When you really stop and think about how the Ryan Dempster stuff played out, we don’t have a justification for being annoyed with the Dodgers. They didn’t want Dempster all that badly, and they knew they had the Cubs over a barrel. Why would they relent and give the Cubs a good return? Still … I kind of dislike them right now.
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 lost the final two games in a three-game set with the Pirates, after having won back-to-back series against those Pirates and the Cardinals.
The Dodgers are a half game back of the Giants in the NL West, but they were just swept by the Diamondbacks. That sweep came on the heels of their own sweep of the Giants (before which they lost three of four to the Cardinals (before which they swept the Mets)), so the NL West titans are just beating up on each other.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Friday, August 3 at 9:10 CT on WGN.
- Saturday, August 4 at 8:10 CT on CSN.
- Sunday, August 5 at 3:10 CT on ? (No, seriously, I actually don’t know.).
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: Jeff Samardzija (7-8, 4.19), Chris Volstad (0-7, 7.94), Justin Germano (1-1, 3.38)
- David DeJesus, CF
- Starlin Castro, SS
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Alfonso Soriano, LF
- Bryan LaHair, RF
- Steve Clevenger, C
- Darwin Barney, 2B
- Luis Valbuena, 3B
Starters: Chad Billingsly (6-9, 3.89), Clayton Kershaw (8-6, 2.95), Aaron Harang (7-6, 3.76)
- Shane Victorino, LF
- Andre Ethier, RF
- Matt Kemp, CF
- Hanley Ramirez, SS
- James Loney, 1B
- Mark Ellis/Jerry Hairston, Jr., 2B
- Luis Cruz, SS
- A.J. Ellis, C
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Alfonso Soriano has his highest OPS+ since 2008, and has gone .323/.344/.613 in his last eight games.
Jeff Samardzija’s July ERA was a svelte 1.91.
Starlin Castro is hot again, hitting .385/.407/.769 in his last six games. His OPS had actually slipped as low as .715.
Chris Volstad gets yet another shot to stick in the Cubs’ rotation. The first step? Having his first good start, from beginning to end. You don’t get to an 0-7 record with a near-8 ERA by having a bunch of good starts.
Since coming back from a short stint on the DL with elbow inflammation, Chad “Peter” Billingsley has a 0.68 ERA in two starts.
Despite the hoopla, Hanley Ramirez is hitting just .226/.333/.419 in his first eight games with the Dodgers.
How about this: Andre Ethier has had a hit in all but three of his last 16 games, yet he’s hitting just .262/.348/.344 over that stretch. Pretty crazy, huh?
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 is going to keep the job for the Cubs for at least one more series. Yes, they lost the last one to the Pirates, but they’d been pretty hot under her pretty hot watch before that.
As for the Dodgers, I’m sticking with the native Southern California thing, and sticking with Katy Perry. Bar gets a slightly kinder picture.