pittsburgh-piratesEveryone’s going to have to take a little break from the Draft to, you know, play some baseball.

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 stopped a three-game skid on Wednesday, beating the Angels in extras. The Cubs are 9 games under .500, and 13.5 out in the NL Central.

The Pirates were just swept by the Braves after dropping two of three to the Reds. That has dropped them four back in the Central, although they’re still 10 games over .500.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Friday, June 7 at 1:20 CT on WGN.
  • Saturday, June 8 at 3:05 CT on CSN.
  • Sunday, June 9 at 1:20 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: Travis Wood (5-3, 2.75), Jeff Samardzija (3-6, 2.96), Edwin Jackson (1-8, 6.29)


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


Starters: Francisco Liriano (3-2, 2.17), AJ Burnett (3-6, 3.22) Jeff “John” Locke (5-1, 2.45)


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

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Alfonso Soriano might be heating up. He’s hitting .316/.372/.579 over his last 10 games.

I’m growing weary of typing it, but Starlin Castro remains cold. He’s at a season low (once you get past the first few games, anyway) in BA (.253) and OPS (.644). It’s so very un Castro-like, and it’s hard to watch.

Scott Hairston is hitting .220/.283/.463 since the start of May, which doesn’t sound like much, but is a dramatic improvement over what he was doing in April.

After a recent hot-ish stretch, Darwin Barney’s 2013 OPS+ (77) has now exceeded his 2012 OPS+ (76).

Francisco Liriano has been ridiculous for the Pirates this year in his 29 innings of work. He’s struck out 39 while walking just 9.

Pedro Alvarez is leading the Pirates in homers and RBI, but is hitting just .199/.263/.420.

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.

More mascot action, with this one being slightly less cartoony …

  • MichiganGoat

    “So go fetch a bottle of rum dear friends
    And fill up my glass to the rim
    For I’m not the man I used to be
    Below .500 we come”

  • Patrick G

    Wheres Kris Bryant?

  • ETS

    Invisible Tea Cup

  • Rich

    Can you hear this, do you want me to turn it up ?

    • Internet Random

      Darth missed this, I guess:


  • ETS

    I really hope EJax has a solid outing this time. I’m sick of the “he’s really been throwing better than his stats” junk.

  • Kyle

    Eww, catching both Liriano and Burnett kind of sucks.

    Not saying it’s likely, but if we were to sweep this series, we’d be 6.5 out.

  • ncsujuri

    “Arrrgggg, is this how ye’ do tha’ shocker matey?”

    • Dougy D

      Actually, I believe that it is 2 in the pink and 1 in the stink

    • Dougy D

      best Cuoco yet, nicely done

  • willis

    Another Liriano game today, not good for this team. Last time he dominated. I expect it again today. Wood is going to have to be outstanding and keep the team in the game.

    I’m hoping for 2 out of 3 this weekend. That would be nice.

  • forlines

    I think we can realistically get 2 of 3. Wood and Shark should do well, but EJAX on the other hand needs to step the F**k up for sure. Our bats are waking up a little bit from earlier in the season, and we have two of our best hitters in the 9 hole the first 2 games, so we shall see

    • Schrodinger’s Cat

      Hopefully EJAX starts catching a little magic from the regression gods.

  • jt

    Wood has now had a week off. It’ll be interesting to see the benefits of rest or the results of rust.

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