The Cubs just took a bat to the Pirates’ playoff hopes, and now they can … um … help the Astros with their number one pick hopes.
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 swept the Pirates after losing six in a row before that. They remain thoroughly in second-to-last place in the NL Central, in front of the …
Astros, who actually just WON a series in Cincinnati. It matters not, as the Astros could win every game the rest of the way, and they’d still probably have the worst record in baseball.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Monday, September 10 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
- Tuesday, September 11 at 7:05 CT on WCIU.
- Wednesday, September 12 at 7:05 CT on CSN+.
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 (2-10, 6.23), Justin Germano (2-6, 6.95), Travis Wood (5-11, 4.42)
- David DeJesus, RF
- Josh Vitters/Luis Valbuena, 3B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Alfonso Soriano, LF
- Starlin Castro, SS
- Steve Clevenger/Welington Castillo, C
- Brett Jackson, CF (probably won’t be healthy enough, though)
- Darwin Barney, 2B
Starters: Dallas Keuchel (1-7, 5.54), Jordan Lyles (3-11, 5.55), Fernando Abad (0-3, 5.30)
Lineups (this will not be the Astros lineup, but they change it so often with so many young guys that it’s hard to predict):
- Tyler Greene, SS
- Jose Altuve, 2B
- Brett Wallace, 1B
- Brian Bogusevic, RF
- Matt Dominguez, 3B
- Jordan Schafer, CF
- Fernando Martinez, LF
- Jason Castro, C
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Alfonso Soriano has flicked his hot switch back on, with five homers, 15 RBI and a .951 OPS in his last 10 games.
Josh Vitters’ homer the other day was swell, but he’s still hitting just .329. No, I mean his OBP is just .329. No, wait. That’s his OPS. Hamburgers.
In his seven starts since rejoining the rotation, Chris Volstad has a 4.35 ERA and three quality starts. Hot? Not? Shrug.
Brett Wallace, one of the few modestly recognizable names on the Astros’ roster, has a 120 OPS+ on the season in limited duty.
Dallas Keuchel has lost his last seven decisions, and the Astros have lost nine of his last 10 starts.
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, it’s a rule that you can’t bounce a She-View rep after a sweep, so Natalie Portman stays on in charge of the Cubs. No complaints here.
As for the Astros, we stick with the hey-there-are-beautiful-women-who-come-from-Texas thing, and go with actress Taylor Cole. You may not remember her from much of anything, but she was on the short-lived ‘Lost’ wannabe ‘The Event,’ and she stuck in my memory (perhaps because she kind of looks like Evangeline Lilly, naturally from ‘Lost’).