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It’s series preview time again as the Chicago Cubs continue their road trip, and head to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals for the last time this year in St. Louis. The Cubs have little left to play for this year, but putting the final nail in the Cardinals’ playoff coffin certainly qualifies as something.

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 just took two of three from the Brewers as they continue their meaningless late August/early September winning ways. The team is 11-7 since Mike Quade took over on August 23.

The Cardinals are six games back of the Cincinnati Reds after splitting a four-game set in Atlanta. They’ve been in a tailspin since the last time they played the Cubs, and lost two of three: they’re 9-18 since then, going from near first to far from it. With just a few weeks left in the season, they’ll find it tough to make the playoffs, particularly if the Cubs take this series.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Monday, September 13 at 7:15 CT on CSN.
  • Tuesday, September 14 at 7:15 CT on WCIU.
  • Wednesday, September 15 at 7:15 CT on CSN/ESPN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

These lineups should be pretty close to reality.

Cubs

Starters: Jeff Samardzija (0-1, 18.90), Randy Wells (6-13, 4.61), Carlos Zambrano (8-6, 3.88)

Lineup (so hard to predict, what with the youngsters and all):

  1. DeWitt, 2B
  2. Castro, SS
  3. Byrd, CF
  4. Ramirez, 3B (should be back at some point)
  5. Nady, 1B (could be Soto here)
  6. Colvin, RF (or Fukudome, who would bat at the top)
  7. Soriano, LF
  8. Soto/Hill, C
  9. Pitcher

Cardinals

Starters: Jaime Garcia (13-7, 2.69), Adam Wainwright (18-10, 2.38), Chris Carpenter (15-6, 3.09)

Lineup:

  1. Felipe Lopez, 3B (could be Schumaker)
  2. John Jay, RF
  3. Albert Pujols, 1B
  4. Matt Holliday, LF
  5. Colby Rasmus, CF
  6. Yadier Molina, C
  7. Skip Schumaker, 2B
  8. Pitcher
  9. Brendan Ryan, SS

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Carlos Zambrano is pitching well. Like, ultramegawell. Since returning to the rotation in August, he’s seen his ERA drop with each start – from 5.61 to 3.88. Better still, he’s started to keep runners off base and strike guys out.

Jeff Samardzija will get his first big league start of the season as the Cubs observe for 2011. Samardzija has reportedly added a cutter and started pounding the strike zone.

I hate to say it, but Tyler Colvin’s been kind of awful lately: I can’t decide if his September line (.214/.214/.429) is worse than his August line (.215/.271/.367). Meanwhile, Kosuke Fukudome put up a ridiculous .365/.467/.651 line in August.

Jaime Garcia is the Cardinals’ answer to Starlin Castro, and a good answer he is. Folks seem to keep forgetting about him in the Rookie of the Year discussions, but it’s hard to imagine a guy with a 2.69 ERA and 13 wins (even though W/L record is a terrible stat, voters seem to care) not taking home the hardware.

Carlos Gonzalez’s ridiculous run has probably put the Triple Crown out of Albert Pujols’ reach, but he did recently become the first player in baseball history to start his career with 10 straight 30 homer, 100 RBI seasons (he broke his own record of nine seasons), so I think he’s going to be all right.

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.

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.

megan fox lipsYou’re welcome.

For the Cardinals, it’s always a difficult decision in this segment. On the one hand, they’re good – thus, they deserve a beautiful representative. On the other hand, I hate them, and want them to lose – thus, they should be given a hogbeast.

We’re going to go with Megan Fox on this one. I know what you’re thinking – but Megan Fox is smoking hot, how can that help the Cubs?

Well, Megan Fox is a fair representative for the Cardinals because her breakthrough role was in Transformers, and Albert Pujols is known as the machine. Howeva, she was recently booted from that franchise, and will be replaced in Transformers 3. And it’s this kind of recent failure that I’m hoping will psychically link the Cardinals and Megan Fox. Boom. Knowledge’d.

Oh, and it means we get to look at pictures of Megan Fox. Win, win. We’ll go with a wow-Marisa-Miller-and-Megan-Fox-are-topless-save-for-artfully-placed-hair-and-necklaces matchup.

megan fox naked

Versus

marisa miller topless

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