The Chicago Cubs welcome one of their few peers in the league, the New York Mets. What makes them a peer? Large city team with a storied history and lots of loyal fans? Nah. Large payroll with little success.
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 6-3 in the Mike Quade Era, having won, you know, six of their last nine. They just took a series from the Pirates for the first time this year, so you can be assured they’re riding appropriately high.
The Mets are the opposite in their last nine, having lost six of the contests. Still, they’re only a couple games under .500, and 12 out of first in the East. That’s not to say they’re still in it – they’re not – but they’ve certainly faired a lot better than the Cubs.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Friday, September 3 at 1:20 CT on CSN.
- Saturday, September 4 at 12:05 CT on WGN.
- Sunday, September 5 at 1:20 CT on WGN.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups are likely to be close to the real deal.
Starters: Randy Wells (6-12, 4.50), Casey Coleman (1-1, 5.76), Carlos Zambrano (6-6, 4.36)
Lineup (Quade has been wont to change it up regularly, so these are some guesses):
- DeWitt, 2B
- Castro, SS
- Byrd, CF (Fukudome is seeing a lot of time)
- Ramirez, 3B
- Nady, 1B
- Colvin, RF (same Fukudome note)
- Soriano, LF
- Soto/Hill, C
Starters: R.A. Dickey (9-5, 2.57), Jenrry Mejia (0-2, 3.25), Jon Niese (8-7, 3.70)
- Luis Castillo, 2B Jose Reyes, SS
- Josh Thole, C
- David Wright, 3B
- Chris Carter, RF
- Carlos Beltran, CF
- Ike Davis, 1B
- Lucas Duda, LF
- Ruben Tejada, SS
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
When Randy Wells beat the Reds last weekend, it was his first win since July 23. Good things W/L is a terrible stat – he’s actually pitched fairly well over the last month and a half.
Starlin Castro has his average back up to .317, after seeing it fall under .310. He’s now officially qualified for the batting title race, where he trails leader Joey Votto by about 10 points.
Your RBI leader for the Cubs this year? Prepare to be shocked, then a little disgusted: it’s Aramis Ramirez, with 69.
Jon Niese was the Mets’ resident Rookie of the Year candidate until a rough patch bit him in August. Combine that with the continued excellence of the Jaime Garcia, Buster Posey, Jason Heyward, and Starlin Castro contingent, and odds are he’s fallen out of the race.
The Mets are without Jason Bay (concussion) and Jose Reyes (oblique strain), so if this series meant something, that would be very convenient.
David Wright is having a nice bounce-back year for the Mets, and he leads the team with 22 homers and 87 RBI, to go with a .292/.364/.503 line.
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 Mets, there is truly an entire universe of beautiful women from which to select. New York? Here’s a tip: go there. Even if you’re a hairy, food-covered slob, you’re going to find a woman to love you in New York City, and she’ll probably be an aspiring model.
That said, I’ve decided to go in a slightly different direction on this one. Instead of going with a classically “hot” chick, the Mets will be represented by a woman who is synonymous with New York. She’s hilarious, and the truth is, she actually is pretty hot. It’s 30 Rocker, funny hotty Tina Fey. With the 30 Rock season premier just around the corner, the choice feels particularly appropriate.
It’s a red carpet match-up, and although I love the Cubs, I do love to laugh. So it’s a tough one. Look! Tina’s making Marisa laugh already!