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The Cubs have a chance to spoil the Pirates’ season, but is that really something you want the Cubs to do to the Pirates … ?

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 six in a row and were just swept in embarrassing fashion by the Nationals.

The Pirates have fallen way back in the NL Central, but are just 1.5 games out in the Wild Card race. It’s been a bad stretch of late for them, being swept by the Brewers and then losing one of three (yes, that’s a bad thing) to the Astros. I’m sure they’re itching for a sweep.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Friday, September 7 at 6:05 CT on CSN.
  • Saturday, September 8 at 6:05 CT on CSN.
  • Sunday, September 9 at 12:35 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: Travis Wood (4-11, 4.64), Jeff Samardzija (8-13, 3.91), Chris Rusin (0-2, 9.00)

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

Pirates

Starters: A.J. Burnett (15-5, 3.63), James McDonald (12-7, 3.90), Jeff Locke (0-1, 4.82)

Lineups:

  1. Brock Holt, 2B
  2. Travis Snider, RF
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Garrett Jones, 1B
  5. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  6. Michael McKenry/Rod Barajas, C
  7. Alex Pressley, LF
  8. Clint Barmes, SS
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Brett Jackson has cooled in the last week after seemingly finding something click. Over that stretch, he’s hitting just .059/.158/.118 and has struck out 10 times in 19 plate appearances. Chicken or egg: over that same stretch, he started getting platooned out against lefties.

Anthony Rizzo has a hit in seven of his last eight games, and six extra base hits over that stretch. His line is .406/.441/.781, which is his best eight game stretch since his uber hot start.

Travis Wood has lost his last eight decisions, though he does have four quality starts over that stretch.

Since July 24, Garrett Jones is hitting an incredible .340/.399/.653. Over that same period, Andrew McCutchen is hitting just .281/.362/.379.

James McDonald, whom the Pirates temporarily considered bouncing from the rotation (even after a stellar first half), has a 7.14 ERA over his last 51.2 innings pitched.

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.

Another once-and-gone Cubs rep, Miranda Lambert will be remembered as the most ignominious She-View rep ever (given the ugly, ugly sweep at the hands of the Nationals). How about Natalie Portman? I can’t remember if she’s been around before, but she’s lovely.

As for the Pirates … surprise! Sexy pirate lady!

versus

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