Ah, yes. Real teams.
After beating up on the hapless Astros (who, it should be pointed out, beat up on the hapless Cubs the last time the teams played), the Cubs head to Milwaukee to take on a real, live baseball team.
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 are on an honest-to-God winning streak. Three games, baby! Just 18 more and it’s .500 city.
The Brewers just lost a series to the Giants, including back-to-back games in their last two. Before that, they’d been on a bit of a hot streak, winning eight of their last 13. They’re in a sort-of-percentage-pointy-tie atop the NL Central with the Cardinals and the Pirates (at just five games over .500… freaking Cubs).
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Tuesday, July 22 at 7:10 CT on WGN.
- Wednesday, July 23 at 7:10 CT on CSN.
- Thursday, July 24 at 1:10 CT on WGN.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded.
Starters: Ryan Dempster (7-7, 5.00), Carlos Zambrano (7-5, 4.70), Randy Wells (2-3, 6.17)
- Fukudome, RF
- Castro, SS
- Ramirez, 3B
- Pena, 1B
- Byrd, CF
- Soriano, LF
- Soto, C
- Barney, 2B
Starters: Chris Narveson (6-6, 4.45), Zack Greinke (7-4, 4.84), Shaun Marcum (9-3, 3.35)
- Corey Hart, RF
- Nyjer Morgan, CF
- Ryan Braun, LF
- Prince Fielder, 1B
- Rickie Weeks, 2B
- Casey McGehee, 3B
- Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
- Jonathan Lucroy, C
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Before his crappy start against the Phillies last time out, Ryan Dempster had a 1.99 ERA in his previous seven starts.
Kosuke Fukudome had a 1.350 OPS in the series against the Astros, which could help the Cubs in their effort to deal him.
Also scorching hot: Marlon Byrd. He’s gone .359/.397/.547 since July 4, the third game after he returned from his face injury.
I know it’s not nice to point out, but Starlin Castro is really, really cold, and has been for a month. He’s got just 22 hits and 4 walks in his last 102 plate appearances.
For the Brewers, Ryan Braun is predictably hot, hitting .421 with four homers in his last five games.
Prince Fielder, on the other hand, has finally suffered through a cold stretch after being all universe for three months. He’s gone just .178/.315/.222 in his last 13 games, and he’s got just one homer in July.
For the praise the Brewers get for “going for it” this year and destroying their farm system in trades, Zack Greinke hasn’t been particularly good.
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.
There’s little to say for the Cubs’ rep this week. Under Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s beautiful watch, the Cubs put together their first three-game winning streak of the year. That she beat up on Jessica Simpson and the Astros doesn’t make her accomplishment any less impressive. She stays.
As for the Brewers, I’ve become accustomed to picking random beautiful women with beer (or, at least, bikinis with beer logos on them). Some things never change.