Ah, the season is finally here. With it brings the first series of the year, and thus, the first series preview. Admittedly, this is the first ever preview here at Bleacher Nation, so there will probably be a learning curve.
The idea is to hook you up with what you need to know about every series this year. That way you can look like a genius, hardcore fan in front of all your friends, with minimum effort. Oh, and there will be pictures of hot chicks, too.
Up first, the Cubs head down to the ballpark that looks like a miniature golf course to take on the Houston Astros.
We’re Going Streaking
It’s the first games of the year, so both teams are 0-0 with no streaks to speak of. The Astros are currently tied with the Cubs for first in the NL Central – I know it seems bizarre to say that, but I wanted to make sure Astros fans heard that at least once this year.
If you’re desperate for records, I’ll give the Spring Training ones: the Cubs went 18-18 with 2 ties, the Astros went just 12-20 with 3 ties (worst in the Grapefruit League). Spring Training is meaningless, though. Well, except this time. This time it’s totally accurate – with regards to the Astros, anyway.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Monday, April 6 at 6:05 CT on ESPN2 and CSN.
- Tuesday, April 7 at 7:05 CT on WGN.
- Wednesday, April 8 at 7:05 CT on CSN+.
Expected Starters and Lineups
It’s early, so these lineups are likely to be, well, wrong. But they’ll be close.
Starters: Carlos Zambrano, Ryan Dempster, Ted Lilly
- Soriano, LF
- Fukudome, CF
- Lee, 1B
- Bradley, RF
- Ramirez, 3B
- Fontenot, 2B
- Soto, C
- Theriot, SS
Starters: Roy Oswalt, Wandy Rodriguez, Brian Moehler
- Kaz Matsui, 2B
- Ivan Rodriguez, C
- Lance Berkman, 1B
- Carlos Lee, LF
- Miguel Tejada, SS
- Geoff Blum/Jeff Keppinger, 3B
- Hunter Pence, RF
- Michael Bourn, CF
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
So this is where players who are playing well and playing poorly for each team would be. But, it’s the first series of the year, so cut me some slack. I will give you some guys to watch, though.
For the Cubs, the two to watch this series are Ted Lilly and Kosukue Fukudome. Each spent most of his preseason with his respective World Baseball Classic team, and each failed to impress in limited Spring Training time. Fukudome could be out of a starting spot if he continues to stink up the joint like he did last year. $48 million man, folks.
For the Astros, I’m looking forward to seeing how Wandy Rodriguez looks on Tuesday. The back of the Astros rotation is bound to stink, but if Rodriguez can become a true number 2, the rotation may manage to be average. Every time I’ve seen him face the Cubs, though, it seems he’s succeeded, but I’ve never been impressed. How do you figure?
And now the best part of the preview: if the teams were represented by beautiful women, who would they be, and what would the match up look like. I thought long and hard about who would represent the Cubs this year. Given the fact that she’s thrown out the first pitch, sung the Seventh Inning Stretch, probably likes the Cubs – oh, and the fact that she is a level of hot commensurate with the Chicago Cubs’ ability, I’ve chosen supermodel Marisa Miller. You’re welcome.
For the Astros, we’ve gone with a good ‘ole Texas girl: Jessica Simpson. Much like the team she represents, she’s strong up the middle, and always seems to show up even after you’ve counted her out. But she spent the offseason bulking up, and not in the good way.
So how do they match up? A lot of similarities between these two combatants – they even look the same in the right light. But the back end (of the rotation, I mean) separates these two. Of course, this series matchups up the front end (of the rotations, I mean).
Still, the winner this week has to be Marisa and the Cubs. Well, you be the judge.