Every year since 1999, the White Sox and Cubs have faced each other six times a season as a part of interleague play. However, the “Crosstown Classic” will be trimmed a few games starting next season.
MLB has announced that the Sox-Cubs, and most other interleague rivalry series, will be shortened from six to four games, with two games being in each park as opposed to three.
The reasoning behind this all centers around the Houston Astros changing leagues, as there will now be an odd number of teams in each league (15), causing interleague games to happen throughout the year. Plus, rivalry series have been a problem in terms of competitive imbalance, as teams like the Mets have to play the Yankees six times each season.
With the realignment of the leagues, and tinkering of the schedule needing to be done because of it, MLB decided this was a good time to make the permanent change.
There is a possibility that the “Crosstown Classic” could still be six games every third season, as interleague play will rotate by divisions each year. So, when both Central divisions play each other, the Cubs and White Sox could matchup six times.
This idea of a shortened city series is getting mixed reviews from fans. While many people love the rivalry like myself, this could actually be a good thing to increase the buzz that’s been lacking with it.
Yes, both teams being competitive and lowering the outrageous ticket prices to put more fans in the seats may also help, but lowering the number of games would put more weight on each game in the series in terms of bragging rights.
Each game would mean a bit more to the fans, and maybe that would lead to a bit more excitement around each game.