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St_Louis_CardinalsFirst the Reds, now the Cardinals?

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 were swept by the Reds, who have dominated the Cubs this year. The team stands a season-worst 16 games below .500.

The Cardinals have lost five of eight, thought they’re still just a couple games behind the Pirates in the Central.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Friday, August 16 at 3:05 CT on CSN.
  • Saturday, August 17 at 3:05 CT on FOX.
  • Sunday, August 18 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.

Cubs

Starters: Jake Arrieta (0-0, 1.50), Travis Wood (7-9, 3.00), Edwin Jackson (7-12, 5.05)

Lineup:

  1. David DeJesus, CF
  2. Junior Lake, LF
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Welington Castillo, C
  5. Nate Schierholtz, RF
  6. Starlin Castro, SS
  7. Donnie Murphy, 3B
  8. Darwin Barney, 2B
  9. Pitcher

Cardinals

Starters: Jake Westbrook (7-7, 4.11), Joe Kelly (3-3, 3.14), Adam Wainwright (13-7, 2.71)

Lineup:

  1. Matt Carpenter, 2B
  2. Carlos Beltran, RF
  3. Matt Holliday, LF
  4. Allen Craig, 1B
  5. Yadier Molina, C
  6. David Freese, 3B
  7. Jon Jay, CF
  8. Pete Kozma, SS
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro are rather cold. I don’t have the heart to post the stats, because they’re so important to the future, but let’s all just hope for a hot stretch to close things out.

Jake Arrieta gets the start in the opener, and I’ll be watching very closely. He’s got stuff that’s very easy to dream on, and it would be great to go into the offseason having seen him tear it up for the past six weeks.

If you took Donnie Murphy’s current home run pace with the Cubs and extended it out to 600 at bats, he’d be on pace for an 80 home run season. Eat that, Barry and Chris.

Matt Carpenter leads the league in hits, doubles, and runs. He’s on a hot streak, and he’s hitting .315/.385/.480. Why wouldn’t he break out like this as 26/27 after a minor league career where he hit decently but was always old for his level? The Cardinals grow these guys on freaking trees.

Jake Westbrook started the season out crazy hot, but if you clip out his first five starts, he’s got a 5.58 ERA and opponents are putting up a .788 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 Cardinals 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.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny is giving the signal

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