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The Chicago Cubs take on the very good San Francisco Giants this week. I imagine that the Giants are thrilled to be playing the Cubs right now in the midst of a heated pennant race – you know, now that the Cubs have decided to actually compete. 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 Chicago Cubs are, well, really hot. They’ve won 17 of 24 under Mike Quade, including back-to-back sweeps of the Cardinals and Marlins. Sure, they’ve long been eliminated from the playoff race, but they’re playing spoiler better than an IMDB message board.

The San Francisco Giants are 10-6 in September, catapulting them into a half-game lead in the NL West over the sagging Padres. They’re also in the Wild Card race, if necessary, standing 1.5 behind the Braves.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Tuesday, September 21 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
  • Wednesday, September 22 at 7:05 CT on WCIU.
  • Thursday, September 23 at 6:05 CT on CSN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

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

Cubs

Starters: Carlos Zambrano (9-6, 3.75), Randy Wells (7-13, 4.46), Ryan Dempster (14-10, 3.50)

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

  1. Fukudome, RF
  2. Castro, SS
  3. Byrd, CF
  4. Ramirez, 3B
  5. Nady, 1B
  6. Soriano, LF
  7. DeWitt, 2B
  8. Hill/Castillo, C
  9. Pitcher

Giants

Starters: Matt Cain (12-10, 3.08), Jonathan Sanchez (11-8, 3.21), Madison Bumgarner (5-6, 3.27)

Lineup:

  1. Cody Ross, CF (Andres Torres had an appendectomy a couple weeks ago and is expected back soon)
  2. Freddy Sanchez, 2B
  3. Aubrey Huff, 1B
  4. Buster Posey, C
  5. Pat Burrell, LF
  6. Jose Guillen, RF
  7. Juan Uribe, SS
  8. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Carlos Zambrano is hot. Scalding hot. Insanely hot. Best-in-baseball kind of hot. In August, he was 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA, and we thought “hooray, the Cubs might be able to trade this guy!” In September, he’s 3-0 with 1.25 ERA, striking out 20 in 21.2, allowing just 19 baserunners, and we thought “no, don’t trade this guy!”

Jeff Baker has been the definition of a platoon player this year. He’s hitting lefties at .350/.388/.555, while hitting righties at a hilarious .108/.183/.123. Also, he was born in Germany, so he can never be president. Poor guy.

For the Giants, Matt Cain has won three straight decisions, giving up 7 earned runs over his last 22 innings.

Mike Fontenot, whom we probably won’t see much of, has a .295/.340/.318 line in his time with the Giants. That’s neither hot nor not, but I thought you should know.

Did you know that Aubry Huff can still hit? He’s gone .290/.383/.513 this year for the Giants.

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.

alicia silverstone boobsSo, 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 Giants, I was torn. On the one hand, I could go with someone from San Francisco. On the other, I could go with a giant. Finding that the world is disappointingly short on hot giants, I decided to go with the most beautiful woman from San Francisco I can think of.

If you’re like me, you remember her as that-incredibly-hot-chick-from-those-Arrowsmith-videos. Or maybe secretly from ‘Clueless.’ But you’d never admit that.

Yes, the representative for the San Francisco Giants is San Fran native, Alicia Silverstone. This one will be a red carpet match-up.

alicia silverstone black dress

Versus

marisa miller strapless

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