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Series Preview: Crosstown Classic by the Numbers

by Matt Cotner

A few short years ago, Chicago fans hoped that the White Sox-Cubs matchup would gain preeminence among MLB rivalries. After all, the shortened 2020 season was the first since 2008 in which both teams made the postseason. This led to some even suggesting an all-Chicago World Series was on the horizon. Instead, the past few years have dealt some harsh realities to both fan bases. With the pair of teams playing the first two games of four in the season series starting this Tuesday, here is a breakdown of the coming Crosstown Classic by the numbers.

6.5 and 12

How many games each team finds themselves out of first place heading into the series. This is an easy one to start with, as it highlights the sorry state of affairs in Chicago. We all know of the White Sox woes. The Cubs seem to be in the same position the White Sox were a month or so ago: not very good but in a division just bad enough to wonder if they can pull it off. Like the White Sox, common sense would suggest no. However, the Cubs have won five of their last six and get seven consecutive division games after they visit the South Side, so there is still a conceivable path. 


Number of season series the White Sox have won since the Crosstown Cup was introduced in 2010. While things may not be going well currently for the White Sox, they have six season series wins to the Cubs three since 2010. The series is much more even since 2015, though, with each team taking two season series apiece and four season series ties.


The total amount of players that will take the field for both sides that were a part of the three crosstown trades dating back to 2017. Those two are, of course, Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease, who were acquired for Jose Quintana. The two other pieces the White Sox received in that trade, Matt Rose and Bryant Flete, are no longer with the organization. Jose Quintana just made his first start of the season for the New York Mets.

No one from the more recent trades between the teams will feature in the Crosstown Classic. The White Sox acquired Ryan Tepera from the Cubs for Bailey Horn in 2021. Tepera has played for both the Angles and the Cardinals this season, while Bailey Horn remains in the Cubs minor league system.

Finally, the Craig Kimbrel trade. White Sox fans know well that the trade did not work out very well for the team, as Kimbrel struggled mightily on the South Side. Naturally, Kimbrel is thriving for the Phillies this season, converting all 16 of his save opportunities and even earning the save in the All-Star Game.

While the Kimbrel trade was not a complete failure on the Cubs’ side, it was not the roaring success they had hoped. Nick Madrigal is unlikely to appear in the series, as he is currently undergoing a rehab stint for a strained hamstring. Whenever he does return, he will likely take on a utility role, as a fully healthy Cubs team moving forward likely features Nico Hoerner at second base and Patrick Wisdom at third. The other piece in that trade, Codi Heuer, missed all of last season due to Tommy John Surgery and has likewise missed this entire season with an elbow fracture.

If you are keeping track, that’s ten players traded between the two teams over three separate trades, and only two will see the field during these Crosstown Cup games.  


Surprisingly, the Cubs are the only team in the NL Central to have a positive run differential at +41. The Brewers and Reds find themselves ahead of the Cubs in the NL Central, but have -6 and -3 run differentials, respectively.

The AL Central likewise only has one team with a positive run differential, as the Twins sit at +43. As it stands, the White Sox currently have a -76 run differential.


The longest winning streak for both teams this season is five games. Both teams accomplished the feat in June, and if the Cubs take both games from the White Sox, they will even that mark.


The amount of fun there’s been this season for Chicago baseball fans. While the Cubs still have a sliver of a chance to make a run at their division, it is unlikely. The White Sox season continues to be a trainwreck. All of that gets set aside for rivalry matchups, however, which will hopefully lead to a pair of entertaining games on the South Side.

Follow us @SoxOn35th for more throughout the season!

Featured Image: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

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