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I miss the classic Marlins logo.

The Marlins come to Wrigley Field, with Ozzie Guillen and Carlos Zambrano in tow.

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 one of, if not the, hottest teams in baseball. They’ve won 12 of their last 16, and just swept the Diamondbacks. They’re now just 16 games under .500, which is the best they’ve been in a long, long time. They still have the fourth worst record in baseball, though.

The Marlins are three games under .500, and nine games out in the AL East after splitting a four-game set with the division-leading Nationals. They’re trying to rebound from a miserable June.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Tuesday, July 17 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
  • Wednesday, July 18 at 7:05 CT on WGN.
  • Thursday, July 19 at 1:20 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.

Cubs

Starters: Travis Wood (4-3, 3.05) Jeff Samardzija (6-8, 4.71), Paul Maholm (7-6, 4.33)

Lineup:

  1. David DeJesus, CF
  2. Starlin Castro, SS
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Alfonso Soriano, LF
  5. Bryan LaHair, RF
  6. Darwin Barney, 2B
  7. Geovany Soto, C
  8. Luis Valbuena, 3B
  9. Pitcher

Marlins

Starters: Anibal Sanchez (4-6, 4.12), Josh Johnson (5-6, 4.28), Mark Buehrle (9-8, 3.13)

Lineup:

  1. Jose Reyes, SS
  2. Emilio Bonafacio, CF
  3. Carlos Lee, 1B
  4. Logan Morrison, LF
  5. Hanley Ramirez, 3B
  6. Greg Dobbs, RF
  7. Omar Infante, 2B
  8. John Buck, C
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Each of the Cubs’ three starting pitchers in this series are hot. Travis Wood has a 1.99 ERA in his last seven starts, Jeff Samardzija has a 2.57 ERA in his last two starts, and Paul Maholm has a 0.81 ERA in his last three starts (plus a relief appearance).

Starlin Castro is really scuffling. His line is down to a humble .284/.309/.410, and you can go all the way back to May 11, after which he’s hitting just .250/.282/.379. This is significant.

Carlos Lee isn’t exactly tearing it up since joining the Marlins. In his eight games with the Fish, he’s hitting just .259/.375/.296. Dig that OBP, though.

Jose Reyes is having a down year for the Marlins after signing a big-time free agent contract in the offseason. He’s hitting .264/.335/.374, which is acceptable for a shortstop, but not the kind you inked for more than $100 million.

Mark Buehrle has thrown four straight games going at least seven innings, striking out at least one per inning, and giving up no more than two runs.

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 is immature, and the connection to baseball is tenuous at best. These things, I know.

Stacy Keibler is now the most prolific representative for the Cubs on the year after a sweep of the Diamondbacks. She just doesn’t want to lose. And I don’t want to mind.

The Marlins get Miami local Eva Mendes once again. Good matchup. We’ll do some red carpet type pictures.

versus

  • http://www.backingthepack.com Rynomite

    You have an opportunity to give us Kiebler’s body and we get…

    Sigh.

    I smell an end to the winning streak and, once again, holding you personally responsible for not outhotting the opponent in the preview.

    • MikeW

      Agree 110 percent

    • Webb

      Stacy Kiebler is about 90% legs. It’s almost impossible to have a picture of her without them in it. And why would you ever want one?

  • TWC

    “I miss the classic Marlins logo.”

    Ha. Expansion team. Classic logo. Ha.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That’s part of the fun…

      • JoeyCollins

        AL East? Got Garza trade options on the mind as much as i do i guess.

    • jr5

      It is almost 20 years old. Logo itself probably is 20. “Classic rock” stations were playing ’70’s songs in the ’90’s.

      Good enough for me.

  • hansman1982

    I don’t miss the old logo – I hate teal.

    The new logo and colors are growing on me – definite Los Latin (yes continuing the stupid trend of “honoring” the hispanic community by putting los in front of something (seriously, do something better(like maybe a full on special uniform(with a full on latin sounding nickname))).

    • TWC

      ¿Qué?

      • hansman1982

        Comeon TWC, you know I don’t speak Russian, in English please.

        • leroy k.

          English Baxter, you know I don’t speak Spanish.. Sorry had to throw it in there, but Hansman, absolutely loved your comment!

    • Cerambam

      That was a very brett-esq use of parenthesis hansman

      • hansman1982

        he is my hero (at least when it comes to writing (that and his blog is pretty sweet (I wish I could have stuck with my blog (brett and I would be the best of friends by now)) and he does play a mean game of kickball (oh, I just heard there is a kickball league in des moines(I hope someone invites me to play there))))

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      )

      • SirCub

        Beat me to it.

    • BD

      Even worse, it’s not a straight up teal. It’s like a terrible cross between teal and turquoise.

      • TWC

        Tealquoise? Turqueal?

        • hansman1982

          Turk Wendell?

          It can’t be Turqueal, thats what I did when Theo was hired.

  • magilljl

    Carlos Lee loves him some Wrigley field though…

  • Chad

    What is wrong with Starlin?

    The funny thing is his average has decreased from about .316 to .284 his OBP had only deacreased from .318 to .309 (I didn’t look these beginning number up, but I am relativly certain that they are within a point or two of when the fall off began).

    He really seems to be rolling over on a ton of balls and grounding out to the right side of the field. I haven’t looked, but I bet his ground ball percentage has increased significantly during this slump.

    • Ari Gold

      He’s expanding his stike zone. Either he makes an adjustment or he’ll continue to struggle.

      • The Man. The Legend. The RBI King: Hack Wilson

        wrong; the new hitting coah is telling him to be more patient which is resulting in more walks; however he is getting behind in counts as a result and not getting his pitch. when guys come up from the majors like himself or vald guerrero that can hit anything thrown up there and are not plate discplinied; don’t teach them to do in the majors; just let starlin see a fastball 1st pitch and rip it……..he’s thinking too much and the cubs are screwing him up; just like the JH regime did with guys……..just leave him alone.

        • Chad

          I agree with this. He has taken a ton of 1st and second pitch strikes lately. I swear that the only 1st pitch fastball he has swung at in a long time is the homerun he killed right before the all-star game. Because of this he gets down in the count 0-1 & 0-2 quite a bit. He really needs to learn that if its a pitch he can rip, the rip it. If it is a pitch that is border line, let it go. Plate paitence is nice, but in Castro’s situation it seems to be killing him.

          • Noah

            My opinion is the exact opposite. My recollection is that I’ve seen Castro go 2-0 a number of times, then decide that the pitcher has to throw him a strike so he’s going to swing at anything. When this happens, he invariably makes weak contact and grounds out.

            If Castro can’t figure out that he can swing at an 0-0 pitch if it’s right down the middle, but shouldn’t swing 2-0 on a pitch outside the zone, he’s not going to be as special as we thought he could be.

      • hansman1982

        I think his strike zone has always been fairly large. Hopefully this is a case of the BJacksons where he has made some adjustments and will make further adjustments since those haven’t worked out and return to the hitter he was last year.

  • cubzfan23

    I personnally think the marlins are affraid of having big z pitch against the cubs… Any thoughts…

    • djriz

      agree. coming out of the all star break, ozzie could have set his rotation to have z pitch against us. he probably isn’t in the mood for that big of a circus.

  • Carew

    oh crap why did you put Eva Mendes?? we’re in for a battle boys

  • SirCub

    If the Cubs keep this up for long, I may fall in love with Stacy.

    • leroy k.

      already did!!!!

  • Cub Gone Wild

    Found this report on Dempster. Update.. The Redsox are not pursuing Dempster.

    RT @alexspeier More on Dempster: major league source said that #redsox aren’t actively pursuing him at this point http://t.co/jTFBPQzx about 3 hours ago

    • Carew

      Holy crud. Maybe the Yankees and Braves thing was true

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’ll have thoughts on that this afternoon. I don’t think it’s quite saying as much as it looks like.

  • donnie kessinger

    One down, nine more to go.

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