Well, the last couple series have been a total pile of dog waste, so let’s hope the Astros represent the Cubs’ turnaround point. If nothing else, at least we all get to take in beautiful and historic Minute Maid Park!
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 have lost six in a row, but, thanks to some struggles at the top of the NL Central, they’re still only seven games back (oh what might have been if the Cubs had won, say, four of those six games). The Cubs are a season worst 11 games under .500.
The Cubs are three back of the Astros, who are actually in fourth place in the NL Central at 18-23. They’re a bit cold of late, though, having lost nine of fourteen.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Monday, May 21 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
- Tuesday, May 22 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
- Wednesday, May 23 at 7:05 CT on WGN.
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: Matt Garza (2-1, 2.58), Travis Wood (0-0, 4.50), Jeff Samardzija (4-2, 3.00)
- David DeJesus, RF
- Tony Campana, CF
- Starlin Castro, SS
- Bryan LaHair, 1B
- Alfonso Soriano, LF
- Ian Stewart, 3B
- Darwin Barney, 2B
- Koyie Hill, C
Starters: Bud Norris (4-1, 3.58), J.A. Happ (3-3, 4.96), Wandy Rodriguez (3-4, 2.24)
- Jose Altuve, 2B
- Jed Lowrie, SS
- Brian Bogusevic, RF
- Carlos Lee, 1B
- Travis Buck, LF
- Chris Johnson, 3B
- Justin Maxwell, CF
- Jason Castro, C
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m watching Koyie Hill.
So many Cubs are decided not hot. In his last 14 games, Starlin Castro is going just .241/.246/.328. In his last 10 games, Bryan LaHair is going just .158/.273/.316. Ian Stewart, who didn’t need another slump, is going just .188/.316/.188 in his last five games.
At least Alfonso Soriano is hot. Since the last day of April, Soriano’s line is an excellent .308/.366/.554, best on the team. Still waiting on an AL team to get desperate for a DH…
Travis Wood gets start number two on the year, taking the place of Chris Volstad. His first start was decent, and he’s going to get at least a few more to lock down a rotation spot.
Since the Astros are surprisingly not horrible thus far this year (it’s early in his tenure, but new GM Jeff Luhnow ain’t no slouch – I’m certainly not bummed about the Astros leaving the NL Central), it’s fair to expect then that they’ve had some surprisingly good performances. Wandy Rodriguez and Bud Norris have both been solid in the rotation, and you can expect them to be licking their chops at the prospect of facing a down Cubs’ lineup.
Jed Lowrie is hitting .273/.354/.461, Jose Altuve is hitting .318/.369/.448, and Carlos Lee is hitting .295/.356/.432.
Rule 5 Draftee Marwin Gonzalez isn’t lighting the world on fire, but he’s doing enough to stick around with the Astros, for now.
The Astros’ bullpen has been ridiculous, headlined by Brandon Lyon (1.76 ERA), Wilton Lopez (1.85), and Brett Myers (1.93).
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.
So, Emilia Clarke’s stay for the Cubs is going to be considerably shorter than her run on ‘Game of Thrones.’ After a sweep at the hands of the White Sox, another change is needed. Let’s go back to the Victoria’s Secret farm system (after all, the Cubs had the best success with Marisa Miller at the helm), and offer the job to Erin Heatherton. Like Marisa before her, Erin has thrown out the first pitch at Wrigley Field, which makes me assume she’s a Cubs fan, which makes me like her even more. Here’s hoping the Cubs win a few.
For the Astros, how about native Texan Alexis Bledel? I saw her on ‘Mad Men’ a couple weeks ago and thought she might make for a nice representative should the opportunity arise.
Given the Wrigley Field connection, this one’s got to go to Erin, right?