Chicago White Sox vs. Chicago Cubs Preview and Pick – John Danks vs. Victor Zambrano

Chicago White Sox (30-34) John Danks +144, N/L O/U at Chicago
Cubs (30-30) Carlos Zambrano -154, N/L O/U, Wrigley Field,
Chicago, Ill., 8:05 PM EST, Tuesday

by Badger of

As if the flames between the White Sox and Cubs rivalry needed to be
stoked any more, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen threw a log on the
fire yesterday when he told reporters I puke every time I go to

This should be a great series!

The Cubs and White Sox renew the battle for Chicago with the start of
an interleague series tonight at Wrigley, and with resident hothead
and ace Carlos Zambrano going for the Cubs against the out-spoken
Guillen, how could this game not have some fireworks?

Lefty John Danks goes for the White Sox as they look to continue a
solid road trip that started with two wins over the Milwaukee Brewers
last weekend.

Oddsmakers list Zambrano and the Cubs as low as -154 favorites on the
moneyline, although you will find a few offshore sportsbooks listing
him as high as -160 to -165 too. Shop around and find a dimeline
sportsbook to give you the best underdog odds, like the +144 the
White Sox are listed at 5Dimes.

The over/under total is still currently off the board at press time,
most likely due to the wind situation at Wrigley.

Zambrano has been good his last two starts since coming off of a
suspension, going 14.2 innings allowing just five hits and one run
with seven walks. In nine career starts against the White Sox he is
5-2 with a 4.45 ERA, so hes going to be reliable no doubt. Since
hes just coming off of a suspension you have to believe hell be on
his best behavior tonight, but Ozzie and Z could get into some
theater on the field that may take him out of his game.

Whether or not the Cubs are able to back Zambrano tonight is another
story. The Cubs have only scored nine runs in the past five games and
as a result have lost four of the five and are hovering around .500
still. The good news is the Cubs are 7-3 in the games started by
Zambrano this season.

Danks could be the solution to the Cubs offensive woes if he keeps
pitching the way he has been of late, giving up 20 hits, 11 runs and
six walks in his last three starts. I will give him some credit
though, his last start versus Detroit was solid (7.1 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 2
R), but that has been the exception lately.

The White Sox and Guillen will once again have to figure out a way to
get Jim Thomes bat into the lineup, playing with the National League
rules at Wrigley. The Sox averaged over 4 runs per game in the series
at Miller Park, but they still only scored 14 total in the series and
really seemed to miss Thomes bat in the middle of the lineup.

Both teams swept their homestands in this interleague series last
year, which means the Cubs took all three at Wrigley by a 22-to-11
scoring margin. Danks threw in that series at Wrigley last year and
threw very well (6 IP, 5 H, 1 R), only to have the bullpen blow it
late in a 3-2 loss.

The White Sox are 1-6 in their last seven visits to Wrigley, which may explain why Guillen pukes there so often. The White Sox are 4-9
overall in the last 13 games between the city rivals.

The over is a solid trend here too, as it is not only 6-2 in the last
eight games in the series at Wrigley, but the over is also 5-2-1 in
Zambranos last eight starts against the White Sox.

Badgers Pick: I like Zambrano to continue to dominate tonight, but
at -154 youre starting to reach the limit of how much juice Im
willing to eat. Thats right on the edge. With no total available, I
cant go the easy route and take the over, even if it opens at 10
runs, Id still take it. If your bankroll can afford the chalk
tonight, take the Cubs at -154.