Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

San_diego_padres_logoThe Cubs are in the middle of their most winnable stretch of games, probably all season. They took three of four from the Marlins, and now the Cubs get the Padres.

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 took three of four in Miami, with the one loss coming yesterday. At 9-15, they’re 5.5 out in the Central, and in last place.

The Padres have won four in a row, including a three-game sweep of the Giants. At 9-15, they’re 5.5 out in the West, and in last place. For reals.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Monday, April 29 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
  • Tuesday, April 30 at 7:05 CT on WCIU, MLBN.
  • Wednesday, May 1 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
  • Thursday, May 2 at 1:20 CT on CSN.


You can get your ticket fix for this or a future series at TiqIq: Cubs tickets. You can also always head over to and get ’em straight from the Cubs.

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 (1-4, 3.03), Edwin Jackson (0-3, 4.76), Scott Feldman (1-3, 3.92), Travis Wood (2-1, 2.25)


  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, 2B
  9. Pitcher


Starters: Clayton Richard (0-2, 7.94), Edinson Volquez (1-3, 6.39), Andrew Cashner (1-1, 3.26), Eric Stults (2-2 5.67)


  1. Everth Cabrera, SS
  2. Will Venable, RF
  3. Chase Headley, 3B
  4. Carlos Quentin, LF
  5. Yonder Alonso, 1B
  6. Jedd Gyorko, 2B
  7. Alexi Amarista, CF
  8. Nick Hundley, C
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

I don’t think you could have scripted a more difficult start to his Cubs career for Scott Hairston. He’s hitting an abysmal .074/.100/.222, and hasn’t really done much against lefties, whom he’s crushed throughout his career. I’m sure the sporadic starts don’t help, and you can certainly point to the mere 30 plate appearance sample size. If he goes 6 for his next 10, the kind of stretch that happens all the time, his average will fly up to .215, so there’s that.

Also quite cold: Alfonso Soriano is at just .138/.194/.138 over his last eight games.

Anthony Rizzo currently has a better OPS (.815) and OPS+ (122) in 2013 than he had in 2012 (.805 and 116).

Jeff Samardzija has lost four in a row – not that he’s pitched all that poorly.

Andrew Cashner, over his hunting accident cut finger, has a 2.70 ERA over two starts for the Padres. Good for him – no reason not to wish him well, except in this series.

Chase Headley’s been back just 10 games so far this year, but he picked up where he left off in 2012 – he’s got an .864 OPS.

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 Padres 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.

Today’s picture features Andrew Cashner and his manly man-beard full of man-ness (from CactusLeague2013):

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