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It’s Series Preview time again, as the Chicago Cubs welcome the still-awful Houston Astros to Wrigley Field for a three-game set. It would be much easier to sling barbs at the Astros if the Cubs, you know, didn’t also stink.

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 beautiful women, too.

We’re Going Streaking

Well, I’m not saying it’s anything to get all riled up about, but the Cubs just took three of four from the Phillies, which is awesome. Of course, they lost three of four to the Dodgers heading into the All-Star break, so the excitement is tempered. They remain nine games under .500, and nine and a half out of first.

The Astros are 14 out, and just lost a series to the Pirates (hey, the Pirates DO beat other teams!). Without being too dramatic, anything short of a sweep and the Cubs will once again be near-certain sellers.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Monday, July 19 at 7:05 CT on WCIU.
  • Tuesday, July 20 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
  • Wednesday, July 21 at 1:20 CT on WGN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

These lineups should be pretty close to what actually gets thrown out there.

Cubs

Starters: Carlos Silva (9-3, 3.45), Ryan Dempster (8-7, 3.57), Ted Lilly (3-8, 4.07)

Lineup:

  1. Colvin, RF
  2. Castro, SS
  3. Lee, 1B
  4. Ramirez, 3B
  5. Byrd, CF
  6. Soriano, LF
  7. Soto, C
  8. Theriot, 2B
  9. Pitcher

Astros

Starters: Wandy Rodriguez (6-11, 4.97), Wesley Wright (0-0, 5.59), Brett Meyers (7-6, 3.35)

Lineups:

  1. Michael Bourn, CF
  2. Jeff Keppinger, 2B
  3. Lance Berkman, 1B
  4. Carlos Lee, LF
  5. Hunter Pence, RF
  6. Pedro Feliz, 3B
  7. Jason Castro, C
  8. Angel Sanchez, SS
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Aramis Ramirez cooled considerably in the latter two games of the Phillies series – he went 0-7 – but he’s still rocking it in July, generally, hitting over .400.

Carlos Silva is in a bit a funk; at least as much of a funk as he’s been in all year. After his hot start, he’s dropped three of his last four decisions, and has just a 4.50 ERA in his last six starts.

The Cubs once again get Wandy Rodriguez – he of the 1.67 ERA in his last four starts against the Cubs, and 1 million ERA against everyone else.

Jeff Keppinger is having a nice season for the Astros, hitting .280/.330/.389. Yup. I said that with a straight face. That’s because the team line is .236/.294/.346. It’s not hard to be a bright spot.

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.

hilary duff maximSo, 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 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 first Astros She-View of the season, we’ve got to go with someone who is actually from Houston: the beautiful Hilary Duff.

Having left her Disney days in the past many years ago, it’s now safe to believe that Hilary Duff is hot. You may be a pervert for any number of reasons, but you’re in the clear on this one. And I’ll take it as a given that you’re thankful I didn’t choose Renee Zellweger, who is also originally from the Houston area.

I still can’t get over the fact that both hers and Marisa Miller’s respective first names are totally misspelled. But whatever.

hilary duff hot

Versus

marisa miller guys

  • pygreg

    I love how we’re 9 under .500 but only 9.5 out. NL Central suuuuuuuucks

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