Cubs Go For Sweep
The Chicago Cubs have been quite inhospitable to visitors to the friendly confines of Wrigley Field all season. Their Southside neighbors are no exception.
The Cubs look to sweep the White Sox and win their 14th straight home game for the first time in more than 70 years as these first-place teams conclude their three-game crosstown set Sunday night.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Cubs -132 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 9.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 65% of bets for this game have been placed on White Sox +122 (View MLB Bet Percentages).
After being swept at Tampa Bay and finishing a 2-4 road trip, the NL Central-leading Cubs (47-28) had little momentum heading into their crosstown series with the AL Central-leading White Sox (41-33). The Cubs were returning to Wrigley, though, which has proven to be a huge advantage.
They won Friday's series opener 4-2 on a game-ending home run from Aramis Ramirez, and clubbed four homers in a nine-run fourth inning in Saturday's 11-7 victory.
The Cubs have not lost at home since May 17 against Pittsburgh, and are outscoring opponents 75-45 during their 13-game winning streak. The Northsiders, who are a major league-best 31-8 at home and have won 20 of their last 22 at Wrigley, have not won 14 straight home games since June 4-July 10, 1936.
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"We're confident here," Derrek Lee told the team's official Web site. "For some reason, we swing the bats better here."
Jim Edmonds, who had missed the two previous games with a sore foot, hit two homers in the fourth inning Saturday. Edmonds is batting .379 (11-for-29) with four home runs and 11 RBIs in nine games at Wrigley since singing with the Cubs on May 15, and is 8-for-17 (.471) with two homers and three doubles lifetime against Sunday's scheduled starter Javier Vazquez (7-5, 4.13 ERA).
Ryan Dempster (8-2, 2.76) has been a big reason the Cubs have been so successful at home, and he takes the ball in the series finale.
The Cubs have won all nine of Dempster?s starts at Wrigley, where the converted closer has gone 8-0 with a 2.93 ERA. While he recorded a 4.03 ERA in his first five home starts of the year, Dempster has been even better lately, posting a 1.84 ERA in winning his last four.
On Tuesday at Tampa Bay, Dempster allowed just one run, six hits and struck out six in five innings of a 3-2 loss, but did not factor in the decision.
This will be Dempster?s first career start against the White Sox. He is 0-1 with three saves and a 3.86 ERA in seven relief appearances against them.
The White Sox came into this series after scoring 37 runs in a three-game home sweep of Pittsburgh, but dropped their season-high eighth straight road game Saturday.
Jermaine Dye hit a two-run homer Saturday after hitting a solo shot Saturday, and is batting .435 (10-for-23) with six homers, three doubles and 15 RBIs in his last six games. Since being acquired by the White Sox before the 2005 season, Dye has hit safely in all 11 games he?s played at Wrigley, batting .333 (14-for-42) with seven home runs and 11 RBIs.
Vazquez yielded five runs and five hits in six innings of a 16-5 win over Pittsburgh on Tuesday. The right-hander has allowed 14 runs in 17 1-3 innings in his last three starts, but has been backed with 19 runs of support in those games to go 2-1.
Vazquez has made three starts against the Cubs as a member of the White Sox, recording a 4.95 ERA without a decision. He has allowed 10 runs in 13 innings in his last two starts at Wrigley, but isn't concerned about the Cubs lineup.
"You should go to the American League and you'll see more potent lineups," he told the White Sox's official Web site.
The Cubs have won eight of the last nine in this series.
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