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The NL Central tour continues, with the Cubs heading to Milwaukee to take on the Brewers.

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 are pictures of beautiful women, too.

We’re Going Streaking

The Cubs dropped three games in three days to the Reds, but thanks to the almost impossibility of sweeping a doubleheader, it wasn’t actually a sweep at the hands of the Reds.

The Brewers just split a four-game set with the Phillies after pulling off a seemingly unmatchable stretch where they were swept by the Rockies, and lost two of a three to the Astros.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Monday, August 20 at 7:10 CT on WCIU.
  • Tuesday, August 21 at 7:10 CT on CSN+.
  • Wednesday, August 22 at 1:10 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:  Justin Germano (2-2, 3.91), TBA (could be Chris Rusin, making his big league debut), Travis Wood (4-9, 4.83)

Lineup:

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

Brewers

Starters: Mark Rogers (0-1, 4.94), Marco Estrada (0-5, 4.52), Yovani Gallardo (12-8, 3.67)

Lineup:

  1. Nyjer Morgan, CF
  2. Rickie Weeks, 2B
  3. Ryan Braun, LF
  4. Aramis Ramirez, 3B
  5. Corey Hart, RF
  6. Jonathon Lucroy, C
  7. Jean Segura, SS
  8. Travis Ishikawa, 1B
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Anthony Rizzo is fighting through that “adjustment” phase, and has just four hits in his last 23 at bats, and just one homer in August.

Speaking of adjustments, Josh Vitters is not hitting terribly well right now in the bigs. His line through 34 plate appearances is just .091/.088/.121 for a negative 44 OPS+. From my perspective, he’s actually hit the ball pretty hard a bunch of times, but hasn’t had much luck. I’m not saying it’s all a luck issue, but I’m sure that’s in there somewhere.

Starlin Castro is hitting .407/.448/.667 over the past week.

Ryan Braun has four homers in his last four games, but is still a donger.

Yovani Gallardo’s ERA is just above two in August.

Aramis Ramirez is a bit cold, with just a couple hits in his last 12 at bats.

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.

In a decision that will be met with universal scorn, I’ve decided it’s time to move on from the lovely, but always losing, Alison Brie. Sticking with the Thursday NBC sitcom theme, the Cubs’ representative will now be the quirky but cute Aubrey Plaza from ‘Parks and Rec.’

As for the Brewers, the old standby is the old standby: beautiful woman with beer.

versus

  • Drew7

    Starlin Castro is hitting .407/.448/.667 over the past week.

    So, what’s the verdict? Did he all of a sudden get his timing corrected? Get comfortable with his hitting coach? Did he lower his hands?

    I kid. Glad to see he’s hitting the ball again.

    • fortyonenorth

      Was reading Charlie Lau Jr.’s book on hitting (written some time ago) and he was describing a young Sammy Sosa during his White Sox days. The description (physical build, raw talent, plate discipline, other quirks) is a dead-ringer for Castro.

      • art

        are you saying Castro will be taking steroids in the future? kidding.

        • Diesel

          If he does he won’t be setting up fake websites to lie about what he did.

      • art

        should have said corking his bat.

  • JB88

    I criticize the Brie move because winning for the Cubs now should be losing. In other words, the more the Cubs lose the better the draft pick and the more money they have with which to work.

    If the Cubs go on a long winning streak, Brett, I blame you and you alone …

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Haha.

  • TWC

    *That* is a beautiful woman with beer? Really? You run out of buxom tavern maid pics? Yikes. The Brewers might never win another game with that as their representative.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      (The answer to your semi-rhetorical third question is basically yes … )

    • Spriggs

      She does have a very impressive grip.

  • Spriggs

    I never realized how hot the Parks and Recreation gal really is.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It is frequently masked.

      • swaz46

        Nice job with the Parks & Rec girl…but I’m not happy about losing Brie. I’ll try to get over it.

    • Ron Swanson

      Perhaps not surprisingly I support the switch to Aubrey Plaza. And to bacon.

  • http://www.acubsblog.com WAIW

    Vitters BABIP is .130. Looking really hard for that silver lining.

    • Spriggs

      You can always break out the young for his league thing.

  • Dougy D

    Brie is hot, but definitely needed a change. I am also a fan of the NBC Thursday lineup and the lovely ladies within it.

    Oh, and by the way, I do appreciate when that you are speaking of Ryan Braun that you remind us that he is “still a donger.” Well played, Sir.

  • Nathan

    Brett and Luke, I know it is early still but what guys do you think the Cubs should go after in the draft. Do you think they should stay away from Appel if he is there? And would you rather them pick the top pitching prospect Hollon? or go with Whitson? or go with a position player? I’ve been looking up draft prospects a lot lately and just wanted to hear your thoughts

    • Nathan

      top high school pitching prospect*

    • Jim L.

      My personal favorite right now is Austin Meadows, the HS kid from Georgia.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Way too early for me to start into the 2013 draft.

  • Patrick W.

    Side note: Aubrey Plaza is in a FANTASTIC film “Safety Not Guaranteed” that you should find if you can, and watch it.

  • magilljl

    “Ryan Braun has four homers in his last four games, but is still a donger” – yes.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Possibly, but Braun certainly is hurting the “protection is important” belief. (And he’s racking up big points for my keeper team again!)

  • hardtop

    “….will now be the quirky but cut Aubrey Plaza…”

    it took me a second to realize you meant cute, rather than cut. i thought maybe she was a body builder and was about to search for picture of her abs and triceps.

    …or did you mean cut, as in ripped, as in badassedness

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