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The Chicago Cubs now take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. If a series with the Pirates doesn’t cure what ails the Cubs, nothing will. A refresher on the series preview here at Bleacher Nation:

The idea is to hook you up with the bare minimum of 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.

We’re Going Streaking

Well, you know the story: the Cubs have lost seven – yes, seven – games in a row. After getting humiliated by the St. Louis Cardinals, the Cubs somehow managed to also get swept by the San Diego Padres. It’s been an ugly stretch, and the holes in my wall prove it. Also, I need a new remote control.

The Pirates, like every team the Cubs have faced in the last month, come into the series pretty hot. They’ve won six of their last nine, but still find themselves patrolling the bottom of the NL Central. That won’t last long if the Cubs can’t figure out how to hit.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Monday, May 25 at 7:05 CT on WGN.
  • Tuesday, May 26 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
  • Wednesday, May 27 at 1:20 CT on WGN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

These lineups are likely to be, well, wrong. But they’ll be close.

Cubs

Starters: Ryan Dempster (3-3, 4.40), Sean Marshall (2-3, 3.96), Carlos Zambrano (3-2, 4.64)

Lineup:

  1. Soriano, LF
  2. Theriot, SS
  3. Fukudome, CF
  4. Lee, 1B
  5. Bradley, RF
  6. Soto, C
  7. Fontenot, 3B (could also be Scales or Freel)
  8. Miles, 2B (ditto)
  9. Pitcher

Pirates

Starters: Paul Maholm (3-1, 3.30), Ian Snell (1-5, 4.88 ), Zach Duke (5-4, 2.77)

Lineups:

  1. Nyjer Morgan, CF
  2. Delwyn Young, RF (could also be Nate McClouth, in which case he’d be playing CF)
  3. Freddy Sanchez, 2B
  4. Eric Hinske, 1B
  5. Andy LaRoche, 3B
  6. Brandon Moss, LF
  7. Robinzon Diaz, C
  8. Jack Wilson, SS
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Almost no Cubs are hot, at least not with the bat. The possible exception is Derrek Lee, who is really turning it on, you know, when it doesn’t seem to matter. The Cubs have a hilarious number of regulars struggling to hit .200. At least the pitching has been solid of late.

The Cubs get the heart of the Pirates’ rotation, and the Pirates’ lineup when it’s clicking. As for whom to watch? Watch them all. Watch how they handle the bat, making contact with the ball, and reaching base. And then, watch how they use the bat again to force players across the plate. That’s called scoring. Watch it closely as the Pirates are batting, because you’re not likely to see it when the Cubs are at the dish.

marissa miller cubs jerseySeries She-View

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.

keira knightley nakedFor the Pittsburgh Pirates, the choice was surprisingly easy. Not because Pittsburgh is hemmoraging hot chicks, rife for inclusion here.

No, it’s not the Pittsburgh part that made it easy. It’s the Pirate part. And when I think of hot pirate chicks, only one woman comes to mind: the beautiful Keira Knightley.

That makes this a pretty tough matchup for the Cubs – not unlike real life, where the current losing streak makes what would otherwise look like an easy series look nearly insurmountable. And with that word, we come full circle back to Keira Knightley and Marisa Miller.

So who you got in this series? Pretty tough one, I must say.

keira knightley hot

Versus

marisa miller bikini top

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