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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)

  • X the Cubs fan

    I hope Garza throws a perfect game Wednesday.

    • SirCub

      How crazy would it be if he did, and then was traded before his next start?

    • DarthHater

      I just hope his arm doesn’t fall off.

    • The Dude Abides

      I hope they trade him before he pitches, the current three game hot streak against the Mets, Astros & Brewers are 51 games below.500. Hope for the best, Oakland is a decent pitchers park anyway.

  • Cedlandrum

    I loved Donaldson as a prospect. 1st rounder as a comp pick. Killed it that first year in Boise if I remember right and then the next year struggled in Peoria. Then he is traded and kills it in low A for the A’s. Had a bit of a up and down trend in the minors, but when he had good seasons he was really good. He was a little like Vitters in that he would struggle a bit the first year up at a new level and then he would get the hang of it. The funny thing is they were drafted same year.

    • ssckelley

      Yeah it is ironic that he and Vitters were taken in the same draft, Donaldson is now starting at 3rd base for the A’s while Vitters is still in AAA. I remember the trade really well as Donaldson appeared to be a throw in as he was struggling in Peoria, the prize for the A’s was the Cubs top 100 prospect Sean Gallagher along with Eric Patterson who was doing very well at AAA at the time of the trade. At the time it looked like the Cubs had gotten a steal but over time it appears like the A’s ended up with the better end of it. Very fitting to review this as the Cubs appear to be sellers again at the trade deadline.

  • DarthHater

    “Talk to the glove, cuz the beard ain’t listenin’.

  • On The Farm

    “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.”

    I remember the Harden deal (which I also loved) and remember when Donaldson was included I was sad because I didn’t want to give up our catching prospect who BA had in our top 15 prospects (can’t remember where he was, I suppose I could dig up the book). In the end that trade was pretty beneficial for us at the time because Harden was a strikeout machine and Patterson, Gallagher, and Fox never really amounted to anything.

    • DarthHater

      And don’t forget that the Cubs got Chad Gaudin in that deal, too! :-P

      • On The Farm

        Hendry totally pulled one over on ole’ Billy

    • ssckelley

      I think you are right that Donaldson was one of the Cubs top 20 prospects, but that is not saying much as I don’t think the Cubs farm system was rated very high.

      • On The Farm

        True, but as a 1st round comp Cather pick he was still an intruging prospect even as weak as the system was (I think he was in the top 10, but I can’t say 100%). If I remember correctly Our 1-2 punch was Pie-Vitters, For some reason I like the new 1-2 punch of Almora-Baez a LOT more.

        • On The Farm

          *Catcher, not a cather pick..

  • TSB

    Caption:
    “Capital One; what’s in your wallet?!”

  • Rich H

    With the outfield depth that Oakland has in the high minors is this a time to try and buy low on Reddick? I know he has struggled this year but it would be nice to take a shot on the guy if he becomes available.

  • http://odu Greenroom

    Caption: “But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop…I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land” (MLK)

  • Tim

    “Excuse me….question: Does it count as chin music if there’s more beard than chin?”

  • kielovher

    “But Daddy! I don’t want to be a carpenter! I want to be a baseball player!”

  • LWeb23

    Caption: “WILSSSSOOOOONNNNNNN”

    • LWeb23

      Edit: I just checked… He does actually use an A2000, made by Wilson.

      • On The Farm

        But his dentist’s name in James Spalding

  • KarenP

    Reading this AFTER the Feldman trade has been announced = Amusing. Man it’d be amazing to see them rock 2 of 3 against “the original Moneyball.” Just sayin…

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