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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.

Cubs

Starters: Ryan Dempster(?) (5-3, 1.86), Matt Garza (5-7, 4.02), Travis Wood (4-4, 3.92)

Lineup:

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

Cardinals

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):

  1. Rafael Furcal, SS
  2. Jon Jay, CF
  3. Carlos Beltran, RF
  4. Matt Holliday, LF
  5. Lance Berkman, 1B
  6. David Freese, 3B
  7. Yadier Molina, C
  8. Skip Schumaker, 2B
  9. Pitcher

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.

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 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.

versus

  • Jackalope

    A puma, indeed.

  • Cerambam

    …. dying laughing

  • bbmoney

    Blue Jays just got a SP as part of a trade with the Astros. Not sure JA Happ changes where the Blue Jays may go, but he is a SP. Can’t imagine that really closes their need if they want to compete still this year….but it certainly doesn’t help the idea of them being in for Garza.

  • Steve

    That picture gives me a funny feeling…

    • Cubbie Blues

      [img]http://dl.dropbox.com/u/77510188/al-bundy-exotic-masseur_a_GIFSoup.com.gif[/img]

  • Jackalope

    10 players involved in the trade. None seem like impact big leaguers or prospects, though.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/07/astros-blue-jays-complete-ten-player-trade.html

    • bbmoney

      No just a bunch of ehhhhh kind of players….still don’t like to see the Blue Jays get any kind of SP though.

      • Jack Weiland

        Hmm, not good. For what it’s worth, Wojciechowski is a high upside arm I would have liked to see back in a deal for Dempster or Garza. And I agree: don’t like seeing them get another pitcher. Says too much about them not going big after Garza.

  • Leroy K.

    Ah…Stacey…..

  • cubs217

    I dont care how many times I see her, I never get tired of a good Stacy Keibler picture. If no one has done this yet, I would like to call “Dibs” on her and proclaim her my future wife.

    • Other JP

      Unfortunately, I already called dibs on Stacey.

      She has an exceptional ass…et.

      • Carew

        And blonde…i’ll arm wrestle you both for her

  • Cheryl

    How about a rubber duckie for St. Louis?

    • Cheryl

      Of course that may be a disservice to the rubber duckie.

  • gratefulled

    Now that Stacy is the official representative of the Chicago Cubs – forever – could someone start photoshopping in some Cubs lingerie/swimsuits? Thanks.

  • gratefulled

    …and photoshop a shirt on Berkman while you are at it.

    • hansman1982

      how about just photoshopping Stacy into the picture and Berkman out…

  • cincycubfan

    Brett, even though it doesn’t really matter, thought you should know the Cubs are ONLY 12 games out of the second wild card.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You know, it occurs to me that, I SWEAR when I looked at the standings this morning, the Braves and Pirates were tied at 51-40. Now the Braves are at 50-41. Conspiracy!

      (Thanks.)

  • KidCubbie

    When was the last time Joe Mather got some playing time?

    • Jackalope

      Long after he actually deserved some.

  • TonyP

    3 straight games on WGN! WOOT

  • donnie kessinger

    The kid we just sined, Paniguia – Do you think he would be considered a top 10 prospect in our organization?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Based on the money, I’m guess the Cubs think he’s close.

  • stlcubsfan

    Ok, that Puma pic is gonna make me hurl.
    Heading to the games tonight and tomorrow night! Fully representin the Cubs faithful! Gonna be near the Cubs bullpen tonight, along 1B side tomorrow night. Excited to see Mr Rizzo in person. Excited to see the Cards go down. No matter what, always love Cubs/Cards series! GO CUBS GO!

  • Kevin

    Paniguia should be considered in the Cubs top 10.

  • willis

    A couple of weeks against division opponents that sit higher than you in the standings…let’s sweep them both and take this division!

    I kid, kinda, but I am holding out very slim hope that Demp pitches tonight and not Coleman. The brutal reality of what the likes of Freese, Beltran, Craig and Holday will do to Coleman makes me ill. If he pitches, my prediction is 14-2 Cardinals.

    • Ted

      What are you talking about

  • Kevin

    Any reason why the Dodgers report they have a trade offer on the table for Dempster but refuse to disclose what they have offered?

    • Chris

      It wasn’t a Dodgers press release that stated they made an offer. A reporter reported that they made an offer. There was no refusal to disclose. Teams don’t willingly disclose their trade proposals to the media. Sometimes info leaks, but they’ll only do a press release when the trade is complete.

  • Mysterious4th

    I love both pictures…but the cards picture should have been the back end of a donkey!

  • Pingback: Pre-Gamin’: Cubs v. Cardinals (7:15 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, etc. (Dempster Still Listed as Starting) | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary()

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  • Pingback: Pre-Gamin’: Cubs v. Cardinals (1:15 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, etc. | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary()

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