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The Chicago Cubs are one of the hottest teams in baseball, but that was when they were playing teams marginally still in the race. Can they keep it up when not playing the role of spoiler?

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 still one of the hottest teams in baseball, having won 11 of 14, and four straight series.

Hey, here’s a shocker: after an already miserable Houston team unloaded its two best players at the deadline, the team has gone 3-10 and have lost six in a row.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Monday, August 15 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
  • Tuesday, August 16 at 7:05 CT on WGN.
  • Wednesday, August 17 at 1:05 CT on WGN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

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

Cubs

Starters: Rodrigo Lopez (3-3, 4.78), Ryan Dempster (10-8, 4.70), Casey Coleman (2-4, 7.23)

Lineup:

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

Astros

Starters: Henry Sosa (0-1, 6.00), Brett Myers (3-12, 4.71), TBA

Lineups:

  1. Jason Bourgeois, CF (or J.B.Shuck)
  2. Jose Altuve, 2B
  3. J.D. Martinez, LF
  4. Carlos Lee, 1B
  5. Brian Bogusevic, RF
  6. Jimmy Paredes, 3B
  7. Angel Sanchez, SS
  8. Carlos Corporan, C
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Casey Coleman finally returns to the bigs after pitching very well in AAA, but not because Mike Quade became more amenable to seeing what the youngsters have – it’s because Carlos Zambrano semi-retired.

Darwin Barney clearly (a) reads Bleacher Nation, and (b) responds well to criticism. He’s had seven hits in his last two games; all I have to say is: it’s totally unsustainable. Go forth, Darwin.

Starlin Castro might finally need a breather after yesterday’s 0-5, 4 K day. Then again, the day before he was 4-5, so I can understand why it’s hard to find a good time to give him a day off.

This Astros squad bears little resemblance to the team the Cubs played just a few weeks ago. And that one stunk. This one would get its ass kicked by that one.

I’d be lying to you if I pretended to know who most of the guys in the lineup are. Ok, I’d be lying if pretended to know who anyone but Lee, Sanchez, and Bourgeois are (and the latter two are stretching it).

I’ve read, though, that Jose Altuve has a nine-game hitting streak, and has hit safely in 21 of 24 games. Good for him.

The one name you do recognize for sure is Carlos Lee, who’s hitting just .135 in his last 15 games. It probably doesn’t help your production when you have no one around you whom pitchers know, let alone fear.

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.

It remains impossible to change the Cubs’ current rep, Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (yes, it’s still impossible – good thing this hadn’t all started when the Cubs’ rep was a burrito).

Under her watch, the Cubs put together their first three-game winning streak of the year. And, after a tiny, little five-game losing streak, the Cubs swept a four game series in Pittsburgh, and then won another three series on top of it. She’s earned a particularly sexy photo this time.

As for the Astros, how about someone who was at one time quite notable, but has fallen into relative obscurity? Oh, and she was born in Houston, to boot. I speak of Shannon Elizabeth. If she’s been working since ‘American Pie,’ you’d never know it. But, man, she used to be really good looking.

Versus

  • Seth Majewski

    If the cubs dump ramirez at end of year, vitters could be used as a backup to someone or used as a platoon. He isnt hitting too bad in AA. He has a .284 AVG, 12 HR 65 RBI 4 SB and 24 2B. He might not be ready to come up opening day but a mid season call up is possible

    • MichiganGoat

      I’d like to see him start in AAA and like yo said be a mid-season call up. I’m completely against bring ARam back, we won’t be playoff bound next year so use the money on pitching and let the players we have compete for 3B.

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