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.
Starters: Ted Lilly (1-3, 4.65), Randy Wells (3-2, 4.13), Carlos Silva (5-0, 3.35)
- Fukudome, CF
- Theriot, 2B
- Lee, 1B
- Byrd, CF
- Ramirez, 3B
- Soriano, LF
- Soto, C
- Castro, SS
- Hmm, DH? Colvin and Nady are the prime candidates. Not sure where they’ll hit, though.
Starters: Colby Lewis (3-2, 3.68), Derek Holland (2-0, 2.38), C.J. Wilson (3-1, 2.55)
- Elvis Andrus, SS
- Michael Young, 3B
- Ian Kinsler, 2B
- Vlad Guerrero, DH
- Josh Hamilton, CF
- Nelson Cruz, RF
- Justin Smoak, 1B
- David Murphy, LF
- 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.
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!