It’s series preview time again as the Chicago Cubs welcome the now slightly improved Atlanta Braves. I’ll always root for the Cubs, but when a certain hulking first baseman comes up for the Braves, I’ll probably give him a cheer or two.
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. So there’s that.
We’re Going Streaking
The Cubs have resumed their embarrassing ways, getting swept in four by the San Diego Padres. They’re now a season-high 22 games under .500, and 20.5 games out of first in the NL Central. But the good news is they’re still 9.5 in front of the Pirates!
The Braves are the next opponent on the Cubs’ first-place-team swing. Atlanta is ahead of the Phillies in the East by percentage points, and they’ve yet to lose a series in August.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Friday, August 20 at 1:20 CT on CSN.
- Saturday, August 21 at 3:10 CT on FOX.
- Sunday, August 22 at 1:20 CT on WGN.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups should be pretty close to reality.
Starters: Ryan Dempster (11-8, 3.62), Tom Gorzelanny (6-7, 3.85), Randy Wells (5-11, 4.44)
- Colvin, 1B(?) / Fukudome, RF
- Castro, SS
- Byrd, CF
- Ramirez, 3B
- Fukudome, RF / Nady, 1B
- Soriano, LF
- DeWitt, 2B
- Hill, C (Soto could be back on Sunday)
Starters: Jair Jurrjens (5-4, 3.92), Tommy Hanson (8-8, 3.41), Mike Minor (1-0, 3.75)
Lineup (a bit of a guess):
- Omar Infante, 2B
- Jason Heyward, RF
- Martin Prado, 3B
- Brian McCann, C
- Derrek Lee, 1B
- Matt Diaz, LF (Matt Stairs)
- Melky Cabrera, CF
- Alex Gonzalez, SS
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Starlin Castro Average Watch sees his attempt to win the batting title as a rookie take a series hit this week, and drop to .312.
Ryan Dempster has been quietly great lately, giving up just three earned runs in his last three starts combined.
Tyler Colvin will finally get back in the lineup after an extended time off – ostensibly to rest and get his head right after a slump, but I suspect there was also some prepping to play first while the Cubs showcased Kosuke Fukudome and Xavier Nady.
As for the Braves, do I really have to say it? The man to watch is the man who used to be in the other dugout: Derrek Lee. For me, I hope he hits four homers in each game and gets a curtain call each time. He deserves it.
I’m sure some other Braves have been hot (or not), or deserve to be watched, but I doubt I’ll notice in this particular series.
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 is still hot, just one year older, I’ve chosen to stick with supermodel Marisa Miller.
For the Atlanta Braves, there remain quite a few good options: 90210 hotty AnnaLyne McCord, songstress Kelly Rowland, or gracefully-aging actress Julia Roberts.
But we’ll be going with the most beautiful woman ever featured on ESPN: miss Erin Andrews. Before she was an ESPN vixen, Erin Andrews got her start on Turner South, covering all the teams in Atlanta. And thus, she’ll be covering the Braves for us this week. Well, not literally. Don’t tune into the game, and then be totally disappointed when you don’t see Erin Andrews.
So, the ridiculously hot sideline analyst come Dancing with the Stars Dancer, or the ridiculously hot model? Now, although Erin Andrews is unbelievably attractive, she is also unbelievably modest – as evinced by the picture below. And yet, she still looks great. So we’ll go with a particularly immodest picture of Marisa Miller to make up for it. Who you got?