We’ll all try very hard not to be intractably preoccupied by the trade rumor stuff, and remember that there’s a series going on – one in which the Cubs can put their boot on the neck of the Cardinals’ playoff chances. This actually begins a stretch where the Cubs play no one but the Cardinals and Pirates for a couple weeks.
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 the hottest team in baseball, having won 14 of their last 19. They remain 13.5 out in the NL Central, though, and 12 out in the Wild Card.
The Cardinals are a couple games over .500, but remain five games out in the NL Central, thanks to the streaking Pirates, and to their own cool streak – they’ve lost five of six since the All-Star break.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Friday, July 20 at 7:15 CT on WGN.
- Saturday, July 21 at 6:15 CT on WGN.
- Sunday, July 22 at 1:15 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: Ryan Dempster(?) (5-3, 1.86), Matt Garza (5-7, 4.02), Travis Wood (4-4, 3.92)
- David DeJesus, CF
- Starlin Castro, SS
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Alfonso Soriano, LF
- Bryan LaHair, RF
- Geovany Soto, C
- Darwin Barney, 2B
- Luis Valbuena, 3B
Starters: Kyle Lohse (9-2, 2.80), Jake Westbrook (7-8, 3.82), Lance Lynn (11-4, 3.27)
Lineup (it’s such a jumbled mess to predict because of their insanely deep bench):
- Rafael Furcal, SS
- Jon Jay, CF
- Carlos Beltran, RF
- Matt Holliday, LF
- Lance Berkman, 1B
- David Freese, 3B
- Yadier Molina, C
- Skip Schumaker, 2B
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Ryan Demspter is working on a 33 inning scoreless streak, but, well, you know.
Unfortunately, Bryan LaHair and Starlin Castro (outside of that one homer) remain quite cold. At least they’ve each hit some balls hard lately.
Break up Geovany Soto – the maligned catcher is hitting .321/.387/.500 in his last eight games.
Reed Johnson is an incredible 42 for his last 118. He’s just obliterating lefties right now. Ditto Jeff Baker.
After an ice cold start, Matt Holliday resumed his usual awesomeness, hitting .347/.430/.552 since April 23.
David Freese is hitting .403 over his last 21 games.
Kyle Lohse is 3-0 with a 2.34 ERA in his last five starts. Voodoo freaking magic.
Since June 8, Rafael Furcal has a whopping .500 OPS.
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 remains the most prolific representative for the Cubs on the year after yetanother series win. She just doesn’t want to lose. And I don’t want to mind. And, since it’s the Cardinals, the Cubs get a particularly good picture of Stacy.
Pfft. Like I’m going to give the Cardinals a good representative … at least they can have one of their own.