This weekend is the first installment of the 2010 Chicago Cross-Town Classic featuring the White Sox vs. Cubs. Both teams have struggled mightily during 2010, below the mid-range expectations of fans and prognosticators. Baseball Prospectus picked both teams to finish around .500. Through 6/10, the White Sox are 26-33, in 3rd place in the American League Central. The Cubs are 27-33, also in 3rd place in the National League Central. The Cubs, being a ½ game better than the White Sox have been a major disappointment for the 3rd highest payroll in baseball. Fans were hoping the team could put together one last year and compete with the Cardinals for the Central division. However, the year has been dominated by the theatrics of Lou Piniella moving Carlos Zambrano from the opening day starter to the bullpen and back again. The team’s offense has been lacking with Derek Lee and Aramis Ramirez floundering at the plate. Lee is hitting .234 (.339 OBP) while A-Ram is hitting .168 (.232 OBP). Currently, the only members of the Cubs with a lower average than Aramis are Zambrano, Silva and Lilly (Marshall and Russell aren’t included as they have 1 at-bat). The Cubs have the 13th best ERA in baseball at 3.96., driven mostly by Carlos Silva’s unbelievable year. The only reason the Cubs have not been laughed out of town is the White Sox. My beloved team has thoroughly frustrated fans this year. The pitching is not what it was hyped to be. With a starting rotation of Buehrle, Peavy, Floyd, Danks and Garcia, the team was expected to dominate. Garcia was supposed to be the weak point with the top 4 being one of the best in baseball. The team’s ERA is 4.73, 25th in baseball and the 3rd worst in the American League. Meanwhile, the offense is even more God-awful. The team’s average of .244 is only better than the Orioles and the Mariners in the American League and 5th worst in all of baseball. Alex Rios leads the team with a .309 average. Alex is the only regular hitting above .300. Beckham (.204) and Quentin (.207) are hitting in Aramis Ramirez-territory. For my sake, I hope the team is able to turn it around. The pitching matchups this weekend are: Peavy (4-5, 5.90) vs. Wells (3-4, 4.86) Buehrle (3-6, 5.40) vs. Silva (8-0, 2.93) Floyd (2-6, 6.18) vs. Lilly (1-5, 3.28) The White Sox are coming into the weekend series on a mini winning streak for them. It’s one of the few times they’ve won back-to-back games, having beaten the Tigers 15-3 on Wednesday and 3-0 on Thursday. The Cubs blew a laugher Thursday to the Brewers 5-4 in extras on a Xavier Nady throwing error. I like the White Sox’s chances on Friday and Sunday, as Wells and Lilly have both really disappointed this year. Peavy has improved lately, and if he’s able to put together a strong game, the offense should carry the team this weekend. Floyd has underperformed, but Lilly has struggled a bit more. Saturday’s matchup should be a decent one, as long as Buehrle keeps it together the entire time he’s out there. Silva is bound to falter and begin losing games in bunches, but I don’t see the White Sox’s offense beginning that downfall.