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This series may not have as much meaning as the last few, but at least it’s finally against a team with a record comparable to the Cubs.

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 will be pictures of beautiful women, too.

We’re Going Streaking

The Cubs lost the first series in the Crosstown Cup to the White Sox this week, giving them back-t0-back series losses for the 347th time this season. Incidentally, the Cubs haven’t won back-to-back series all year.

After a warm start to the 2011 season, the Royals have fallen back to the comfortable spot they call home: last place in the AL Central. They’ve lost five in a row and seven of eight, and stand 13 games under .500 (which, sadly, makes them a game better than the Cubs).

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Friday, June 24 at 7:10 CT on WGN.
  • Saturday, June 25 at 6:10 CT on WGN.
  • Sunday, June 26 at 1:10 CT on CSN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

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

Cubs

Starters: Ryan Dempster (5-6, 5.46), Carlos Zambrano (6-4, 4.50), Randy Wells (1-1, 5.70)

Lineup:

  1. Fukudome, RF
  2. Castro, SS
  3. Ramirez, 3B
  4. Pena, 1B
  5. Soriano, LF
  6. Johnson, CF (also Campana)
  7. DeWitt, 2B (also Baker, also LeMahieu)
  8. Soto, C
  9. DH (Cubs will probably give Ramirez a day as DH, ditto Soriano)

Royals

Starters: Bruce Chen (4-1, 3.59), Danny Duffy (1-2, 5.03), Luke Hochevar (4-8, 4.97)

Lineup:

  1. Melky Cabrera, CF
  2. Eric Hosmer, 1B
  3. Billy Butler, DH
  4. Eric Gordon, LF
  5. Jeff Francoeur, RF
  6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
  7. Brayan Pena, C
  8. Alcides Escobar, SS
  9. Chris Getz, 2B

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Thank God for Starlin Castro. He’s got a ridiculous .444/.490/.644 line over his last 11 games, and gives us all something to cheer for.

Carlos Pena also continues to rake. Despite a dreadful start to his time with the Cubs, he’s got his OPS up to .790, and he’s homered in three straight games.

In May and June, Ryan Dempster has a 3.38 ERA over 10 starts, seven of them “quality.” That stretch includes terrible outings against St. Louis and Florida, so he’s actually been pretty dominant in most of his starts the last two months. You can see why other teams are asking about him.

As for the Royals, Bruce Chen comes of the disabled list for his first start since early May. He was surprisingly good on the year until he went down with a lat strain.

Alex Gordon – remember him when he was an uber prospect? – is actually pretty hot right now, riding a 10-game hitting streak. He’s hitting .333 with two homers and 10 RBI during that stretch.

Jeff Francoeur, on the other hand, is not hot. He’s got just five hits in his last 42 at bats.

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 something like that.

Well, Minka Kelly just didn’t bring the Cubs the same magic that she brings the Yankees and Derrek Jeter. So be it.

It’s time to move on to someone new.

You know who’s crazy hot? Victoria’s Secret model Erin Heatherton. Where has the world been hiding her? I only became aware of her recently, but, once I saw that she was from Skokie, Illinois, I knew she had to represent the Cubs asap. If we ever move back to the one-rep-for-the-whole-season thing, she’s a definite candidate. I can say with confidence that she’ll be sticking around for a few series, regardless of the outcome.

The Royals can have themselves a royal (I’m so clever): the new Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Middleton. She’s the one who married Prince William in that whole wedding hullabaloo earlier this year. Er, uh, so my wife tells me.

We’ll also give the Cubs an unfair advantage in the pictures sizes. Because this is my place.

Versus

  • Fishin Phil

    Based strictly on the She-view, Cubs take two out of three.

  • D-Day Simpson

    Great to see an almost real Royal for Royals
    Cubs still 2 out of 3. Glad you didn’t pick The Duchess sister or it would have been a reverse.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Ace

      Yeah, that sister is smoking.

  • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

    Not bad, but she kind of needs a steak sandwich.

  • miggy80

    GUlp………….good choice Ace!

  • D-Day Simpson

    Next time pick from this royle family
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Royle_Family

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Ace

      But… they’re so ugly.

      • D-Day Simpson

        Might give the cubs the win then as the duchess is winningC

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