On the bright side, the Cubs are coming back home after a miserable road trip. On the dark side, they get to host the first place Reds.

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 have lost eight in a row, after being swept by the Padres. They had been pretty hot before this stretch, although none of us can actually remember what that felt like anymore.

The Reds have lost four in a row, and were just swept by the Brewers, but, before that, they were the hottest team in baseball, winning 15 of 16. They lead the NL Central by 2.5 games, and they actually have the second best record in baseball.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Thursday, August 9 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
  • Friday, August 10 at 1:20 CT on WGN.
  • Saturday, August 11 at 3:05 CT on CSN.
  • Sunday, August 12 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: Chris Volstad (0-8, 7.22), Justin Germano (1-1, 3.38), Travis Wood (4-8, 4.77), Brooks Raley (0-1, 15.75)


  1. David DeJesus, RF
  2. Brett Jackson, CF
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Alfonso Soriano, LF
  5. Starlin Castro, SS
  6. Steve Clevenger/Welington Castillo, C
  7. Josh Vitters/Luis Valbuena, 3B
  8. Darwin Barney, 2B
  9. Pitcher


Starters: Mike Leake (4-7, 4.51), Homer Bailey (9-7, 3.98), Bronson Arroyo (7-7, 4.05), Johnny Cueto (14-6, 2.58)


  1. Zack Cozart, SS
  2. Drew Stubbs, CF
  3. Brandon Phillips, 2B
  4. Jay Bruce, RF
  5. Scott Rolen, 3B
  6. Ryan Ludwick, LF
  7. Todd Frazier, 1B
  8. Ryan Hanigan, C
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Pick a Cub, pick a Cub, pick any Cub at all, and you can probably find a Cub who’s quite cold. The West Coast trip was a brutal one for the Cubs’ offense, with the youngsters having a rough adjustment to the bigs, Starlin Castro continuing his slump, and David DeJesus and Alfonso Soriano each starting a slump.

At least Travis Wood pitched fairly well in his last start after some recent struggles. Of course, pitching against the Padres at Petco can do that for you.

Chris Volstad will look to build off of his first end-to-end good start of the year.

What’s most amazing about the Reds’ recent hot month? They’ve done it almost entirely without Joey Votto, who isn’t expected to be back for this series, either.

Aroldis Chapman is back to being ridiculous: he hasn’t given up a run in his last 18 games.

Jay Bruce has been doing his best to carry the offensive load in Votto’s absence. He’s got a .900 OPS in his last 19 games.

Also helping fill in? Super sub Todd Frazier, who’s got a .262/.321/.506 line on the year. At just 26, you wonder if the Reds might try to find a starting spot for him next year.

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.

I’m going to spit in the face of bad luck, and keep Alison Brie as the Cubs’ rep. You bet they just got swept – by the Padres, no less – on her watch, but I’m going for a reverse mojo kind of thing. Also, she’s so pretty, it would be a crime to share this space with her only once.

As for the Reds, we stick with the ye olde redhead theme. Here’s a random one: Alicia Witt. She’s been in a variety of movies, and an episode or two of ‘The Sopranos,’ but you may never have seen her before. But she stuck in my head for whatever reason.


  • Dr Rich

    I hope the Cubs can split…at least….

  • Fishin Phil

    Brett, you probably feed black cats, dance under ladders and break mirrors just for kicks.

    • hansman1982

      all at the same time…

    • JMack4568

      If those black cats are wearing pajamas, you bet he does.

      • HoustonTransplant

        Ha. Well done.

  • Stu

    I wonder if BJax is doing any mental visualization like “bat meets ball”. I know, I know strikeouts are actually a good thing. Back to the baseball re-education camp for me.

    • BlueHorizons

      I hear Samardjiza was doing some mental visualization recently….”bat meets knee”

  • Patrick G

    Really hope the cubs can stick it to the Reds and allow the pirates to pass them. They’re the team I’m rootin for this year…

    • Cubs Psychologist

      I agree with you Patrick G!! Let another team who hasn’t been there in a long time get a taste. Then, the Cubs can actually get back there soon!

    • BlueHorizons

      Agreed… MUCH rather have the Pirates in the post season, than the Reds (mostly because of Dusty Baker) or the Cards

      • Patrick G

        I can’t stand the Reds especially Joey Votto. I think I despise the Reds more then the Cards at this point

  • ibcnu2222 (John)

    Christina Hendricks would be good for the reds. We could have January Jones for us and have a Mad Men duel.

    • TWC

      I think that was done last season. Or the season before?

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Can’t remember when, but yup, it’s been done.

        • ibcnu2222 (John)

          I guess I am just a big fan of Hendricks’s front side.

  • Flashfire

    You should do Alison Brie vs. Gilian Jacobs and use the shots from the GQ photo shoot… Excuse me… have to go take a cold shower…

  • Diesel

    I love alicia witt damn you brett for making me have to root against her. Btw she was also the crappy clairinet(sp) or whatever instrument it was in Mr Holland Opus. She was just really you and geeky at the time.

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