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.

Cubs

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

Reds

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

Lineup:

  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:




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