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The Cubs welcome the division-leading Reds, who are so far ahead that they’re almost certain to lay down for the Cubs.

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 split their four game set with the Pirates, but have won seven of their last 10.

The Reds lead the NL Central by 11 over the Cardinals, despite a 7-7 record this month. Oh to be good enough that a mere .500 month is “bad.”

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Tuesday, September 18 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
  • Wednesday, September 19 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
  • Thursday, September 20 at 1:20 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.

Cubs

Starters: Justin Germano (2-7, 6.24), Chris Rusin (1-2, 5.06), Jason Berken (0-1, 4.50)

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

Reds

Starters: Homer Bailey (11-9, 3.93), Mike Leake (8-9, 4.69), Johnny Cueto (17-9, 2.92)

Lineup:

  1. Brandon Phillips, 2B
  2. Chris Heisey, CF
  3. Joey Votto, 1B
  4. Ryan Ludwick, LF
  5. Jay Bruce, RF
  6. Todd Frazier, 3B
  7. Ryan Hanigan, C
  8. Didi Gregorius, SS
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Anthony Rizzo is hot again, with a .343/.405/.642 in his last 17 games. That would be the adjustment to the adjustments that you’re seeing. It’s a good sign, and let’s hope it continues.

On the flip side, Brett Jackson is cold again, with a .077/.172/.115 line in his last 11 games.

Jason Berken will try to have a better start this time around – his first with the Cubs went just four innings, and featured six runs, albeit only two of them earned.

Jay Bruce comes into the series slumping, with a .255 OPS over his last six games. I seem to recall him slumping before he played the Cubs the last time – all he did in that four game series was go .400/.438/.733.

Joey Votto’s OBP this year is an almost Barry Bonds-esque .467. He has seven more walks than he has Ks.

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.

A series split with the Pirates is probably good enough for Natalie Portman to keep her job as the Cubs’ rep, but we’re running out of series, so we’ve got to change things up just for the sake of changing things up. How about Victoria’s Secret model Candice Swanepoel? She looks lovely in blue.

As for the Reds, it’s always all about the red heads. How about Kate Mara? What do you know, she also looks lovely in blue.

versus

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