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The Chicago Cubs head to Cincinnati to take on the (still) best team in the National League Central – best not only in record, but in the sense that they might be able to keep the Cardinals out of the playoffs. I may still have antipathy for Dusty Baker, but I can’t say I hate the Reds right now. 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 beautiful women, too.

We’re Going Streaking

The Cubs are heroes and champions. They came into Washington to take on a much more powerful, and nearly overwhelming Goliath of a team – and the Cubs swept ‘em. Of course, the Cubs are already out of the playoff race, so all they really did was hurt their draft position for next year… but I can’t lie. It still feels good to, you know, win.

The Reds have exploded their lead in the Central to four games over the Cardinals, and – unlike the Reds of the last 15 years – look poised to hold onto that lead. They’re 9-3 in their last 12.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Friday, August 27 at 6:10 CT on WGN.
  • Saturday, August 28 at 6:10 CT on CSN.
  • Sunday, August 29 at 1:10 CT on WGN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded.

Cubs

Starters: Tom Gorzelanny (7-7, 3.70), Randy Wells (5-12, 4.56), Casey Coleman (1-1, 5.68) (though this could change, given the off-day)

Lineup:

  1. DeWitt, 2B
  2. Castro, SS
  3. Byrd, CF
  4. Ramirez, 3B
  5. Nady, 1B (grumble, Mike Quade)
  6. Colvin, RF (double grumble, Mike Quade)
  7. Soriano, LF
  8. Soto, C
  9. Pitcher

Reds

Starters: Johnny Cueto (11-4, 3.62), Bronson Arroyo (14-7, 3.82), Edinson Volquez (3-2, 6.17)

Lineups:

  1. Brandon Phillips, 2B
  2. Paul Janish, SS
  3. Joey Votto, 1B
  4. Scott Rolen, 3B
  5. Johnny Gomes, LF
  6. Jay Bruce, RF
  7. Chris Heisey, CF (could be Drew Stubbs, since he kills the Cubs)
  8. Ramon Hernandez, C
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Alfonso Soriano just had his first good series in what feels like months (and it feels like months because it pretty much was) – he went 4-13 with two homers against his old team in Washington. I said good series, mind you. Not great series.

Casey Coleman will probably get his third start in this series after an impressive performance in Washington. Then again, all three Cubs pitchers dominated the Nats, so Coleman’s outcome may have had less to do with his own prowess and more to do with the Nats’ offensive futility.

Joey Votto continues to be a legitimate threat to take the Triple Crown. In fact, but for Albert Pujols, his threat would be the most credible at this stage in the season in 20 years. He leads the league with a .326 average, and he’s tied for second in homers with 31 (Pujols has 34) and in RBI with 90 (Pujols has 93).

After a stretch that saw Johnny Cueto pitch like the young stud he was supposed to be for the past several years, Cueto’s come back down, giving up 10 runs over his last two starts. Perhaps he should stick to kick boxing.

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.

isla fisher underwearSo, 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 Cincinnati Reds, it’s just got to be a redhead, no? They may not be from Cincinnati, but the fit is still there.

And while there aren’t an unlimited supply of hot redheads, there are certainly enough to take us through the 2010 season. This time, we’ll go with someone totally new.

Although she’s been around in the acting world for some time, it wasn’t until she played a psycho, sex nymph in the Wedding Crashers that we learned of the talents of Isla Fisher.

Although I’m fairly certain she used stunt boobs in the film, Isla was still hot throughout – and has been hot ever since.

isla fisher boobs

Versus

marisa miller red carpet

  • Kevin G

    Ace I have idea. Why dont we just throw someone out on 1st base next year and go hard after Adrian Gonzalez in 2012?

    • Jeff

      I would like to see it and see the team take a look toward the future and not the immediate present for once, but Hendry’s job is on the line this offseason and he knows it. There is no way he leaves the situation unaddressed this winter. They should have 20 million or so coming off the books after all the trades they made, but I think most of that is being eaten up by the ugly escalating contracts that he signed with our “old guard”and that leads me to believe they are going to make one or two moves and hope they contend. I think 1st base and a starter are going to be the only additions they make and I don’t know how much Hendry and Ricketts are going to spend, so I already have little hope for next year.

  • wax_eagle

    Kevin,

    I think what the Cubs do with 1b is a strong indication of whether they think they will contend next year. If they fill in house with someone weak is will probly mean they are giving up and waiting.

    If they sign someone to 1b with another position available (say like Wiggington), maybe they are taking a wait and see approach and will find a deadline rental.

    If they sign Dunn or Pena then they think the team is good enough to win the Central and they are looking to win now.

    • Kevin G

      They need a major over haul to contend next year. Only one of their SP are any where near reliable and their Bullpen sucks. Their offense is on again off again. We need to look pass next year and toward building up the team for the future.

      • brian

        I agree but the problem is that JH has these diluted thoughts of contention and that could be a huge problem. Instead of rebuilding and seeing if some of the prospects can become Major league talent I am afraid that he is going to dump our farm system for a couple of 30+ year olds whose best days are behind them. If the Cubs pick up a big name 1B then I see him making “A few of those big moves” involving dumping our prospects and receiving an aging veteran with nothing left to offer

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