• Paul Boucher
  • Adam Dunn and the White Sox trot smiling into the second half

The formal second half of the baseball season begins Friday, with our two teams in vastly different circumstances.

The White Sox are in first place in the American League Central, nine games above .500 after their recent hot streak, and three games ahead of the second-place Cleveland Indians.

But only three and a half ahead of more-threatening Detroit, which issued a challenge over the All-Star break from Miguel Cabrera.

The Cubs helped awaken the sleeping Tigers, and they’ve been hot too, but then again their ace Justin Verlander just got lit up as the AL starter in the All-Star Game, and that’s not easily shaken off.

I still like my wager that Adam Dunn will hit more homers than the Tigers’ Prince Fielder, as he’s up at the break 25-15. But Dunn may also break his own team record for strikeouts—before August is over.

As for the Cubs . . .