oakland a's logoThe Cubs continue their modest West Coast tour, with a stop down to the saddest ballpark story outside of Chicago.

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 have won three series in a row after taking two of three from the Mariners (after taking two of three from the Astros and Brewers).



The A’s are actually a good team, a half-game behind the Rangers in the AL West. They’re 13 games over .500 and have won four of five.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Tuesday, July 2 at 9:05 CT on CSN.
  • Wednesday, July 3 at 9:05 CT on CSN+.
  • Thursday, July 4 at 3:05 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.

Cubs

Starters: Scott Feldman (7-6, 3.46), Matt Garza (3-1, 3.83), Travis Wood (5-6, 2.85)

Lineup:

  1. Luis Valbuena, 3B
  2. Starlin Castro, SS
  3. Nate Schierholtz, RF
  4. Alfonso Soriano, LF
  5. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  6. Dioner Navarro, DH (?)
  7. Brian Bogusevic, CF
  8. Welington Castillo, C
  9. Darwin Barney, 2B

Athletics

Starters: A.J. Griffin (6-6, 3.56), Bartolo Colon (11-2, 2.79), Jarrod Parker (6-6, 4.11)

Lineup:

  1. Coco Crisp, CF
  2. Seth Smith, DH
  3. Jed Lowrie, SS
  4. Yoenis Cespedes, LF
  5. Brandon Moss, 1B
  6. Josh Donaldson, 3B
  7. Josh Reddick, RF
  8. Eric Sogard, 2B
  9. Derek Norris, C

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Sometimes I think we put a little too much stock in individual game performances as they relate to trade value in the run-up to the Trade Deadline. It’s understandable that we do it – “today’s game” is the only game we have, and, with a constant stream of news and rumors, 24 hours can be a very long time. That said, with Scott Feldman and Matt Garza starting back-to-back in this series, we’d all be wise not to inject too much importance into every single pitch (in terms of trade value). I’m reminding myself as much as I’m reminding you.



Remember when Josh Donaldson was a so-so catching prospect in the Cubs’ system? Well now he’s a stud third baseman for the A’s, hitting .316/.384/.525. Also worth remembering in the run-up to the Trade Deadline: sometimes the fringe prospects in a deal (for Rich Harden) become stars many, many years down the road. (That Harden deal, by the way (which I loved), came on July 9.)

Bartolo Colon’s stats remain ridiculous since his career … resurged at age 38/39. He is now 40.

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 A’s 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.



How can you not love Josh Reddick’s beard? (picture via Philly.com)


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