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The Cubs come back to Wrigley Field having beat up a bit on the Pirates, but having been swept by these Cardinals. Perhaps they can return the favor at home.

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 dropped the serious finale, but won their last series against the otherwise hot Pirates. They remain a healthy 17 games under .500.

The Cardinals, after sweeping the Cubs two series ago, took three of four from the Dodgers. They are 5.5 back in the NL Central, behind the Reds and Pirates.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Friday, July 27 at 1:20 CT on CSN.
  • Saturday, July 28 at 12:05 CT on CSN.
  • Sunday, July 29 at 1:20 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: Travis Wood (4-5, 4.33), Jeff Samardzija (7-8, 4.25), Paul Maholm (9-6, 3.88),

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: Lance Lynn (12-4, 3.10), Joe Kelly (1-3, 2.78), Adam Wainwright (8-10, 4.31),

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

Luis Valbuena is 0 for his last 15. Oof. Only slightly better, Darwin Barney has just three hits in his last 20 at bats.

Travis Wood has dropped both of his starts after the All-Star break, and has posted an 11.81 ERA in them.

Jeff Samardzija has gone the other way, posting a 1.87 ERA in his four July starts, and allowing just one run in his two post-All-Star break starts.

In addition to hitting for power, and getting on base, Matt Holliday is hitting .427(!) over his last 34(!) games.

It’s very difficult to face a team multiple times in a season, and pitch well against them. Lance Lynn is now 3-0 with a 0.93 ERA in three starts against the Cubs this year. That really isn’t easy to do.

Allen Craig has gone a bit cold, hitting just .246/.297/.391 in his last 18 games.

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.

Bar Refaeli stepped in for Stacy Keibler, and fared quite well, guiding the Cubs to a series win in Pittsburgh. She stays, we smiles.

Pfft. Like I’m going to give the Cardinals a normal representative … once again, they can have one of their own. At least maybe our lady readers will enjoy.

versus

  • Ashley

    Lets hope this series outcome is better than the last time we played them. Also here’s to hoping Dempster is gone soon, because he should have been a brave by now. Love the updates Brett, thanks and keep up the amazing work. You are definatly helping me get through this vacation.

  • Cerambam

    At HOM? What’s HOM?! Mistake mistake mistake I caught a mistake

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Baaaaaaaaa….

  • Bill

    Hopefully dumpster is gone before this series is over -_-

    • Twinkletoez

      hopefully he is gone before it starts :)

  • Tim

    Go Cubs Go!!!

  • Spencer

    Personally, I thought the finale in Pittsburgh was rather glib.

  • Ben

    I rarely visit cubs.com anymore after having started regularly visiting this site….I love this site! I finally found people that are as obsessed as me with the Cubs and baseball……I also have others that understand why I am angry at Dempster….Casual baseball fans will never understand the harm he did to the Cubs…..He has made me want Canada to win 0 medals in the Olympics…I am so mad I am pulling against his entire country

    • J R

      Yeah, I hear ya. It’s weird that a lot of fans think Demp isn’t to be blamed at all for any of this. Some people are clueless. It’s not the winter Olympics so you shouldn’t have to worry too much about the Canadians..

    • Professional_High_A

      Do people normally root for Canada at the Olympics?

  • Larry Bittner

    I know that this comment is off topic but I need to get this off my chest. Is anyone else getting really really really annoyed by the lack of excitement by Len Casper??? I know he’s a good guy, but, it’s like he get’s upset that his long, side stories are interrupted by a baseball game. For example, during the last game he went on and on about catchers framing a pitch, while Rizzo nearly hits a 2 run, game tying homer in the 8th, after which, he continues on with his stupid story. He is so out of touch with the game and very behind on his calls. (by the ways, even his home run calls don’t seem genuine. Is he even a fan of baseball?) Too reactionary, no insight regarding the division or league, and makes me sleepy. I think he’s signed through 2016. God help us all. Ok it’s off my chest. I feel better now.

    • The Show

      I have no issues with Len, I think he does a fine job.

    • J R

      Overall I like Len, and love Brenly and his snarkyness. I think both of them are in a tough position, knowing the Cubs could care less about winning right now. I do agree that Len can turn up the excitement a bit from time to time.

    • Njriv

      I have no problem with Len and Bob, what they do is kind of tough, especially since the Cubs haven’t finished a season over .500 since 2009. Sometimes we just don’t feel like watching, walk away for an inning or two, or just turn it off when the game gets ugly. Len and Bob don’t have that option, they have to stick around no matter how ugly it gets and watch how everything unfolds, win or loss and I respect the for that.

    • ColoCubFan

      That’s why I listen to radio. MUCH more entertaining!

  • J R

    Here’s to hoping that Wood gets the corner today from the homeplate ump. Otherwise it could be a long day.

    • Diesel

      I’ve figured it out. Only one starting pitcher with a mullet can pitch well in any particular month. In June when Shark was stinking it up Wood was awesome. Now Wood is stinking it up and Shark is doing well.

      • J R

        That is absolutely genius Diesel! Maybe one them can cut their hockey haircut into a rat tail or something. We can then get the best of both worlds!!

        • stlcubsfan

          hahaha. this made me laugh so much. :)

  • RY34

    Looking forward to tomorrow’s game, dont wanna watch another lance lynn domination! Come on cubbies, whip that bloated fool!

  • Ted
  • J R

    Well apparently Demp’s people don’t like enquiries on why he went back on his word on twitter. I tried to get some details.. Didn’t work out to well.

  • Steve

    “It’s very difficult to face a team multiple times in a season, and pitch well against them. ”

    Unless you are facing the 2012 Chicago Cubs.

    ZZZZZZZZING !!!!!

    • ColoCubFan

      I always chuckle when they talk about how well a free agent has hit lifetime in Wrigley Field. They never seem to connect the fact that they’re facing Cub’s pitching!

      • Diesel

        I mentioned that on here before

  • florida Al

    im passed the BAR, Im taking the BAR, im going to the BAR, Im raising the BAR, WOW…
    hubba hubba..

  • @cubsfantroy

    “It’s very difficult to face a team multiple times in a season, and pitch well against them. Lance Lynn is now 3-0 with a 0.93 ERA in three starts against the Cubs this year. That really isn’t easy to do”

    A lot of pitchers have looked like Cy Young candidates while facing the Cubs. Of course Lynn has been good against everyone.

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