Cincinnati-Reds-Mr-RedThe Cubs will head to Cincinnati with the hopes of playing spoiler. The Reds are 1.5 back in the Central behind the Cardinals, and essentially tied with the Pirates. All three are going to make the playoffs, but only the division winner avoids the one-game Wild Card playoff.

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 dropped two of three to the Brewers after dropping two of three to the Marlins. Perhaps the trick is to face a team that isn’t terrible.

The Reds are mighty hot, having taken three of four from the Cardinals and then sweeping the Dodgers. They’re playoff-ready, I guess.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Monday, September 9 at 6:10 CT on CSN+.
  • Tuesday, September 10 at 6:10 CT on CSN.
  • Wednesday, September 11 at 11:35 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 (8-11, 3.17), Edwin Jackson (7-15, 4.91), Jeff Samardzija (8-11, 4.29)

Lineup (kind of nuts):

  1. Starlin Castro, SS
  2. Luis Valbuena, 3B/Darwin Barney, 2B
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Nate Schierholtz, RF
  5. Donnie Murphy, 3B/Ryan Sweeney, CF
  6. Junior Lake, LF-CF/Brian Bogusevic, LF
  7. Welington Castillo, C
  8. Darwin Barney, 2B (or Castillo if Barney’s up top)
  9. Pitcher


Starters: Bronson Arroyo (13-10, 3.62), Tony Cingrani (7-3, 2.80), Mike Leake (12-6, 3.46)


  1. Shin-Soo Choo, CF
  2. Chris Heisey, LF
  3. Joey Votto, 1B
  4. Brandon Phillips, 2B
  5. Jay Bruce, RF
  6. Todd Frazier, 3B
  7. Zack Cosart, SS
  8. Devin Mesoraco/Ryan Hanigan, C
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Junior Lake is back to his hot ways, OPS’ing 1.460 in his last seven games, with a couple homers.

Darwin Barney’s last 12 games: .136/.220/.182. Tough year at the plate for him.

How good is Joey Votto? Here’s me stretching to find a bad run by him. Over his last 29 games, he’s hitting just .208/.391/.406. Yeah. He’s terrible.

It’s been a rough year for Todd Frazier, and it isn’t getting any better. Over his last 38 games, he’s hitting .188/.243/.348.

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 Reds 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.

When you get up close, Mr. Red is, um, kind of terrifying:

  • cubchymyst

    caption: Anyone up for a mustache ride?

  • hansman1982

    Hey, kiddie, I can give you a ride to your parents in my window-less van…

  • Fishin Phil

    Caption: “I know my mustache isn’t as good as Dick Tidrow’s, but what do you think of it?”

  • Cubbie Blues

    “I wish everybody would stop staring at my scars from brain surgery …”

  • Coach K

    In this series, any game that the Cubs win will piss of Cincinnati. Any game the Cubs lose will piss of the Cardinals. I love it either way!

    • Coach K

      Off, not of.

  • DarthHater

    “I’ve come to execute a hit on Mr. Met. Have you seen him?”

  • MichiganGoat

    “This is what happens to your face when you try to mimic Dick Tidrow”

  • MightyBear

    “Nurse Ratchett, I wanna watch the World Series!!!”

    • MichiganGoat

      Complete non sequitur but my students have been using the word ratchet for a couple of years now to describe people so thanks to Urban Dictionary I now understand what they are saying and get great pleasure in calling them all Nurse “Ratchet” instead of Ratched (sadly they have no idea what I’m alluding to).

      I do love this UD definition “adj. a horrific mispronunciation of “wretched””

      Okay back to work

    • forlines


  • Jamie

    “We’re playing for a division title, Cubs are playing for a draft pick. It doesn’t get any better than this.”

  • miggy80

    “Hey Brandon Phillips, Who you callin’ a fat f*#ker?”

    • Fishin Phil

      Well done miggy!

      • miggy80

        Thanks puppet!

  • Jon

    You know, as a fan, I don’t see an issue with wanting the team for tank for a draft pick, but you wouldn’t expect that attitude out of the manager? If they don’t want to be spoilers, why are they even playing? Sveum is a loser with a losing mentality.

    • Brett


      Sveum doesn’t want the Cubs to be spoilers because he wants them to be in playoff contention instead.

      • DarthHater

        The Cubs really need a new manager who takes care to carefully phrase all his public comments in a form that cannot be twisted into its opposite.

        • Jon

          Except there is nothing to twist. No shit we would rather have the Cubs in a playoff race, everyone would, but if not, you want your team to have the attitude to win every game possible. If you are not trying to play spolier, aka, “win every game you can”, you basically are admitting you are just mailing in the last few weeks.

          • Stinky Pete

            Where did Dale say he wasn’t trying to win every game?

            • jkppkj

              “You never want to be a spoiler, not that there’s really spoiling going on. All three of these teams are going to be in the playoffs,”

              He didn’t, his point is that the three teams will be in the playoffs, so it’s not like the Cubs can knock someone out.

    • mjhurdle

      wow, must be running out of things to blame Sveum for if you are stretching that far for something.

      • Jon

        if playoff contention is out of the question, why would you not want to be a spoiler?

        • mjhurdle

          reach for it!!


          • Jon


        • http://BN sacko

          spoiling is winning…I know, I know its a new concept, but we should try it some day

          • Jon

            Or you can be like Dale, and congratulate and tip your hat to every other team.

  • Eternal Pessimist

    Awesome visual MJ…just the picture will tell it all in the future!

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