Top stats to know: Cubs at White Sox

The Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs continue their annual Crosstown Cup Series with a two-game set at U.S. Cellular Field starting Wednesday (8 ET on ESPN).

Last year the Cubs won all four games between the clubs, but this year the White Sox are halfway to completing the sweep of their North Side rivals.

Cuban sensation

Jose Abreu has been nothing short of incredible in his first month-plus in the majors.

    • Abreu and fellow Cuban Yasiel Puig are the only players to win both the Player of the Month and the Rookie of the Month in their debut months in the majors.

    • Abreu’s 10 homers and 32 RBI were both the most in each category for a rookie before May 1 in MLB history.

    • He was the first rookie to lead the majors in both home runs and RBI in the season’s opening month since Kent Hrbek in 1982.

Jose Abreu vs Pitches on Outer Half
MLB Ranks This Season

Abreu’s success can largely be attributed to his ability to crush pitches on the outer half of the plate.

No player in the majors this season has hit more homers or has a higher isolated slugging on pitches in this location than Abreu.

Abreu has been susceptible to chasing pitches out of the strike zone, but he’s still been able to do damage on those pitches when he makes contact.

His three homers on pitches out of the zone are tied for the most in baseball and only two players have more hits on out-of-zone pitches than Abreu this season.

Wood has been good

Travis Wood may not be the first name you think of when making a list of elite left-handed starters in baseball, but he does own the sixth-best ERA among southpaws since the start of last season. Only Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner, Cliff Lee, Chris Sale and Hyun-Jin Ryu have bested him in that span.

Travis Wood vs Left-Handed Batters Last 3 Seasons

Wood has improved his performance against left-handed batters in each season since becoming a full-time starter in 2012, holding them to .524 OPS this season, which ranks 10th among NL starters.

Since the Phillies lefties were 5 for 17 against him in his first start this season, he's held same-sided batters to a .160 average and .360 OPS over his last five games.

Danks falling behind

John Danks started the season strong with four straight quality starts and a 2.84 ERA through April 21. Yet he's struggled over his last two outings, allowing 12 runs in 10⅔ innings with as many strikeouts as walks (7) in those games.

Batters have really hit him hard over his last two starts, with 31 percent of at-bats ending in a well-hit ball, nearly quadruple the rate he allowed in his first four starts (8.6%).

He’s also gotten into a lot of trouble by falling behind in the count frequently. His first-pitch strike percentage has dropped from 60 percent in his first four outings to 46 percent in his last two turns and he hasn’t been able to recover. Opponents are hitting .360 with a 1.267 OPS after the count reaches 1-0 in his last two starts.