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brewers logoThe Cubs return – limping – to Wrigley Field for their home opening series of the year. Fortunately it comes against a very banged-up Brewers club, so maybe the Cubs can rebound.

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 dropped all three games in Atlanta, even if they should have won one, and easily could have won the other two (if they could, you know, score at all). They’re 2-4 on the year, which is probably about what you would have projected through these first six games anyway.

The Brewers, as mentioned, are very banged up, and have lost five in a row after winning their opener.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Monday, April 8 at 1:20 CT on WGN.
  • Tuesday, April 9 at 7:05 CT on WGN.
  • Wednesday, April 10 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.

Cubs

Starters: Edwin Jackson (0-1, 3.60), Travis Wood (1-0, 0.00), Scott Feldman (0-1, 7.71)

Lineup:

  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. Brent Lillibridge/Alberto Gonzalez, 2B
  9. Pitcher

Brewers

Starters: Marco Estrada (0-0, 7.20), Wily Peralta (0-1, 6.75), Kyle Lohse (0-0, 1.50)

Lineup (they’re so banged up, it’s hard to predict):

  1. Norichika Aoki, RF
  2. Carlos Gomez, CF
  3. Ryan Braun(?), LF
  4. Rickie Weeks, 2B
  5. Jean Segura(?), SS
  6. Alex Gonzalez, 3B
  7. Jonathon Lucroy, C
  8. Yuniesky Betancourt, 1B
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Travis Wood was dominant in his opening start against the Pirates, so hopefully he keeps that up. Wouldn’t it be great for him to truly emerge as the kind of starting pitcher the Cubs feel they have to keep in the rotation even after Matt Garza and Scott Baker return? Good problem, right?

Alfonso Soriano’s early-season troubles seem to be continuing in 2013, and the chillier temperatures in Chicago probably won’t help.

It’s way too early to be worried about Anthony Rizzo, but it’s not too early to keep an eye on his deep struggles against lefties, and his ability to adjust to the adjustments of pitchers. There’s a healthy book out on him now, and he’ll have to keep up with pitchers changing their approach against him.

It didn’t take long for Kyle Lohse to get ready for the season, despite not signing until the final week of Spring Training. He gave up just one earned run against the Diamondbacks, and went six innings in his first start.

Jean Segura started off the year hot for the Brewers – .450/.500/.650 – but he might miss some time with a thigh bruise. Aramis Ramirez also started out hot, but he’s on the DL with a knee problem. Ryan Braun also started out hot, but has missed time with a sore neck.

Are you sensing a theme here? The Brewers are damaged and very beatable right now.

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 Brewers 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 an iconic shot of Ryan Braun discussing a certain legal/performance/testing issue:

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