Chicago Cubs vs. Miami Marlins Preview, Tuesday 7/17, 7:05 CT

Is Bryan LaHair casting a spell? Darwin Barney of the Chicago Cubs is greeted by LaHair after hitting a two-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Hey, look! The Marlins are in town!

It's the Ozzie Guillen show! Hey, Ozzie, I hear they ordered up a special batch of Wrigley rats just for you!

It's the Carlos Zambrano show! Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you view him), he won't pitch in this series. I wouldn't be surprised if Ozzie uses him as a pinch-hitter, though, depending on the situation, although Big Z has not pinch-hit yet this year.

Seriously, this is just another series, because the Marlins have gone south after a good start. Despite their win (with Zambrano the winning pitcher) Monday night over the Nationals in Miami, they stand nine games out of first place in the NL East and six games out of wild-card contention. Since June 1 they've gone 14-24. The biggest question is: will we see them wear their awful orange jerseys in this series?

Also, I gave a "five questions" interview to our SB Nation Marlins site FishStripes; you can read that here.

Here's a random thought: do you think the Cubs could get the Tampa Bay Rays interested in Alfonso Soriano? Rays DH's are hitting .197/.259/.340 this year -- that's primarily Luke Scott (OPS+ of 84) and Hideki Matsui (OPS+ of 38). If the Cubs ate all of Soriano's contract, he could DH for the Rays, and maybe the Cubs could get back a young pitcher -- Chris Archer, anyone?

Cubs lineup:

DeJesus CF, Castro SS, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, LaHair RF, Soto C, Barney 2B, Valbuena 3B, Wood P

Marlins lineup:

Reyes SS, Bonifacio CF, Lee 1B, Ruggiano RF, Ramirez 3B, Kearns LF, Infante 2B, Buck C, Sanchez P
Today's Starting Pitchers
Travis Wood
Travis Wood
vs. Anibal Sanchez
Anibal Sanchez
4-3 W-L 4-6
3.05 ERA 4.12
42 SO 95
24 BB 31
8 HR 10
vs. Mia -- vs. Cubs

2012 - Travis Wood 4-3 10 10 0 0 0 0 62.0 46 22 21 8 24 42 3.05 1.13

2012 - Anibal Sanchez 4-6 17 17 0 0 0 0 107.0 103 54 49 10 31 95 4.12 1.25

Travis Wood's last start against the Marlins was April 29, 2011 in Cincinnati. You really don't want to look at that boxscore. Wood has been good-to-excellent in his last four starts, posting a 1.01 ERA in 26⅔ innings. He last pitched July 6; here's hoping the 11-day layoff doesn't hurt him. The only current Marlins player who has more than three AB against him is Carlos Lee (2-for-15).

Anibal Sanchez last started against the Cubs almost exactly one year ago, July 14, 2011 at Wrigley Field. He threw 6⅓ good innings, but the Cubs should have won the game. Seriously, don't look at the ninth inning of that boxscore. The only current Cub who has more than seven lifetime AB against Sanchez is Alfonso Soriano (5-for-22, two home runs).

And yes, those "M"s on the caps are really, really big.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago.

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Marlins site FishStripes.

Today's first pitch thread will post at 7:05 p.m. CDT and the overflows at 8:05, 9:05 and 9:50 p.m. CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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