Chicago Cubs: White Sox versus Cubs series preview

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 22: (L-R) Ian Happ
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 22: (L-R) Ian Happ /
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CHICAGO, IL – JULY 22: Jon Lester
CHICAGO, IL – JULY 22: Jon Lester /

Cubs’ rotation looks to stay hot, White Sox’s staff looks for momentum

Monday – Kyle Hendricks (4-3, 4.09 ERA) and Miguel Gonzalez (4-9, 4.89 ERA).

After being on the shelf for nearly two months, Kyle Hendricks will make his return. Hendricks had struggled before being placed on the DL. In 11 starts, Hendricks posted a 104 ERA+ and 2.43 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Gonzalez is in the midst of his second season with the White Sox. After posting solid numbers last season, Gonzalez has struggled this season. His strikeout-to-walk ratio sits at 1.61, while his WHIP is 1.51.

Tuesday – John Lackey (6-9, 5.04 ERA) and Carlos Rodon (1-3, 5.75 ERA).

Lackey seems to have found a groove of late, posting a 3.27 ERA in the month of July. Despite that solid play, Lackey’s ERA is still more than a run and a half higher than last season. Rodon has made four starts for the White Sox this season, striking out 20 batters in 20 1/3 innings pitched. In addition to that, Rodon has logged a .234 batting average against, while posting a 1.62 WHIP.

Series swings to the South Side

Wednesday – Jake Arrieta (9-7, 4.11 ERA) and James Shields (2-2, 5.79 ERA).

After starting the season off strong, James Shields has fallen on hard times. In the month of July, the right-hander has a 9.60 ERA. In his last start, Shields issued 10 hits and six earned runs in 4 1/3 innings. Arrieta has also had a rough season in 2017. While it has not been as bad as Shields’ season, Arrieta has seen his home runs per nine innings almost double from last season. Despite that, Arrieta’s strikeout-to-walk ratio is slightly higher than last season.

Thursday – Jon Lester (7-6, 3.95 ERA) and Mike Pelfrey (3-7, 4.46 ERA).

Next: Chicago Cubs move into first place with 5-3 win over Cardinals

The 33-year-old Pelfrey is looking to build off his last start in which he allowed one earned run over five innings, while striking out four and walking six. In 78 2/3 innings pitched this season, Pelfrey has struck out 52 batters and walked 39. After giving up 10 runs (four earned) and only recording two outs on July 9, Lester has allowed just three runs in his last 15 innings. Despite this, the lefty still owns a lofty 1.24 WHIP.

Start times

Monday and Tuesday’s games on the North Side will start at 1:20 p.m. CT, while Wednesday and Thursday’s games at Guaranteed Rate Field will start at 7:00 p.m. and 7:10 p.m. CT respectively.