Chicago Cubs & White Sox Midseason Report

Matt AnayaContributor IJuly 14, 2009

CHICAGO - JUNE 17: Manager Ozzie Guillen #13 of the Chicago White Sox jokes during batting practice before an interleague game against the Chicago Cubs on June 17, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The 2009 baseball season is at the annual All-Star break and both the Cubs and White Sox find themselves 3.5 games back in their divisions.

As usual, it has been an odd season on both sides of Chicago as both teams have struggled.

Yet both remain in contention.

The Cubs were supposed to dominate their division and be better than the team that won 97 games last season, but that has not happened. The offense has struggled mightily this season, as it ranks dead last in MLB with a .218 batting average with RISP.

But the pitching staff has been rock solid. The Cubs' starters lead MLB in quality starts, and the staff ranks fifth in MLB in ERA and strikeouts.

The only bright spot in the Cubs' offense has been the rejuvenated Derrek Lee, who has literally carried the club on offense. Without Lee, the Cubs would be sellers at the deadline and may have fired their manager by now.

Lou Piniella and the owners of the bars in Wrigleyville can thank Lee for keeping their seasons' alive.

The Cubs will likely win the division, barring any blockbuster trades within the NL Central. The World Series will most likely not happen, as the Dodgers and Phillies are much better teams than the Cubs.

The White Sox, as much as they would not like to admit, are in a year of transition. They have a team of aging, but effective veterans with a nice mix of youngsters who are still learning to play. 

Jermaine Dye is one of the best players in baseball and gets very little recognition outside of Chicago. He has been a stud for a few years and remains one of the best players in Chicago and the AL.

Gordon Beckham gets better every game, and that is a quality of a very good ball player. Alexei Ramirez is one of my favorite players to watch in MLB, and the Sox pitching staff is one of the best in MLB.

When star Carlos Quentin comes back after the All-Star Game, the Sox should start rolling. The AL remains tough and the Central division is not an easy one, but the Sox are the most talented team in the AL Central when Quentin comes back.

They can win that division, and I put it at 50/50, but they are not better than the third-place Tampa team, which means they are not likely to win the World Series.

  • Chicago’s MVP: Derrek Lee
  • Chicago’s Cy Young: Ted Lilly
  • Chicago’s ROY: Gordon Beckham
  • Chicago’s Comeback Player: Scott Podsednik
  • Chicago’s Manager of the Year: Ozzie Guillen
  • Chicago’s Biggest Surprise: Scott Podsednik
  • Chicago’s Biggest Loser(s): Alfonso Soriano and Milton Bradley
  • Chicago’s Best Nickname: Milton Badley
  • What the Sox need: Outfielders
  • What the Cubs need: Soriano

Matt Anaya

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