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The Chicago Cubs now head to Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates. If a series with the Pirates doesn’t cure what ails the Cubs, nothing will. Hmm. Seems I’ve tried that one before. 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 are now two games under .500 after dropping yet another series, this last one to the White Sox. Ugh. Also, it’s no longer productive to think about the season in terms of how far the Cubs are out in the NL Central. It’s actually not that many games. But until the Cubs can put together a consistent stretch of playing well, one game out is one game too many.

The Pirates once again face the Cubs on a hot streak, having won four of five. And here’s the real kick in the crotch: they have the same number of wins this year as the Cubs. Ouch.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Monday, June 29 at 6:05 CT on WCIU.
  • Tuesday, June 30 at 6:05 CT on CSN+.
  • Wednesday, July 1 at 6:05 CT on CSN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

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

Cubs

Starters: Rich Harden (4-4, 4.95), Ted Lilly (7-5, 3.41), Randy Wells (2-3, 2.57)

Lineup:

  1. Soriano, LF
  2. Theriot, SS
  3. Bradley, RF (still?)
  4. Lee, 1B
  5. Fox, 3B (maybe?)
  6. Soto, C
  7. Fukudome, CF
  8. Fontenot, 2B
  9. Pitcher

Pirates

Starters: Zach Duke (8-5, 3.09), Ross Ohlendorf (6-6, 4.75), Virgil Vasquez (1-0, 3.00)

Lineups:

  1. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  2. Nyjer Morgan, LF
  3. Freddy Sanchez, 2B
  4. Adam LaRoche, 1B
  5. Delmon Young, RF
  6. Andy LaRoche, 3B
  7. Jason Jaramillo, C
  8. Jack Wilson, SS
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Milton Bradley continues to suck both on and off the field. He’s not alone – the Cubs are among the worst teams in baseball on the road, sporting a pathetic 14-24 record on the road, and hitting a sprightly .235. Rich Harden has an ERA north of five and hasn’t won a start since coming off the DL a few weeks ago.

Youngster Andrew McCutchen has been a huge spark for the Pirates since being called up to replace Nate McClouth, whom the team dealt to the Braves. Zach Duke appears to be back to the pitcher he was several years ago, though he hasn’t had much luck against the Cubs since 2006.

marisa 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 keira knightley bra figureInning 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 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 ways 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. We’ll go with a holy-cow-these-chicks-are-technically-topless-but-are-artfully-covered-by-beads match up.

keira knightley topless

Versus

marisa miller topless

  • Butcher

    If the chicks decide the outcome, we’re getting swept…

    • Ace

      You think Keira Knightley is that much hotter than Marisa Miller?

      • Butcher

        Yes. But I’m not a huge fan of Marisa Miller, so I think she’s been overmatched many times this season.

        Maybe this is why we’re underachieving. You need to find a new hot chick to represent the Cubs.

        • Ace

          Damn, I hope that’s not the reason. If you can think of a better representative, I’ll listen to suggestions.

          • Butcher

            Hilary Clinton? Oprah Winfrey?

            • Ace

              I feel titillated.

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