Combustible mix: Restless fan bases on both sides. Underachieving teams. Three straight night games. Mix together with warm weather, and ... voila!
Reasons for optimism: The Cubs head into the series feeling good after playing tough against the division-leading Brewers and the Yankees.
The White Sox?
Well, they're not playing the Twins, and Ozzie Guillen has to be feeling better after passing that kidney stone.
The question: Alexei Ramirez or Starlin Castro?
Less than two weeks: Until we get to hear Ozzie Guillen give Wrigley Field the razzing it deserves.
Reasons for pessimism: For the Cubs it's the fact that the White Sox have won seven of the past nine games and 11 of 15 in this series after the Cubs had won six in a row and nine of the previous 10 dating back to 2006
For the White Sox? Simple. Phil Humber isn't pitching in this series.
The equation: Brent Lillibridge = Reed Johnson.
Groundhog Day: Is it just me or does it seem like Paul Konerko has homered in every Sox game thus far?
Amazing. Best pure slugger named Paul in MLB history.
Chicago tough: John Danks.
Home sweet home: At U.S. Cellular Field, the Sox are hitting .250 with a 3.65 ERA and have outscored the Cubs 186-160.
Trivia time: OK, name the starting third basemen from each team in the very first crosstown game in 1997?
That's right, Chris Snopek and Kevin Orie.
Wanna be on the TV? Your chances increase dramatically if you sit next to a friend or spouse and each of you is wearing a different team's jersey.
Ahh, memories: Carlos Zambrano and Derrek Lee jawing in the dugout, both teams posing with the Stanley Cup, Michael Barrett socking A.J. Pierzynski in the grill. ... Good times.
Now: Sit back, relax and strap it down.