Chicago Cubs will have their hands full with red-hot White Sox

Chicago Cubs, Jon Lester (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Chicago Cubs, Jon Lester (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

This weekend, the Cubs will welcome in the red-hot White Sox as the Crosstown Classic has become more than about bragging rights.

The Chicago Cubs remain four games ahead of the pack with less than two weeks to go in the month. It has been a wild ride thus far and will surely pick up considering this weekend’s match-up.

Fans in Chicago are very passionate when it comes to their baseball teams. Debates have intensified over the years as the White Sox look to reclaim the Windy City. In 2005, fans on the South Side were on cloud nine following their World Series win.

A team that had dominated throughout the postseason made it look easy. Meanwhile, the Cubs were on the outside looking in, waiting patiently as their drought continued. Finally, it happened for us just 11 years later.

Now here we are — two heavy-hitting teams out to prove a point. Leading the South Side is a once prized top prospect in the Cubs organization. A powerful bat packaged along with a young pitcher to acquire the services of Jose Quintana.

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Quintana, 31, is working on making his return to the rotation following an accident while washing dishes. His injury had forced first-year skipper David Ross to mix things up by adding Alec Mills to the five-man rotation.

Surely, Jose is itching to return. On Friday, southpaw Jon Lester will be called upon to get this series off on the right foot. In four starts, the 36-year-old two-time world champion has yielded seven earned runs in 23 innings pitched, posting a 2-0 record with a 2.74 ERA.

Following Big Jon will be Kyle Hendricks (3-2, 3.31 ERA) and Yu Darvish (4-1, 1.80 ERA) who has turned in an early Cy Young log early on. Although the pitching match-ups may be in favor of the Cubs, they can’t sleep on the young bats of the South.

Remind you of any specific team? Not too long ago, the White Sox strung together back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs as the Cardinals returned to action. A preview of what could be seen throughout the years as the Sox continue their championship build.

While we may be on the opposite side of the fence, you have to respect or at least be aware of what is happening on the South Side. Honestly, it is a beautiful thing to see as it strengthens our reputation as a baseball city. Imagine both Chicago teams squaring off in the World Series?

Entering their first regular-season meeting of the year, the White Sox (62-60) holds a two-game lead all-time. These two met during summer camp games before the shortened season opener, resulting in two losses for the Cubs.

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Now it is time for the real deal, where it all counts. You’ve got the Cubs who hold the second-best record in the National League, determined to silence naysayers. Taking three of five games from the Cardinals was tough and this weekends showdown will not be any easier.

Ignore their third-place standing in the American League Central. The Cubs cannot sleep on this White Sox club this weekend.