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.
Starters: Travis Wood (4-5, 4.33), Jeff Samardzija (7-8, 4.25), Paul Maholm (9-6, 3.88),
- 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: 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):
- 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
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.
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.