Finally, the 2010 season is upon us, and with it brings the first Bleacher Nation Series Preview. In case you’d forgotten, we don’t do individual game previews here for at least two reasons: (1) a successful baseball season is more often measured as a product of the team’s performance from series to series rather than game to game, and (2) it reduces my workload by 2/3. I kid, I kid. Mostly. 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, it’s the first series of the year, so the Braves do not have a streak going.
The Cubs, however – being that they are the Cubs – are riding a seven game losing streak. I know it doesn’t make sense, but it’s just how it is.
If you’re desperate for records, the Cubs finished 18-12 in the Cactus League, while the Braves finished 17-12 in the Grapefruit League, which pretty much means that the Cubs will crush the Braves in this series.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Monday, April 5 at 3:10 CT on WCIU and ESPN.
- Wednesday, April 7 at 6:10 CT on CSN+.
- Thursday, April 8 at 6:10 CT on CSN and MLBN.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups should be pretty close to reality.
Starters: Carlos Zambrano (0-0, -.–), Ryan Dempster (0-0, -.–), Randy Wells (0-0, -.–)
- Theriot, SS
- Fukudome, CF
- Lee, 1B
- Ramirez, 3B
- Byrd, CF
- Soriano, LF
- Fontenot, 2B
- Soto, C
Starters: Derek Lowe (0-0, -.–), Jair Jurrgens (0-0, -.–), Tommy Hanson (0-0, -.–)
- Melky Cabrera, LF
- Martin Prado, 2B
- Larry Jones, 3B
- Troy Glaus, 1B
- Brian McCann, C
- Yunel Escobar, SS
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Nate McClouth, CF
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
On the Cubs, my eyes will be squarely on Alfonso Soriano. A return to solid performance – dare I wish for All Star caliber? – for Soriano means a completely different Chicago Cubs lineup. And lets hope that Ryan Theriot’s hot Spring carries over to the regular season.
Tyler Colvin will likely make his 2010 debut in the series, even if not in a starting role, and there wasn’t a hotter hitter with the Cubs this Spring.
For the Braves, the answer is obvious: Matt Diaz.
Nah, it’s 20-year-old super rookie Jason Heyward. Not only did he tear up Spring Training, he looked like a more accomplished professional hitter than guys 10 years his senior. The outfield situation could grow slightly complicated when Jordan Schafer is ready to begin his season, but for now Melky Cabrera will hold down left field while Nate McClouth tries to come out of a funk in center field.
The Cubs will get young fireballer Tommy Hanson in the third game, which will match him up against the Cubs’ answer to Hanson from last year, Randy Wells.
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 whether I should change things up this year, and offer a different representative for the Cubs this year, after a 2009 full of Marisa Miller. But then I realized Marisa Miller is still smoking hot.
So, given the fact that she’s thrown out the first pitch, sung the Seventh Inning Stretch, probably likes the Cubs, and – like the Cubs – is still hot, just one year older, I’ve chosen to stick with supermodel Marisa Miller. You’re welcome.
For the Atlanta Braves, there remain quite a few good options: 90210 hotty AnnaLyne McCord, songstress Kelly Rowland, or gracefully-aging actress Julia Roberts.
But we’ll be going with the most beautiful woman ever featured on ESPN: miss Erin Andrews. Before she was an ESPN vixen, Erin Andrews got her start on Turner South, covering all the teams in Atlanta. And thus, she’ll be covering the Braves for us this week. Well, not literally. Don’t tune into the game, and then be totally disappointed when you don’t see Erin Andrews.
So, the ridiculously hot sideline analyst come Dancing with the Stars Dancer, or the ridiculously hot model? Now, although Erin Andrews is unbelievably attractive, she is also unbelievably modest. So we’ll go with a particularly immodest picture of Marisa Miller to make up for it. Who you got?