The Chicago Cubs are bookending the NL East right now, having just played the still-pretty-good bottom-dwellers (the Marlins), and now playing the all-kinds-of-crazy-good first place team (the Phillies).

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 three of four to the Fish, and stand a season-low 20 games under .500. But, as Mike Quade reminded us on Friday, now is not the time for bold changes.

The Phillies have a 3.5 game lead in the NL East, and have won seven straight series. The Cubs haven’t won a series in their last eight tries. Just think about that stark disparity for a moment.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Monday, July 18 at 7:05 CT on WCIU.
  • Tuesday, July 19 at 7:05 CT on CSN, MLBN.
  • Wednesday, July 20 at 1:20 CT on CSN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

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


Starters: Rodrigo Lopez (1-2, 4.02), Matt Garza (4-7, 3.97), Ryan Dempster (7-6, 4.68)


  1. Fukudome, RF
  2. Castro, SS
  3. Ramirez, 3B
  4. Pena, 1B
  5. Byrd, CF
  6. Soriano, LF
  7. Soto, C
  8. Barney, 2B
  9. Pitcher


Starters: Roy Halladay (11-3, 2.45), Cliff Lee (9-6, 2.82), Vance Worley (5-1, 2.15)


  1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
  2. Michael Martinez, 3B
  3. Chase Utley, 2B
  4. Ryan Howard, 1B
  5. Raul Ibanez, LF
  6. Carlos Ruiz, C
  7. Dominic Brown, RF
  8. John Mayberry, Jr., CF
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Rodrigo Lopez, in his last three starts, is 1-1 with a 2.04 ERA. So, um, trade him?

Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood have been abysmal in July, but you already knew that.

Starlin Castro has quietly dropped his 2011 OPS below his 2010 mark. That’s not good.

When you’re facing Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee in a series, and neither of them has the best ERA you’ll face, you’re in trouble.

Which reminds me, who the hell is Vance Worley? As if the Phillies of all teams need a rookie to step up and be a dominant starting pitcher. I’m just saying, nobody would complain if their fifth starter looked a bit more like the Cubs’ fifth starter. Or fourth starter. Or third starter. Or second starter.

Speaking, though, of Cliff Lee – did you know that the Cubs were the only team to score a run off of him in June? Just one run, mind you.

Ryan Howard has an 18-game hitting streak at Wrigley Field, and, if the wind is blowing out this week like it was yesterday, I’m putting the over/under on Howard bombs at 12.

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, Misa Campo – still don’t know who she is – didn’t exactly do much for the Cubs. She was lovely looking and all that, but the Cubs didn’t, you know, win. It’s been a problem for most of the team’s representatives this year. I’m starting to think maybe the problem is the Cubs…

How about Alex Morgan for the Cubs? It was a solid World Cup performance for the U.S. Women’s Team, and Morgan scored the first goal yesterday. But then the U.S. team lost, which is what made her an appropriate representative for the Cubs.

As for the Phillies, they get Kaitlin Olson. She’s the woman on ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.’ So, yeah. There are those dots connected for you.


  • RY34

    cubs have no shot at a win in this series, i know you still have to play them, but they should just throw up the white flag in this series and save the arms!

  • Hogie

    Is her chest caving in? She looks like Skeletor’s prom date.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ouch. Funny.

  • http://www.bobbyfunzone.com bobbyd

    Can’t we just swap the current Cubs team for the Women’s National Football (Soccer) team?

    I mean, those ladies are at least gamers and they’re a helluva lot easier on the eyes.

    What is it about those football/soccer ladies?

    Is it the tight and muscular thighs and calves? The way their hips and their, uh…yeah.


    • http://www.bobbyfunzone.com bobbyd

      I was gonna add “…pelvis moves…as though on ball-bearings.”

  • die hard

    your website is great…so dont need T and A to spice it up…just saying…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I know, DH. You said it last time, too. It’s a popular feature. If more folks decide they don’t like it, I’ll change it up. But, for now, people like it. It’s silly, different, and fun.

      I do, however, appreciate the feedback.

    • hardtop

      first of all: a girl in a sweatshirt and “skelators prom date” do not qualify as t&a.. tits and ass, and i see neither. second: what the heck is wrong with you? even if you are a woman, you must agree, when previewing cubs series, there has to be something entertaining involved? there is certainly no entertainment value in discussing matchups etc. becasue the cubs dont matchup to anyone.
      predication: cubs take one in this series on some flukey mishap.

    • Jeff

      You also don’t need Old Style to watch the Cubs lose all summer, but it sure makes it more fun!

  • auggie1955

    With Fukudome leading off the majority of the time, it really shows you how lost Quade is at managing. Fukudome’s numbers for June were .229/315 and for July .244/.295. For Quade that’s good enough to lead off, under Sweet Lou it was either the bench or a platoon in RF. Of course the Cubs were short OF’s with the injury to Byrd, but if all Fukudome is going to do is draw walks then bat him 8th in front of the pitcher. I would rather see Castro and Barney batting 1 and 2.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I didn’t realize Fukudome had been that bad in June/July, but then again, that’s his MO.

      • willis

        The definition of insanity…Same shit happens every year. And he is still force fed to us all.

  • willis

    It simply amazes me every time I think of how well run the Philles’ organization is. And the exact opposite are the Cubs. It’s painful.


  • die hard

    Let Campana lead off and play left, center or right everyday for 100 at bats and then lets see…

    • hardtop

      man, i like your faith in this guy. let me guess: campana is “cousin ann-tah-nee”. i hope you’re right about him. we sure could use some speed going forward, but he’d need to have at least a .370 obp to be really useful with those legs ;)

      • Hogie

        I would take a .350 OBP with his wheels. The problem is he would have to hit .310 to get it, and (just for you Brett) his OPS would still only be about .750! He needs to be more patient, just like the rest of them. That said, an outfield of Campana, Jackson, and Sczur someday in the near future would be fast… really fast, and would make for some fun games to watch.

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