Last week the Chicago White Sox and Cubs split the first two of a four-game season series at Wrigley Field. Both games were highly watched and fans of both teams have renewed interest. With the Cubs being as good as they have been in over a century and the White Sox developing a contender, the next few seasons could be the best Chicago has ever seen.
It has been a lifelong dream of any Chicago baseball fan to see the Cubs and White Sox square off in the World Series. The city of Chicago would be split in two as bragging rights for fans of both team would be at an all-time high.
Since the two last faced off against in a World Series against one another back in 1906, there has been just one season in which both teams made it to the postseason.
That season was 2008 as both teams won their respective divisions but in different fashions. The Cubs were the best team in the National League winning 97 games and won their division by eight games. The White Sox, on the other hand, had to win three consecutive games against three different teams to win their division in a 163 playoff game.
Both Tuesday and Wednesday nights games had a similar exciting vibe to what was seen during the Crosstown Classic back in 2008. White Sox fans took over Wrigley Field when rookie slugger Eloy Jimenez cracked a two-run homer in the top of the 9th leading to a White Sox 3-1 win. The Cubs returned the favor by hitting three home runs in a 7-3 victory over the best pitcher in baseball currently in Lucas Giolito.
You could compare this White Sox season to that of the 2014 Cubs season in which many of their young stars began to develop at a major league level. With players like Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson, Giolito, and Jimenez playing well currently, the White Sox still have prospects Zack Collins, Dylan Cease, Nick Madrigal, and Luis Robert all slated to be up by the 2020 season.
If the White Sox add a premier position player or starting pitcher in this next off-season, their 2020 season could be identical to the Cubs 2015 season where they made it all the way to the National League Championship Series. The White Sox window to compete would then be open for at least five seasons before any of their prominent players would reach free agency.
The current Cubs core has two more seasons together before the possibility of free agency breaking the team up after the 2021 season. The Cubs will try their best to keep both Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber and Javier Baez, three core pieces who could see free agency after the 2021 seasons.
Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer would certainly like to keep all three players as part of their roster but it might not be easy. Bryant and Baez will likely command big contracts although the Cubs do start getting their TV network money soon.
The 2020 and 2021 season would potentially be the best opportunity for both teams to face off in a World Series. It could also be the first time ever that both teams could make it to the postseason in back to back years.
Each Chicago sports team has had its “Golden Era” of success. The Bears had the 80s, the Jordan Bulls of the 90s are considered the best team in NBA history, and recently the Blackhawks Dynasty this decade brought hockey back to Chicago.
Cubs and Sox fans could be destined to enjoy that same success with the directions both teams are heading which could make for some fun summers soon.