Many Cubs fans look to our southside neighbors and their ridiculous record of 26-5 over their last 31 games as inspiration that our guys can do it too. Well, let's take a look. Bear in mind, I'm not TOO familiar with the Sox so much.
With a solid rotation on both sides of town including a reliable lefty (Lilly/Buehrle), a very good, but not quite Ace (Danks/Dempster), a retread exceeding expectations (Silva/Garcia), a FNG (Wells/Hudson) and well, another lefty (Gorzelanny/Floyd). Add in the other two would be aces - Zambrano and Peavy - both of which have an equal chance of being a starter for the respective teams again this year - and honestly the rotatinos are a push. Advantage none.
Lee beats Konerko in terms of defense, youth and speed/base running, however Konerko dominates with his bat. If Derrek can have a monster second half to make up for his average, watch out. - Advantage Konerko for now, but stay tuned.
Rookies - Beckham vs Castro - Beckham has been slow all year, but is picking it up recently. Castro is a hot shot with slick fielding, but not much power. He is, however, hitting the ball, so advantage Castro
Ramirez vs. Theriot. Umm..yeah. Advantage Ramirez.
Ramirez vs. Vizquel. Assuming Ramirez is back, and many indications say he is, advantage Ramirez.
Soto vs. Pierzynski - Depends - which Soto are we talking about? Both are adequate on defense, and when he's on Soto blows away AJ. But when he's off, not so much. Still going to go with Advantage Cubs.
Soriano is on a hot stretch for another week or so, and Marlon Byrd has been a great bat all year, but Rios and Quentin far out power and speed them. Colvin and Pierre are meh compared to their outfield mates. Advantage White Sox.
Bench/Bullpen - With Bob Howry and Kosuke Fukudome (et al) going up against JJ Putz and Andruw Jones. No contest - Advantage White Sox, except when it comes to closer. Marmol rules.
So, what does this all mean? Do the Cubs have it in them to put together a run? If we were in Houston 7 years ago, I'd say sure. For now there's been no evidence that they can with any consistency. I think they'll play better in the second half, but the NL Central will come down to a 2 horse race, with the Cubs being the nag left behind.