The Chicago Cubs begin their second AL West interleague series today as the Oakland Athletics head to Wrigley. Hopefully the Cubs play the Athletics as well as they played their AL West chums, the Texas Rangers. Time for the Series Preview.
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
Oh, Cubs. Lost a series to the White Sox. Lost a series to the Brewers. Lost a series to the Astros. Lost a series to the Pirates. Lost a series to the Cardinals. That’s right – the Cubs have lost five consecutive series. They’re seven games out of first and seven games under .500, and all is not well in the kingdom.
The Athletics were just swept by the Giants, which put them a game under .500. It’s been a tough June for the team, having won just four times in 13 games. They’re four games back in the AL West.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Tuesday, June 15 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
- Wednesday, June 16 at 7:05 CT on WGN.
- Thursday, June 17 at 1:20 CT on CSN.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups are usually pretty close.
Starters: Carlos Zambrano (2-4, 6.05), Ryan Dempster (4-5, 3.74), Randy Wells (3-5, 5.15)
Lineup (never the same, man):
- Theriot, 2B (Fukudome or Byrd; or Fontenot in a different spot)
- Colvin, RF (Fukudome or Byrd)
- Lee, 1B
- Ramirez, 3B (Byrd)
- Byrd, CF (Colvin or Soriano)
- Soriano, LF
- Soto, C (Hill)
- Castro, SS
Starters: Trevor Cahill (5-2, 2.91), Gio Gonzalez (6-4, 3.79), Dallas Braden (4-6, 3.95)
- Rajai Davis, CF
- Daric Barton, 1B
- Ryan Sweeney, RF
- Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B
- Jack Cust, LF
- Adam Rosales, 2B
- Landon Powell, C (Kurt Suzuki is on bereavement list, so he could be back)
- Cliff Pennington, SS
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Marlon Byrd will still make you scream. The Cubs’ center fielder is still scorching hot, with his average up to .333 and his biceps up to 85″. He’s hitting over .500 in his last 40 at bats.
Ryan Theriot is quietly putting together an acceptable June – he’s hitting .310 for the month with a .356 OBP.
It’s no secret that Randy Wells has been brutal in his last handful of outings, and his spot in the rotation is probably going to come under fire as long as he continues to struggle and as long as Tom Gorzelanny continues to be a member of the bullpen.
Trevor Cahill is on fire, winning four times in his last five starts, with a 1.90 ERA in that stretch. Dallas Braden had a perfect game this year. It was neat. That’s all.
Offensively, the Athletics are not exactly a juggernaut – a .707 team OPS is not great, even considering where they play half of their games.
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 Athletics, I was ready to go with the cheesy pun, and pick a woman who is – wait for it – athletic. That would have provided me with a panoply of options, presumably far greater than the city of Oakland could afford. If you’ve been to Oakland, it doesn’t exactly scream hot chicks.
But then I stumbled upon a beautiful, albeit lesser known, woman who hails from the city across the Bay. Her name is Lyndsy Fonseca, and if you haven’t already, take a look at the picture to your right. I’m guessing you’re noticing two things: 1.) whoa, she’s hot; and 2.) whoa, I’ve seen her in a bunch of things, but I had no idea what her name was. For those with the latter stumbling block, you’ve seen Lyndsy in such shows as Big Love, How I Met Your Mother, and Desperate Housewives (ok, maybe you haven’t seen her in Desperate Housewives – and, uh, neither have I!). She was also featured in the recent Hot Tub Time Machine.
But most importantly: Lyndsy Fonseca is hot. Thus, she represents the Athletics in this Series She-View. And, hey, what do you know? She looks plenty athletic after all.