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brooklyn dodgers logoThe Cubs get Greinke and Kershaw, not to mention the bats. This is a tough road series – it just is.

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 easily could have swept the Padres in San Diego, and, instead, they lost two of three. The Cubs are now two games clear of the Brewers for last place in the NL Central.

The Dodgers are the hottest team in baseball, if you stretch it back a couple months. They did just lose two of three to the Red Sox, though.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Monday, August 26 at 9:10 CT on CSN.
  • Tuesday, August 27 at 9:10 CT on WGN.
  • Wednesday, August 28 at 2:10 CT on CSN.

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 (1-0, 3.71), Travis Wood (7-10, 3.22), Edwin Jackson (7-13, 5.00)

Lineup:

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

Dodgers

Starters: Zack Greinke (12-3, 2.91), Clayton Kershaw (13-7, 1.72), Ricky Nolasco (5-1, 2.53)

Lineup:

  1. Carl Crawford, LF
  2. Yasiel Puig, RF
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  4. Hanley Ramirez, SS
  5. Andre Ethier, CF
  6. A.J. Ellis, C
  7. Mark Ellis, 2B
  8. Juan Uribe, 3B
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Travis Wood has dropped his last three decisions since the last time these teams squared off in early August, and has seen his ERA rise about 30 points.

August has been unkind to Starlin Castro: .191/.234/.213. Woof.

Clayton Kershaw has a microscopic 1.72 ERA over his last, you know, season. Dude is ridiculous.

The Dodgers are doing all of this, by the way, without Matt Kemp.

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 Dodgers 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.

It’s the man of the moment, and I can only imagine what he would say to that baseball if he had the chance …

  • Senor Cub

    The Cubs need pitching, pitching, and more pitching. Although I have not been critical of them selecting Bryant over pitching at some point you have to address it. In 2014 they will once again have the opportunity to select in the top 3 in the draft and I just don’t hear any buzz about selecting pitching again. I am not excited about any of the current pitching staff. Wood’s 1st year looks impressive but not sure if he’s a 3 or 4 starter. We have plenty of 3-4′s in the minors, need Ace’s in the works. Jeff has been here many years and seems like he still has to figure it out, that’s not an Ace. He may be a #2 if he ever figures it out. So who is our Ace of the future? We have our #5 in Jackson. Lot’s of holes from what I can tell. This team is an absolute mess at every single position. Lake looks good thus far but everyone that comes up can have a good month or two in them.

    • On The Farm

      “I just don’t hear any buzz about selecting pitching again”

      Huh? What site have you been reading? The 2014 draft features a bunch of elite SP talent at the top (I think Beede will be good, but Rodon looks like the clear gem of the class…for now). I think if the Cubs have a top 4 pick they will end up with a SP prospect whether its a HS guy that jumps up there, or a really good college guy. The Cubs have been trying to address their pitching needs or maybe you haven’t looked at the Cubs drafting. In 2012 after selecting Almora #6, they spent their next 7 picks on pitchers and 9 out of their first 12 picks were pitchers . In 2013 after taking Bryant #2 they spent 7 of their next 9 picks on Pitchers. Its pretty obvious what the FO is trying to do with acquiring pitching through the draft.

      • C. Steadman

        I bet the house that the FO selects a pitcher…either Beede or Hoffman b/c i think Rodon will be off the board(depends on how the 2014 college season plays out obviously)

        • On The Farm

          If they were selecting top 3 I would say there is a good chance they end up taking a college arm, but I think that even them being back just one spot at #4, there will be a HS arm that will be a Kohl Stewart that could immidately be a top 100 prospect that you need to take a chance on. But, I am not as familiar with who Hoffman is. And as you said depends how the season plays out because guys like Manea or Stanek who look like top picks can fall to the end of round 1 or the competitive balance round.

        • C. Steadman

          Here’s a great link for 2014 draft prospects
          http://throughthefencebaseball.com/2014-mlb-draft-top-50-prospects/36463

          i wouldnt mind that Koleck kid as a HS arm

          • C. Steadman

            if this artical has accurate scouting reports…theres tons of pitching this year

            • C. Steadman

              article** wow…

          • On The Farm

            I saw Sharma was talking about the Kolek kid this weekend while he was at the Under Armour game at Wrigley. I too think he looks like a very interesting arm. Thanks for the article though. Looks like a good read.

      • Senor Cub

        On The Farm – I guess I should have clarified. The Cubs top 20 system does not have anyone that looks remotely ready to get to the bigs. Vizcaino if he ever comes back from surgery projects to be a closer or set-up, no-one else is on the horizon until 2015 at the earliest and none of them project to be a top of the line rotation guy. That’s where I am coming from. 2013 the Cubs passed up on what could be front of the rotation guy’s in Gray and Appel.

        • On The Farm

          I don’t think Gray or Appel projected to be TOR arms by 2015. They said Appel can get to the MLB fast, but it will probably take him a few years to establish himself as a guy at the top of the rotation (well maybe not on that god awful Houston team, but you get the point), and Gray needs to have some work before he is projected to make the MLB, let alone be a TOR arm. They went with Blackburn and Underwood last year when they were looking for TOR arms, and then took a bunch of “fast risers” this draft to try and compliment the two drafts. There just aren’t a ton of TOR arms out there and leading up to the draft Appel didn’t necessarily look like a “#1″ but more of a “#3 with #2 upside”, but will get to the bigs quickly.

          • Edwin

            I never understood the “Appel doesn’t look like a #1″ arguement. Appel has a fastball that sits in the mid to upper 90′s, and according to scouts had some of the best secondary offerings in the draft. He didn’t have an “80″ fastball, but his fastball was still considered one of the best in the draft. What more did he need to do to be considered a potential future #1?

            • Blublud

              I dont think Appel is the Verlander, Kershaw, Price kind of Ace. He can a #1 on a decent staff, like maybe the Cubs, but he is probably a 2 on a good staff and a 3 or 4 on a great staff. He may even de a BOR guy in Detroit. He’s a sure bet to make the show, and probably fairly quick, but he is not a perrenial all-star in my opinion. Not even close.

              • Edwin

                Yeah, but why? What is it about him that says that? Is his fastball not good enough, or is it his secondary stuff? Did he not generate enough K’s in college, or does he have control issues or something?

        • Edwin

          Just to clarify, the Cubs did not pass on Appel in 2013, he was already taken. They passed on Gray.

    • frank

      Remember too, there just aren’t that many true aces in all of baseball. It sure helps if you have one, but it’s not an absolute necessity for success.

  • willis

    August has been unkind to Castro? How about 2013 has been unkind to Castro? Dude’s been awful.

    As far as the pitching discussion, collecting young arms has happened. Any sure fire very good arms? Too early to tell. I do hope they go after an arm in the offseason to sure up the rotation. They could trade for someone like Price or just try to get a middle rotation guy. I like this rotation as it is for 4/5…need one more very good arm and it’s a rotation that can be very effective.

    • Koyie Hill Sucks

      Castro has been awful, the only hope I have that he is salvageable is that Sveum and his staff mishandled him and a better staff can get much better numbers from him. When you look at how other batters regressed this year (Rizzo, Barney) I think this might be the case.

  • Idaho Razorback

    I’m in So Cal visiting my parents so I can watch this game. Unfortunately I will have to listen to Vin Scully. There will be some great game action at some point, but instead of describing the play by play he will probably be talking about the signing of The Magna Carta or something that has nothing to do with the game.

    • RD

      Vin Scully is the best broadcaster to ever live. Guy is a legend and I would listen to him over Len and JD/ Pat and Keith, all of whom I like very much.

    • mjhurdle

      Totally agree about Vin Scully.
      I won’t knock his previous work, and maybe he was absolutely awesome back in the day, but i cant stand listening to him now.
      I guess it is because i never heard him in his prime, but to me it is like watching a rock concert with 60 year old singers trying to rock out still.

    • Spriggs

      If you don’t like Skully now, you would never have liked him. He really hasn’t changed much. I would much rather listen to a lot of announcers over Len and JD, but Skully isn’t one of them. Always thought him and jack buck were way, way overrated.

      I was listening to Dick Enberg all weekend against the Cubs (Padres). He is really a pleasure to listen to for me – still. His broadcast team was pretty good behind him too (Gwynn and some ex-pitcher I can’t think of). Really a nice job by them. Totally enjoyed it (except the outcomes).

  • mdavis

    looking forward to seeing if Arrietta can bounce back tonight after his rough outing last time out. Has all the stuff, just needs to harness it, continue progressing.

  • RY

    Based on the pitching matchups, we wont have more than 15 total hits and wont score more than 6 runs total in this series. We will get swept; on a definite crash course with a 100+ losses again.

  • Spriggs

    I am going to ask a stupid question – and here it is: Shouldn’t the title of this article be “Series Preview: Cubs @ Dodgers” ?

    It’s one of those things that I can just NEVER get straight in my mind and I end up spending way too much time when I’m looking at schedules.

    V, VS, @… I always have to compare them to other games on the schedule that I know took place home or away.

  • K0ng

    David Bell is going to be REALLY bored over the next three days. He should bring the newspaper out to the third base coach’s box, or some knitting or something.

  • http://bleachenation Sacko

    Cubs will sign a good to very good free agent pitcher for 4 years during the off season, If I had to bet I would bet heavy on it.

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  • N8theGr8

    “We make beautiful chin music together…”

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