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)


  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 (probably won’t be healthy enough, though)
  8. Darwin Barney, 2B
  9. Pitcher


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):

  1. Tyler Greene, SS
  2. Jose Altuve, 2B
  3. Brett Wallace, 1B
  4. Brian Bogusevic, RF
  5. Matt Dominguez, 3B
  6. Jordan Schafer, CF
  7. Fernando Martinez, LF
  8. Jason Castro, C
  9. Pitcher

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.

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, 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’).


  • Stinky Pete

    Astros “Magic Number” for #1 pick is 13. Just sayin’.

  • Flashfire

    And while we’re helping them with #1, we can hurt our #2 hopes — perhaps all the way to #4. So Cubs to go on a winning streak when it hurts them most.

    • cubchymyst

      I’d like to see the cubs win 9 more games and avoid the 100 loss season. As long as Colorado and Minnesota do not play to far below the current winning percentage cubs would still finish 2 to last.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      The Cubs have to play the Astros 15 times this year. It’s just the foibles of the scheduling that the Cubs have played only 9 of those 15 so far. If they already had played all 15 and had, say, 6 more games remaining against the Reds, then the Cubs probably would 4-5 more victories right now. If that was the case, then there is no way we’d be worried about the Cubs falling to the #1 pick and we’d probably be skeptical about their falling below the Rox.

      • Flashfire

        The Pirates sweep hurt a lot more than 15 games against the Astros.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          True, but that is also the foibles of the schedule. Had the Cubs played all of their games against the Pirates before August, then they could have gotten a few more loses. However, the Pirates are a wreck right now. Let’s face it, the Cubs did not so much win a couple of those games as the Pirates lost them.

          As it is, the Cubs have 6 more against the Astros, 3 more against the Rox and 4 more against the Pirates. If the Cubs were, say, the ’08 Cubs, other fans would be complaining that the schedulers “fixed it” so that the Cubs could win easily, never minding the fact that an easier September means a tougher April-August. (You might recall Brewers fans doing just that in 2007!)

    • Stinky Pete

      This series might resemble the South Park episode with both teams trying desperately to lose.

      • TWC

        Or that Olympics badminton fiasco. At least that was somewhat entertaining.

      • cubchymyst

        My favorite part about that episode is Stan’s Dad getting drunk and fighting.

        • Ogyu

          What did you say? Do you want a piece of me? What are you gonna do, huh? What are you gonna do?

          • Stinky Pete

            Starring Jamie Quirk as Randy Marsh…

  • Spencer

    Did we ever get to find out what “The Event” actually was or did it get cancelled before that happened?

    • Cubbie Blues

      No, it was cancelled before the end of the first season (I think). We got to know about the organization that created it but not what they were trying to do. Unfortunately, I must have been one of the only people watching it.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        It was something like the people were like, from the past or something.

  • Drew7

    Natalie Portman is just flat-out sexy.

    • Diesel

      I concur

  • DocPeterWimsey

    Hey Brett, you should have used one of Doctor Who’s companions for the Astros! Spacey wacey and all of that.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’m missing the reference/Houston connection …

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Well, the Astros are named for the space program, the Doctor is in space, his companions wear skimpy outfits, etc….

        OK, that’s flopping. How about: the Astro’s winning percentage is about as bad as the Daleks?

        • Cubbie Blues

          Nobody can beat The Predator.

        • college of coaches

          Doc, the Astros defy physics: they suck and blow at the same time.

  • Kevin

    Series She-View ……. GIGGITTY!

  • HoustonTransplant

    Guess I’ll be heading to the ol’ Juice Box one or two more times this season, haha. I definitely won’t pay money to watch the Astros play ANYONE but the Cubs…hopefully better luck than in May, when the Cubs were in the midst of their 12-game losing streak. Ugh.

  • Mysterious4th

    Taylor cole *drools*

  • Harry Ramirez

    I hope the Cubs win for Natalie (wrote the same thing last time).

    • jungledrew

      FOR NATALIE!!!

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