It’s Series Preview time again, as the Chicago Cubs welcome the streaking Houston Astros to Wrigley Field for a three-game set. Not unlike the Cubs, the Astros keep winning, but it keeps not mattering.
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
Although the Cubs got shellacked by the Mets in yesterday’s series finale, they took the first two games, their third series win out of their last four series. The team is now 8-4 in the imaginary Mike Quade Era.
The Astros have won 11 of 14, including a four-game sweep of the Phillies, and a humiliating-for-the-Cardinals-but-oh-so-delicious-for-us three-game sweep of the Cardinals. Get this: they’ve actually passed the Brewers, and now stand alone in third place in the NL Central.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Monday, September 6 at 1:20 CT on WGN.
- Tuesday, September 7 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
- Wednesday, September 8 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups should be pretty close to what actually gets thrown out there.
Starters: Casey Coleman (1-1, 5.76), Carlos Silva (10-5, 3.92), Randy Wells (6-12, 4.56)
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: Wandy Rodriguez (11-12, 3.71), Nelson Figueroa (2-1, 3.26), Brett Meyers (10-7, 3.02)
- Michael Bourn, CF
- Jeff Keppinger, 2B
- Hunter Pence, RF
- Carlos Lee, LF
- Geoff Blum, 3B
- Angel Sanchez, SS
- Brett Wallace, 1B
- Jason Castro, C
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Aramis Ramirez is finally hitting like Aramis Ramirez: .339 over his last 16 games with five home runs, tying him with Alfonso Soriano for the team lead at 22.
Starlin Castro’s batting average sunk to .317 after an 0-4 yesterday against the Mets. His average hasn’t been below .300 since late July – the last time the Cubs played the Astros.
Wandy Rodriguez is on fire – in his last 13 starts, he’s 8-2 with a 1.65 ERA. It’s like he sucked just enough for the first few months of the season that no one would trade for him. Once he decided it was safe, he started dominating.
But Rodriguez isn’t alone of late. The entire Astros staff has a 1.94 ERA over their last 14 games.
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 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 we’re going to keep going 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. At least Hilary is clearly a Back to the Future fan, as evidenced by her Doc Brown glasses in the above picture.