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The Cubs bring in the top team out West, the Giants, and I’ll be there for the second game, on Saturday. Maybe the Cubs can rough up Mr. Lincecum. Maybe I can get a lock of his hair.

The Cubs also get Bumgarner and Cain this series, so, like, yeah.

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 just avoided another sweep by the Brewers, and are working a winning streak of one.

The Giants have a 4.5 game lead in the NL West, thanks in large part to the very generous Astros, who just gave them a sweep in Houston. The Giants are 10-3 in their last 13.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Friday, August 31 at 1:20 CT on CSN.
  • Saturday, September 1 at 12:05 CT on WGN.
  • Sunday, September 2 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: Chris Volstad (1-9, 6.28), Justin Germano (2-4, 5.91), Travis Wood (4-11, 4.71)

Lineup:

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

Giants

Starters: Madison Bumgarner (14-8, 2.93), Tim Lincecum (7-14, 5.30), Matt Cain (13-5, 2.82)

Lineup:

  1. Angel Pagan, CF
  2. Marco Scutaro, 2B
  3. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
  4. Buster Posey, C
  5. Hunter Pence, RF
  6. Brandon Belt, 1B
  7. Gregor Blanco, LF
  8. Joaquin Arias/Brandon Crawford, SS
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Luis Valbuena has overtaken Josh Vitters as the primary starter at third base, and he’s killing it in August: .311/.440/.492. I understand the development priority right now, but it’s really hard to sit a guy who’s hitting that well. Valbuena’s 26, too, which isn’t ancient.

Brett Jackson’s line is up to a unique, but impressive, .216/.341/.473. And his K rate is down to 42%, which is actually something.

Chris Volstad, like the Cubs, is working on a one-game winning streak!

Angel Pagan is hitting .393 in his last 13 games, which might help the Giants deal with their inability to acquire another outfield bat like Alfonso Soriano. Then again, Gregor Blanco is under .200 since the All-Star break, so, maybe not.

Matt Cain has a 1.61 ERA and a 0.896 WHIP over his last three starts.

It’s been a bad year for Tim Lincecum, but he’s got a 3.31 ERA over his last nine starts, so he’s turning it around a bit. His K/BB over that stretch is near three, and he’s K’ing almost a batter an inning.

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.

Well, Aubrey Plaza’s run at the top was enjoyable if for no other reason as a reminder that ‘Parks and Rec’ is coming back this Fall, but her time is over (which you can ascribe to the 1-3 series loss to the Brewers, or to the win yesterday, depending on your bent). The new rep is Marie Avgeropoulos, with whom I’ll confess I’m not familiar, but who comes on a BN’er recommendation. I’m nothing if not accommodating, particularly when it comes to searching for pictures of beautiful women. (Actual conversation with The Wife last night – Wife: “Can you go get me my head phones?” Me: “Not right now, I’m working.” Wife: “No you’re not, you’re looking at pic… oh. Ok.”)

As for the Giants, how about a classic tall model? Heidi Klum is 5’9″, which is kind of tall for a woman (though maybe not all that tall for a model). Is that “giant”? Probably not. But she’s a giant in the industry! Nailed it. Can you believe it’s been 12 years since Heidi did this in Sports Illustrated?

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