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It’s Series Preview time again, as the Chicago Cubs head down to Houston to face yet another terrible team that they simply cannot beat. At least the team gets the privilege of playing in beautiful Minute Maid Park.

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

The Cubs – for years now – have followed this kind of script: take three of four and two of three from teams like the Phillies and Cardinals, but lose two of three to teams like the Astros. Sigh. So it was last week.

Outside of that series against the Cubs, the Astros haven’t won a series in three weeks, when they swept the Pirates. The Astros are 14.5 games out of first in the Central, and, like the Cubs, find themselves looking to sell this week before Saturday’s trade deadline.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Monday, July 26 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
  • Tuesday, July 27 at 7:05 CT on WGN.
  • Wednesday, July 28 at 1:05 CT on CSN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

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

Cubs

Starters: Carlos Silva (9-4, 3.86), Ted Lilly (3-8, 3.88), Randy Wells (5-7, 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: Wesley Wright (0-0, 4.40), Brett Meyers (7-6, 3.24), Bud Norris (2-7, 6.08)

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

The primary Cub to watch is Ted Lilly; no, not because he’s had back-t0-back excellent starts, but instead because he may not be a Cub come his scheduled start.

After a scorching start to July, Aramis Ramirez has cooled off – but at least not playing like the mere shadow of himself that he was for the first few months of the season. His compatriot Derrek Lee is finally hot, by the way – he’s riding an 8-game hitting streak, and in the last two weeks, he’s quietly raised his slash line from .230/.328/.366 to a more respectable .251/.338/.391.

You know the scoop with Carlos Silva: back-to-back terrible outings (didn’t get past the second inning in either).

You know who’s been awful this year? Carlos Lee: .234/.277/.382. That’s bad.

Brett Myers has been on fire of late, and like Ted Lilly, is plainly on the block.

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.

ashlee simpson boobsSo, 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, and this time we’re going with a beauty we haven’t yet seen.

We’ve seen her sister, though.

That’s right. This time, we’ll be going with the younger Simpson sister: Mrs. Pete Wentz, Ashlee Simpson.

Incidentally, Ashlee’s sister Jessica looks a bit like Marisa Miller, so it’s almost a match-up of sisters here. Who you got?

ashlee simpson hot

Versus

marisa miller blonde

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