Series Preview: Cubs v. Rangers, May 21 – 23, 2010

It’s series preview time again as the Chicago Cubs head down to Texas to take on the Rangers as they open interleague play. The Cubs were looking for about three days there, so let’s hope that wasn’t a fluke. 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, the Cubs actually managed to put something together before losing yesterday to the Phillies. Before that, they’d won four in a row. I’ll take it.

The Rangers are the best team in the AL West, with a full four-game lead. They’ve won four straight, including a sweep of the hapless Orioles. They’ve also won 10 of their last 11 at home. So, yeah. That’s cool.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Friday, May 21 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
  • Saturday, May 22 at 6:10 CT on FOX.
  • Sunday, May 23 at 1:05 CT onWGN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

These lineups should be pretty close to reality.

Cubs

Starters: Ted Lilly (1-3, 4.65), Randy Wells (3-2, 4.13), Carlos Silva (5-0, 3.35)

Lineup:

  1. Fukudome, CF
  2. Theriot, 2B
  3. Lee, 1B
  4. Byrd, CF
  5. Ramirez, 3B
  6. Soriano, LF
  7. Soto, C
  8. Castro, SS
  9. Hmm, DH? Colvin and Nady are the prime candidates. Not sure where they’ll hit, though.

Rangers

Starters: Colby Lewis (3-2, 3.68), Derek Holland (2-0, 2.38), C.J. Wilson (3-1, 2.55)

Lineup:

  1. Elvis Andrus, SS
  2. Michael Young, 3B
  3. Ian Kinsler, 2B
  4. Vlad Guerrero, DH
  5. Josh Hamilton, CF
  6. Nelson Cruz, RF
  7. Justin Smoak, 1B
  8. David Murphy, LF
  9. Matt Treanor, C

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Starlin Castro continues to hit. He’s got a .375/.434/.500 slash line, with an unbelievably low 5 strikeouts in 48 at bats. For a 20-year-old who was supposed to be bringing his big boy glove and his little boy bat, I continue to be blown away.

The man he bumped over to second base is struggling. Yes, Ryan Theriot is still hitting .310, but it’s as empty a .300 average as you’ll ever see – he’s getting on base at just .339, and he’s slugging a pathetic .345.

Marlon Byrd – who continues to hit well – heads to the ballpark where he saw his offensive prowess explode. Let’s hope it continues in this series.

Carlos Silva is also doing some blowing. Away, I mean. I’m saying his performance continues to be a pleasant surprise. He is pitching well. A baseball. He is pitching the baseball well. That’s all I’m saying.

There are no two ways about it: the Rangers are loaded. There’s barely a breather in the lineup, and they’re going to score runs. Vlad Guerrero has had a resurgent year – the Rangers got him on the cheap – and he leads the team in the triple crown categories. But he ain’t alone – Cruz, Andrus, Kinsler, and Young are all raking in their own right.

The Cubs also face two of the Rangers’ best starters in Holland and Wilson, and Lewis hasn’t been a slouch either. Holland has only started twice, however, so it’s possible the Cubs can get to him. Lewis was pitching in Japan last year, so maybe there’s a chance there, too.

marisa miller cubsSeries 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 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 Texas Rangers, we’ve got to go with a beautiful woman from Texas, right? Well, how about a beautiful woman from the neighboring state of Oklahoma?

Look, there’s no baseball team in Oklahoma, so if I want to include a certain lovely woman in the Series She-View, it’s now or never.

The lovely Oklahoman? The hottest nerd ever: Olivia Munn.

Olivia Munn is the sexy host of G4′s Attack of the Show, and today, she’s a Texas Ranger. As always, if it doesn’t make sense to you, take it up with the complaint department. How about a strategically placed arm match-up, where the women are topless, but you can’t really say they’re topless because they’re covered up? Score one for family values!

marisa miller topless

Versus

olivia munn playboy

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

14 responses to “Series Preview: Cubs v. Rangers, May 21 – 23, 2010”

  1. Kevin G

    I am very interested in this series, because the Rangers are a possible trade partner with the Cubs. It has been reported the Rangers would be will to part with Smoak to get the pieces to put them over the top. The Cubs are two pieces that might just do that in Lee and Lilly. If we could get Smoak for the two and add a couple of grade B- or C+ Prospects I would be happy.

    1. Bric

      I’d be even happier if we could get Derrick Holland. He’s got a much bigger upside than Justin Smoak.
      BTW: Does anybody know if we got anyone back for the Andres Blanco deal?

    2. Jeff

      Lee and Lilly????? Lee i could see moving, but Lilly has been the most consistently effective starter on the staff since he came here, no way do I include him in the deal for Smoak and some b grade prospects. If we had to include a starter, I would move Gorzelanny or Wells before Lilly, I’d rather they traded Silva, but I don’t see that happening unless he keeps this up through the all star break.

      1. Bric

        Lee and Lilly are both free agents next year and if we don’t make the playoffs I doubt either will be offered a deal to come back. So if we’re not over 500 by around June tenth then the Cubs will probably start selling. The only problem is both have no trade clauses so any deal would have to be a place where they want to go.

        1. KevG

          Lilly doesnt have a no Trade He is one of the few that doesnt. And Lee only des because of the 5 and 10 rule

      2. KevG

        Lilly is gone at the end of the season regardless, I would much rather trade him and get something for him. The Cubs arent going to resign him or Lee. From what I understand from the Rickett interviews they want to go younger in the years to come and signning Lilly isnt going to help that.

        1. KevG

          And dempster

          1. Bric

            Yeah, there are a lot of changes in the next two years. Ricketts is clearly going to be exercising a lot more control of the spending as opposed to the Tribune leadership who spending as much as possible before the bancruptcy hit (you can’t take it with you). This means a lot more sensible salaries invested in younger players and a farm system that produces. Tranlation: Year end right offs this year and next of Lee, Lilly, Silva, Z, Dempster, Fuke, and Ramirez. End of this year and into next year start bringing up Cahsner, Jackson, Jackson, Vitters, Dolis, Spencer and whomever else is getting the job done at the time. Business is business.

  2. Kevin G

    There is no way we are going to get Holland.

    1. Bric

      Well I doubt we’d get Smoak either. Just saying if we’re gonna build, I’d rather start with pitching. One guy I’d like to trade now is Vitters. He reminds me of a combination of Ryan Harvey, Felix Pie, Luis Montanez, and Corey Patterson (I know… pretty wierd combo).

  3. Kevin G

    But according to MLB trade rumors, the Rangers are willing to trade Smoak to get them over the top to make the playoff. So it is possible to get Smoak. They have like 2 other 1st basemen. Mitch Mooreland and Chad Davis which are other options for a trade with the rangers