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The DOOM stretch is here. After three in St. Louis, the Cubs head to Cincinnati for three, and to Philadelphia for four, before coming back home to host the Brewers and Yankees for four and three games, respectively. Like I said: DOOM.

By way of reminder, the Series Preview hooks you up with what you need to know about every series this year – streaks, broadcast information, pitchers, lineups, etc. That way you can look like a genius, hardcore fan in front of all your friends, with minimum effort. Oh, and there are pictures of beautiful women, too.

We’re Going Streaking

The Cubs have lost a few games in a row, though I can’t remember to whom. Must’ve been some really awesome team. They’ve also lost five of six, and have fallen to a season-high eight games under .500, and eight games out of first in the NL Central.

The Cardinals just dropped three of four to the Giants, but before that, they’d won five straight series. They sit atop the NL Central at 33-25, but smell like poo.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Friday, June 3 at 7:15 CT on WGN, MLBN.
  • Saturday, June 4 at 3:10 CT on FOX.
  • Sunday, June 5 at 1:15 CT on CSN, TBS.

Expected Starters and Lineups

These lineups should be pretty close to reality.

Cubs

Starters: Ryan Dempster (4-4, 6.00), Randy Wells (1-1, 5.40), Carlos Zambrano (5-2, 4.23)

Lineup:

  1. Fukudome, RF
  2. Barney, 2B
  3. Castro, SS
  4. Ramirez, 3B (though LeMahieu will get the start today)
  5. Pena, 1B
  6. Soto, C
  7. Colvin, LF (and/or DeWitt)
  8. Campana, CF
  9. Pitcher

Cardinals

Starters: Jaime Garcia (5-1, 3.28), Kyle Lohse (7-2, 2.13), Chris Carpenter (1-5, 4.52)

Lineup (it gets shifted around regularly):

  1. Ryan Theriot, SS
  2. Jon Jay, LF
  3. Albert Pujols, 1B
  4. Lance Berkman, RF
  5. Colby Rasmus, CF
  6. Yadier Molina, C
  7. Skip Schumaker, 2B
  8. Allen Craig (some position, and some spot in the order – I’m serious, it’s really hard to predict how it will sort out)
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Ryan Dempster’s had just one crummy start in his last six. He hasn’t been dominating, but he’s been consistently good. The only reason his ERA remains at 6.00 is because his April was so humblingly awful (April ERA – 9.38; May ERA – 3.03).

Darwin Barney is cold. Very cold. He’s got just 12 hits in his last 58 at bats, and just one walk and one extra base hit over that same stretch. I love his approach, and he’s a lot of fun to watch – but as I said when he was scorching hot to start the year, I just can’t see him as a starter on a playoff-caliber team.

Bet you’d never thought you’d see the day that the Cubs would enter a series against the Cardinals where the worst starter the Cubs face is Chris Carpenter. Strictly speaking, it’s true this time. Jaime Garcie and Kyle “Voodoo Magic” Lohse have been all kinds of awesome.

Speaking of Garcia, you know who’s kind of a dick? Tony LaRussa. He hung Garcia out to dry, leaving the young lefty in against the Rockies when Garcia clearly had nothing. Twelve runs and 3.1 innings later, LaRussa finally pulled the plug. The Cubs get Garcia’s rebound effort.

The rumors of Albert Pujols’ demise have been … well, not quite exaggerated. Through 57 games of his highly-publicized contract season, Pujols has a crappy .262/.333/.412 line, each falling dramatically short of his career .329/.422/.617 numbers. Still hope the Cubs give him $250 million? (Yeah, me, too.)

Series She-View

The Series She-View is one beautiful woman representing the Cubs taking on another (usually) beautiful woman representing the opponent. The Cubs’ representative will change as the team’s needs change – in other words, if the Cubs are winning, the rep will stay the same. But if the Cubs’ performance calls for a change, someone new will step in. The opponent’s representative will change from series to series, at my whim. But at least she’ll probably be wearing the opponent’s colors or have some connection to the team or something like that.

So, the RRK-suggested Nikki Cox-as-rep – something I’d openly resisted for some time – was a complete disaster. The Cubs were swept by the Astros, and she was only moderately nice to look at. Sorry, RRK.

This time around, we’re going back to basics: someone super crazy hot, with no real connection to the Cubs. How about Mila Kunis? She’s been super hot for a long time now, and her scene with Natalie Portman in ‘Black Swan’ made that entire weird flick watchable. Probably. I haven’t seen it. Not the entire weird flick, anyway…

As for the Cardinals, going with an unattractive rep didn’t work last time, so this time they can have Zoe Saldana. I kept meaning to include her at some point, and she popped into my head this morning, so there you go.

Who you got? Zoe has the Cardinals, but this picture of Mila might be the sexiest completely-clothed photo you’ll ever see.

mila kunis beautiful

Versus

zoe saldana hot red dress

  • Jeff

    Is it safe to say that this is the most important series of the season right here? A series win gives hope going into some very tough games, a lCards sweep sends the Cubs right down the toilet and ten+ games back.

    • Ace

      I don’t know about most important, but, you’re quite right that a sweep in the wrong direction could be the decision-maker about the Cubs selling.

  • Jeff

    Montanez in left, Colvin in center, and DJ starting at third tonight vs. Cards according to Cubs Insider.

  • Spencer

    the “kind of a dick” line cracked me up

    • Ace

      Thanks. I’d like to say it was a successful piece of wit, but with LaRussa, it’s just the way it is.

  • Cardfan

    Here’s to a good series that gets the juices flowing again. Would still like the Cubbies to make a run at it only to be 1 game shy of the Cards at the end of the season.

    • Ace

      It’s certainly more fun when the rivalry is actually spirited.

    • Raymond Robert Koenig

      The Cubs won’t make a run at it. 1 game out? It’ll be all they can do to stay ahead of the Astros.

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