (17-17, 9-7 home) currently sit second in the disappointing AL Central, five games back of the Detroit Tigers. But three wins on the bounce have the Southsiders feeling optimistic.

The Sox have been riddled with injuries this season, and are currently playing without starting pitcher Chris Sale and outfielders Avisail Garcia and Adam Eaton, amongst others. But still the Sox are finding ways to battle on and at least stay within touching distance of the heavily-favored Tigers.

Gordon Beckham came up big on Tuesday, going 4-for-5 and hitting a tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning, his first long ball of the season.

Wednesday’s game will see a pair of lefties take to the mound as Travis Wood takes on John Danks.

Wood (2-3, 3.35 ERA) has begun the year with a mixed bag of results, but has only allowed more than three runs in just one of his six starts. He’s picked up the win in two of his last three starts, including a 6-5 defeat over the Cardinals on Friday. He allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits in seven innings in that start.

Wood is 2-0 in his career against the White Sox, having allowed three runs on nine hits across two games.

Danks (2-2, 5.00 ERA) began the year strong, posting a 2-0 record and a 2.84 ERA in four games, but has been a loser in his last two outings. Against the Tampa Bay Rays on April 26 he allowed four runs on seven hits as the Sox were shutout, before giving up eight runs on 10 hits against the Cleveland Indians on Friday. He’ll be looking to find his footing and return to winning ways under the lights on Wednesday.

Danks is 3-2 with one no decision in his career against the Cubs. He’s allowed 12 runs on 30 hits, including three home runs, across six games.

John Danks and Travis Wood will pitch for their respective teams.

John Danks (R) and Travis Wood will pitch for their respective teams.

Chicago Cubs vs. Chicago White Sox odds for 05/07/2014

The Cubs (+121) opened as the moneyline underdog to the White Sox (-131) but the gap between the two has shrunk in the meantime.

The Cubs have won in four of their last five trips to U.S. Cellular Field, including a two-game sweep (albeit separated by a month and change) a season ago.

The Sox are 3-2 in interleague play this season while the Cubs a 0-4.

The Cubs (-190) are expected to cover the spread (+1.5) while the total (8) is favored to go over.

The total has gone under in four straight Sox games and six of the last seven. The under has also paid out in three of the last four Cubs games, including both games played at Wrigley Field this week.


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