The Cubs open the final homestand of the year with the best bad team in baseball, the Houston Astros.
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 took the first of a four-game set against the Reds before dropping the final three. The world had momentarily shifted off its axis, but all feels right once again.
The Astros are the only team worse than the Cubs in the NL Central – by a whopping 13.5 games. When the Astros go for that first draft pick, they GO for it.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Friday, September 16 at 1:20 CT on CSN.
- Saturday, September 17 at 12:05 CT on WGN.
- Sunday, September 18 at 1:20 CT on CSN.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded.
Starters: Matt Garza (8-10, 3.54), Rodrigo Lopez (5-6, 5.04), Ryan Dempster (10-12, 4.66)
- Castro, SS
- Barney, 2B
- Ramirez, 3B
- Pena, 1B
- Byrd, CF
- Soriano, LF (LaHair has been sniping some starts here)
- Soto, C
- Colvin, RF (less and less)
Starters: Wandy Rodriguez (11-10, 3.51), Henry Sosa (2-4, 5.02), Brett Myers (5-13, 4.52)
- Jordan Schafer, CF
- Clint Barmes
- J.D. Martinez, LF
- Carlos Lee, 1B
- Brian Bogusevic, RF
- Jimmy Paredes, 3B
- Jose Altuve, 2B
- Humberto Quintero, C
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Matt Garza has killed it at Wrigley Field this year, which is good sign going forward. He’s got a 2.64 ERA at home.
Starlin Castro has reached base safely in 28 straight games. He’s also just seven hits short of 200 on the season.
Carlos Pena has three homers and 10 RBI in his last seven games. His batting average is the highest its been since 2008, and his .836 OPS is good for 9th in all of baseball (ahead of a couple guys named Howard and Teixiera). Bet you didn’t see that one coming.
Carlos Lee has hit safely in 21 of 23 games, and he’s got his OPS up to .783, which is impressive given that it treaded around Alex Rios territory for the first half of the year.
Wandy Rodriguez apparently took offense to all the trade deadline chatter that had him not worth half his contract – he’s gone 4-2 with a 3.00 ERA in his last seven starts.
The Astros’ offense is … not good. Homers aren’t the end-all be-all of offense, but, Matt Downs has eight, and he’s third on the team. E.I.G.H.T.
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.
We’re running out of series on the year, so it’s time to break out some favorites (and/or reps that I find humorous… as you’ll see), who may have no connection to either of the teams in the series.
Well, Kate Upton was an excellent (and surprisingly controversial) rep for the Cubs over the last few series, but it’s time to move on. I genuinely don’t remember if she’s yet made an appearance, but, even if she has, it’s happening: Miranda Kerr is the Cubs’ rep this series. No explanation necessary.
As for the Astros, they get Julianne Hough. She’s not actually from Texas, but doesn’t she seem like she would be? Whateves – she’s pretty. The Astros could use a little pretty in their lives.