It’s Series Preview time again, as the Chicago Cubs head south to take on the woeful Houston Astros. Let’s hope the Cubs aren’t the cure for those woes.
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
After a nice stretch, the Cubs have come back to earth, having lost four of five, including two of three to the Cardinals, and two more in a row to the best team in the National League, the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Cubs stand five games under .500, and six and a half out of first.
The Astros are buried in the cellar of the NL Central, 11 games out, but just swept a fairly decent Washington team, and have won four of five.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Friday, June 4 at 7:05 CT on WGN.
- Saturday, June 5 at 6:05 CT on CSN.
- Sunday, June 6 at 1:05 CT on WGN.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups should be pretty close to what actually gets thrown out there.
Starters: Carlos Zambrano (1-3, 6.12), Carlos Silva (7-0, 3.12), Ryan Dempster (3-5, 3.72)
Lineup (tons of speculation based on Lou’s comments about shaking things up) (updated and edited to reflect Monday’s actual lineup):
- Fukudome, RF
- Byrd, CF (Colvin will get in at some point this week)
- Lee, 1B
- Ramirez, 3B (sigh)
- Fontenot, 2B
- Soriano, LF (pro tip: make sure your best hitter gets the third fewest at bats)
- Soto, C
- Castro, SS
Starters: Felipe Paulino (0-7, 4.40), Roy Oswalt (3-7, 2.78), Brett Meyers (3-3, 3.04)
- Michael Bourn, CF
- Jeff Keppinger, 2B
- Lance Berkman, 1B
- Carlos Lee, LF
- Hunter Pence, RF
- Pedro Feliz, 3B
- Tommy Manzella, SS
- Kevin Cash, C
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Carlos Zambrano finally returns to the rotation, after a game that wasn’t against the Pirates. The lineup he now faces is slightly more potent (in the same way that a hermit crab is slightly more lively than the shell in which he lives), but the Pirates have pwned the Cubs all year, so perhaps he’s thankful for the rain out.
Alfonso Soriano has been the Cubs’ best hitter this year, but he’s in a bit of a funk, having gone just 4 for his last 26, with 9 Ks and just 2 extra base hits. The shine has also come off of Starlin Castro’s, who’s slash line has fallen to .297/.340/.396 after being as high as .357/.419/.518 just over a week ago.
For the Astros, Felipe Paulino has been the evil doppleganger of Carlos Silva – 0-7. That likely means he’ll pick up his first win against the Cubs. The other starters in the series – Roy Oswalt and Brett Meyers – have actually been pretty good this year.
They’ve got Lance Berkman going a bit lately, but on the year, he’s been more Fat Elvis than Big Puma – he has a .793 OPS. Ditto Carlos Lee, whose OPS is just .609.
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.
For the Astros, it’s a brutal decision. Everything is bigger in Texas, and apparently, the women are better looking. There are a number of beautiful women who hail from the Lone Star State, but for the second Astros Series She-View of the year, we’re going back to a classic: the hot and acceptably round Jessica Simpson.
Sure, she’s gotten bigger in recent years, but that bigness, well, it went everywhere. And that’s just fine.
Thus, we’ll make this a bosomy (read: boob-centric) match-up. Who you got?