The 2013 season has arrived, and the Chicago Cubs open it up in Pittsburgh. It’s possible these will be the two teams fighting over last place in the NL Central come September, so don’t sleep on early April.

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. There’s also some fun stuff, because fun stuff is fun.

We’re Going Streaking

The Cubs finished up the Spring with a loss and a tie in Houston (well, that was kind of still the Spring), and were 16-19-2 in total. That’s a .457 winning percentage, which would translate to 74 wins in the regular season. Sounds about right.

The Pirates were just 13-18 on the Spring, so they are clearly worse than the Cubs.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Monday, April 1 at 12:35 CT on WGN.
  • Wednesday, April 3 at 6:05 CT on CSN.
  • Thursday, April 4 at 11:35 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.


Starters: Jeff Samardzija (0-0, -.–), Edwin Jackson (0-0, -.–), Travis Wood (0-0, -.–)


  1. David DeJesus, CF
  2. Starlin Castro, SS
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Alfonso Soriano, LF
  5. Nate Schierholtz, RF
  6. Welington Castillo/Dioner Navarro, C
  7. Luis Valbuena, 3B
  8. Darwin Barney/Brent Lillibridge, 2B
  9. Pitcher


Starters: A.J. Burnett (0-0, -.–), Wandy Rodriguez (0-0, -.–), James McDonald (0-0, -.–)


  1. Starling Marte, LF
  2. Travis Snider, RF
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  5. Garrett Jones/Gaby Sanchez, 1B
  6. Neil Walker, 2B
  7. Michael McKenry/Russell Martin, C
  8. Clint Barmes, SS
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

This Spring, your Cubs OPS leader among the guys who made the team? It was David DeJesus at .991. Starlin Castro was next at .913. Hopefully Brent Lillibridge’s .889 holds up into the regular season.

Anthony Rizzo’s .588 OPS brought up the rear among the starters.

Rule 5’er Hector Rondon led the staff in ERA at 1.80. Scott Feldman brought up the rear at 11.25.

Spring stats are already of tenuous importance, and, since they aren’t the Cubs, I will spare you the Pirates’ fake numbers. Andrew McCutchen is very good at baseball. There. You know what you need to know.

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.

This year, the Series She-View will live over at the Message Board. Here’s your She-View for the Pirates series.

Caption the Enemy

A new feature for the Series Preview this year – since folks on the Internet can’t get enough of cracking wise about pictures, I thought it might be a fun addition to the Series Preview. I’ll drop in a picture (hopefully one ripe for captioning), and you’ll drop in your clever captions into the comments. Then, if there are good ones, we can meme-ify them for use down the road.

For example … here’s a good one to get us started from Pittsburgh Magazine:

  • Seth

    “Shhh, no one tell Gaby Sanchez that he has a girls name.”

  • Jp3

    Did you step in something, or is that just the Cubs potential this year?

  • willis

    Let’s go…Can’t wait to see the team in action. 1-4 this lineup us actually very strong. JUst hope the pitching can hold up. Looking forward to seeing Shark mow them down today. Would be nice to get started with a W.

  • andrewmoore4isu

    “we are going to be bad to get a draft pick!! shhhhhh”

  • justinjabs

    Barney on the DL, per the reporter corps tweets.

    • DarthHater

      His scrappy image is gonna take a hit. If he had true scrap, he’d shake off the injury unless the cut was down to and THROUGH the bone!

      • hansman1982

        Ehh, the actually good defense hurts his sCRAP+ more than anything.

        But, but, but, remember that time, when this other guy got his arm chainsawed off and still played! PLAYERS USED TO BE AWESOME!!!!!

      • Good Captain

        Precedence is on your side. Monty Python’s Black Night wouldn’t have gone to the DL for a silly flesh wound.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Now, how much longer until someone regales us with a tale about a rugby player he knew who played a full match with no arms and on leg, winning by bleeding on his opponents?

          • hansman1982

            BAH, how dare you say a rugby player would bleed because of an injury. That is the blood of the innocents sacrificed to the gods flowing out of them because it is not worthy!

            • DocPeterWimsey

              You are right, of course: he would cauterize the wound with a hot iron rod and *then* use that same smoking hot rod to mull a mug of ale. God save the queen!

              • DocPeterWimsey

                Doing it all with his teeth, I might add: he’s got no arms!

                • Mr. Brent Kennedy

                  As a current rugby player I assure you none of that is hyperbole. You are allowed three minutes in the “blood bin” for cauterizing and what not. God save the queen!

                • Nomar’s Left Glove

                  Tis but a flesh wound

  • Curt

    Wow what a nice triple A line-up the cubs are fielding just out of curiosity how bout the over/under on the cubs hitting 120 home runs this yr.

    • Jp3

      I’ll take the under. Starlin-20, soriano-25 rizzo 28. Castillo/Navarro-14 samardzia-10! Barney-2. Rest of our team-<15. Boom

  • Believe in 2015

    “Shhh, I just finished putting icy hot in the Cubs jock straps”

  • Internet Random

    “Dude. Booger.”


  • hansman1982

    “Don’t tell anyone, but the Rooftops are actually owned by the Pirates.”

    • miggy80

      Hansman1982, are you still planning on being at the opening of the I-Cubs? Haven’t saw much action over on the message board about this lately.

      • Melrosepad

        I might have to grab me a Bleachernation shirt and join you guys if there is something planned. Wouldn’t mind hitting the opener.

        • miggy80

          There is a thread on the message board about meeting up. Check over there for further updates.

  • Camiata2

    “If you hold your finger just so, it will prevent the rest of baseball from poking you in the eyes, thus ending our record of futility. ”

    Long-winded, but about sums up my thoughts on the Pirates.

  • MightyBear

    God I love opening day.

  • Mr. Gonzo

    “Shhhhh, I just put a pink slip in Clint Hurdle’s locker.”

  • Kyle

    Burnett gets a perfect game.

    Samardzija perfect through eight. Marmol comes in for bottom of 9th. BB, BB, HBP, BB. 1-0 Pirates.

    I hate that he’s our closer. I don’t think you can argue that he’s one of our two best relievers, so why give him the high-leverage innings?

  • Spencer


  • Kyle

    Also, first person to say “Who cares? We won’t be competitive until 2015” when something bad happens in a game gets banhammered with extreme prejudice, please.

  • Matty V

    “I’m wearing ‘Oops I Crapped My Pants’… and I just did.”

  • Idaho Razorback

    Brett, are you gonna put a link to the She View in the series preview through out the season?

    • Brett

      For a long while, at least, yes. Possibly not the whole season.

      • MichiganGoat

        I really like this move at some point the pinups have to be taken down and put in the man cave (aka the Message Board)

        • Whiteflag

          I agree. The man cave (Message Board) is a good place for them. Glad to see the site getting a little more female friendly.

          • Brett

            To be fair, other than the She-View, I don’t know any ways that the site hasn’t always been female friendly …

            • DarthHater

              No goats allowed in the man cave, right? 😉

            • Whiteflag

              True. That wasn’t the best choice of wording on my part. Also the she-view really wasn’t that bad either. But I’m not complaining about it being moved.

  • Gary Dilbaitis

    Shhhhh… Don’t tell the Cubs that the Astros are gone. Boy, will they be surprised! That make them the Astros.

  • someday…2015?

    Ahh my favorite day of the year is finally here! I love the enthusiasm fans can have at the beginning of the year, knowing full well that this team is going nowhere. 1-0! 1-0! 1-0!

  • Pingback: Pre-Gamin’: Cubs v. Pirates (12:35 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, etc. | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary()

  • Pingback: Pre-Gamin’: Cubs v. Pirates (6:05 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, etc. (Very Platoon-Heavy Lineup) | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary()

  • Pingback: Pre-Gamin’: Cubs v. Pirates (11:35 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, etc. | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary()