This You Gotta See: Cubs, White Sox try to fatten up against dregs

It’s a week in which the Sox and Cubs have good chances to pad their stats. Doesn’t mean they will, though. Baseball is funny like that.

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Chicago White Sox v Chicago Cubs

Kyle Schwarber is received in the Cubs dugout Sunday after homering against the White Sox.

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

The good news for the Cubs as they dust themselves off after a grueling 12 games at Wrigley Field against the Brewers, Cardinals and White Sox? They’re off to Detroit to take on the lowly Tigers, who are so bad, they were outscored 31-9 by the Sox in a recent four-game sweep.

But the bad news? Cubs manager David Ross can’t write Jose Abreu or any other Sox names into his lineup.

Here’s what we know about the Cubs after they lost two of three to their crosstown rivals and went 5-7 over 12 games they’d soon forget if they could: They can’t hit. They have no power. They’ve never heard of the term “crooked number.”

We’re exaggerating, of course, but any team would look like a bunch of weenies offensively compared with Abreu — who homered a preposterous six times over the weekend at Wrigley — and the Sox. Even after dropping Sunday’s finale 2-1, they’ve won seven of their last eight games and belted 28 long balls in that span.

And now the Sox, who’ve made quite the move in the American League Central, get the chance to beat up on a couple of real duds in the Pirates and Royals. If Luis Robert and Eloy Jimenez aren’t household names in Pittsburgh and Kansas City yet, they might be soon.

It’s a week in which the Sox and Cubs have good chances to fatten up their stats. Doesn’t mean they will, though. Baseball is funny like that.

Here’s what’s happening:

MON 24

Cubs at Tigers (6:10 p.m., MSN, FS1)

Making his first home start in the big leagues: Detroit’s Casey Mize, who was drafted No. 1 overall out of Auburn in 2018. Mize is only 23, but he’s old enough to remember when the Cubs could hit.

Lakers at Trail Blazers, Game 4

(8 p.m., TNT)

Some questions are dogging the West’s No. 1 seed as it tangles with Damian Lillard and the dangerous Blazers. Will LeBron James’ wayward jump shot come around? Is Anthony Davis’ sore knee holding up OK? Does anyone know where this Alex Caruso guy came from?

TUE 25

FC Cincinnati at Fire (6:30 p.m., Ch. 9)

After a bit of a coronavirus scare, the Fire make their home debut at Soldier Field. The stands will be closed to fans, but perhaps Matt Nagy can sneak into a seat and find himself a kicker?

Pirates at White Sox (7:10 p.m., NBCSCH)

Lucas Giolito, eager to get his record back above .500, takes the mound against the worst team in baseball. See? It’s possible to write a sentence about the Sox without mentioning Abreu or home runs.

Mavericks at Clippers, Game 5

(8 p.m., TNT)

If Mavs stars Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis were both at 100% physically, the Clips might really be in some trouble. Either way, buckle in for 250-plus points and a heck of a good time.

WED 26

Magic at Bucks, Game 5 (3 p.m., NBA)

Hopefully, the action in this one is more intense than the so-called altercation between Orlando’s James Ennis and Milwaukee’s Marvin Williams in Game 3 was. Who knew scowling was an ejectionable offense?

Avalanche at Stars, Game 3

(9:30 p.m., NBCSN)

Is injured Avs goalie Philipp Grubauer still out? If so, lots of luck to backup Pavel Francouz against a Stars team that’s crushing bubble life offensively.

THU 27

Mariners at Padres (3:10 p.m., MLB)

Is that Fernando Tatis Jr. trying to have fun on the baseball field again? Well, we never!

Golden Knights at Canucks, Game 3

(8:45 p.m., NBCSN)

We know what you’re thinking, and, no, it’s not possible for Mark Stone, Reilly Smith, Shea Theodore or any other Vegas skater to score another goal on the Blackhawks.

FRI 28

Royals at White Sox (7:10 p.m., NBCSCH)

A friendly period on the schedule only gets friendlier for the Sox, who celebrate Jackie Robinson Day with the opener of a series against a division bottom-feeder. Wait, did we say friendly? Some of the Royals don’t seem to like Tim Anderson very much.

SAT 29

Storm at Sky (1 p.m., Ch. 7)

In their second and final time on ABC during the regular season, the better-all-the-time Sky get another crack at the WNBA’s best team. Just a suggestion: Try not to get buried in the first quarter this time.

Cubs at Reds (3:10 p.m., MSN)

It’s the opener of another doubleheader for a Cubs team that can sleep sometime after the weather turns cold. Weren’t the Reds supposed to be, you know, kind of good?

SUN 30

Cubs at Reds (12:10 p.m., MSN)

Sure, who wouldn’t want to be right back at the ballpark bright and early after spending roughly an eternity there the day before?

Royals at White Sox (1:10 p.m., NBCSCH)

Is this where the fun ends? Next up: a visit to the Twins. Might as well end this homestand with a few more bangs.

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