The Cubs head out to St. Louis to take on the Cardinals, who’ll be having their home opener this series. Why is that significant? Because they’re going to get certain hardware. Right in front of the Cubs’ faces. Sweet.
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, expected lineups, etc. That way, if you want to check only one place to get a sense about an upcoming series, or to plan ahead, you’ve got it. Oh, and there will be pictures of beautiful women, too.
We’re Going Streaking
The Cubs are on a one-game winning streak, and I’m pretty pleased about that. Sure, they’re 2-5 overall, but that’s just a few games under .500, right?
The Cardinals are a mirror image 5-2, but they are on a one-game losing streak. Clearly things are starting to turn.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Friday, April 13 at 2:15 CT on WGN, MLBN.
- Saturday, April 14 at 12:05 CT on FOX.
- Sunday, April 15 at 1:15 CT on CSN.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded, but you’ll want to check each day’s Pre-Gamin’ post for the actual lineup.
Starters: Jeff Samardzija (1-0, 1.04), Chris Volstad (0-0, 5.40), Paul Maholm (0-1, 13.50)
- David DeJesus, RF
- Darwin Barney, 2B
- Starlin Castro, SS
- Alfonso Soriano, LF
- Bryan LaHair, 1B
- Ian Stewart, 3B
- Geovany Soto, C
- Marlon Byrd, CF
Starters: Adam Wainwright (0-1, 4.76), Lance Lynn (1-0, 1.35), Jake Westbrook (1-0, 0.00)
- Rafael Furcal, SS
- Jon Jay, CF
- Carlos Beltran, RF
- Matt Holliday, LF
- David Freese, 3B
- Matt Carpenter, 1B
- Yadier Molina, C
- Daniel Descalso, 2B
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
It’s a small sample size, obviously, but so far so good for Bryan LaHair. He’s going .375/.444/.688 in 18 plate appearances.
It’s hard to see Steve Clevenger not getting another start at some point this weekend. He’s got six hits in nine at bats, three of them doubles. The man he backs up, Geovany Soto, has just three hits and two walks in 19 plate appearances.
Alfonso Soriano is hitting .304 with a .343 OBP, but without any extra base hits, he’s slugging just .304. Don’t look now, but David DeJesus has a .444 OBP.
Marlon Byrd is 0 for his last 19, was pulled for a pinch hitter late on Wednesday, and was benched yesterday in favor of Reed Johnson. I suspect he’ll be back in the starting lineup for two, if not all three, of this series’ games. But the Cubs undoubtedly want to see some improvement in his approach at the plate, even if the results come later.
We get to see Jeff Samardzija try to follow up his dazzling first start, but it’s a tough task, taking down this Cardinals lineup.
The Cardinals have been brilliant both offensively and pitching so far this year. As a team, they’ve got 27 extra base hits in just 7 games, and have scored 37 runs.
David Freese and Rafael Furcal have been killing it so far, sporting lines of .429/.448/.750, and .407/.467/.593, respectively. Freese already has three homers. Seriously, how do the Cardinals keep finding guys like that? Voodoo magic, that’s how.
Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina also have OPS over 1.000 at this point, and the team’s line is an absurd .301/.371/.514.
Lance Berkman is expected to miss this series with a strained calf, which is fine with me.
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 is immature, and the connection to baseball is tenuous at best. These things, I know.
To start the 2012 Chicago Cubs season off on the right foot, I thought they needed to be represented by a woman who had, herself, had the most successful offseason of all supermodels. She graced the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and was feature in some commercials for a baseball video game (I’d be lying if I said I paid the kind of attention necessary to tell you what game). Yes, I’m talking about the beautiful, ever-present, Kate Upton.
So, Kate hasn’t done so well for the Cubs. But she’s going to get *one* more chance to hold things together. Maybe the problem is that the previous pictorial representations have been too sexy. So, let’s get her nice and fully clothed. She’s still hot.
For the Cardinals, it occurred to me that model Kelly Brook has never made an appearance in the She-View. Since the Cardinals are the champs (sigh), and Kelly looks good in red, it’s a fit. And it’s a tough match-up for the Cubs.