pittsburgh-piratesThe Cubs put a damper on the Reds’ NL Central hopes this week. Will they do the same to the Pirates? Do you really want them to?

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 lost yesterday, but they still took two of three from the Reds in Cincinnati.

The Pirates just swept the Rangers after being swept by the Cardinals. They stand just a game behind the Cardinals in the NL Central. Again, I ask: do you really want the Cubs to spoil things for the Pirates?



Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Thursday, September 12 at 6:05 CT on WGN.
  • Friday, September 13 at 6:05 CT on CSN.
  • Saturday, September 14 at 6:05 CT on CSN.
  • Sunday, September 15 at 12:35 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: Chris Rusin (2-3, 2.89), Jake Arrieta (2-2, 4.28), Scott Baker (0-0, 0.00), Travis Wood (9-11, 3.05)

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

Pirates

Starters: Jeff Locke (9-5, 3.23), Charlie Morton (7-4, 3.44), Gerrit Cole (7-7, 3.48), Francisco Liriano (16-7, 2.92)

Lineups:

  1. Starling Marte, LF
  2. Neil Walker, 2B
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Justin Morneau, 1B
  5. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  6. Garrett Jones, RF
  7. Russell Martin, C
  8. Jordy Mercer, SS
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Scott Baker gets his second start, and it’ll come against a better lineup this time out. We’ll see how he looks, regardless of the results.

Starlin Castro’s last 17 games is a doable .268/.329/.408. The OBP features two HBP in that small span, though.

Andrew McCutchen’s 161 OPS+ leads the league, in case you were wondering.

Justin Morneau is hitting a very new-Morneau-like .313/.421/.375 since coming over to the Pirates last month. And in very limited action since coming to the Pirates, Marlon Byrd is still doing suprising things: .321/.368/.509.

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 Pirates 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.

Lawbreaker!




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