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More Problems In Houston? Cubs vs. Astros Preview, Monday 7/26, 7:05 CT

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The Cubs have a 3-6 record against the Astros this season. The Astros have winning records against two other NL Central teams: the Pirates (7-2, no surprise there), and, oddly enough, the Cardinals (5-4).

The reasons for this have been rehashed over and over and don't need to be discussed again. This series is an oddity -- in the pre-16-team NL and pre-interleague play days, you used to see back-to-back home-and-home series with the same club in your division fairly often. Now, it's a relative rarity, and maybe the Cubs, having seen Houston play only a few days ago, can figure out how to defeat them on their own turf. Despite losing the previous series in Houston this season, the Cubs are 40-41 all-time there since the park now known as Minute Maid opened in 2000.

That's actually good compared to the pre-2000 record of the Cubs in Houston. Despite the Cubs having many teams that were better than the Astros from 1962-1999, the Cubs were 9-18 in the three years Houston played in old Colt Stadium (1962-64), and 89-138 in the House of Pain otherwise known as the Astrodome. It was in that era what Chase Field is to the Cubs now. Leo Durocher hated the place so much he used to complain about the noise and light shows made by the then newfangled electronic scoreboard and ripped phones out of the dugout wall on more than one occasion (the Cubs paid the bills). The Cubs were 15-36 in Houston while Leo was the manager.

Things are better now, although not so far this year. Time to change that around.

Today's lineup via tweet from Carrie:

#cubs lineup for mon is rf colvin, ss castro, 1b lee, 3b ramy, cf byrd, lf sori, c soto, 2b riot, p silva

One final note from the Dempster Foundation Fundraiser last week. Bruce Miles reports the event raised $225,000.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Silva
Carlos Silva
Cubs
vs. Wesley Wright
Wesley Wright
Astros
9-4 W-L 0-0
3.86 ERA 4.40
72 SO 12
21 BB 5
10 HR 5
vs. Hou -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Carlos Silva 9-4 18 18 0 0 0 0 102.2 104 46 44 10 21 72 3.86 1.22


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Wesley Wright 0-0 7 1 0 0 0 0 14.1 18 13 7 5 5 12 4.40 1.60

Carlos Silva's last start, last Monday against the Astros at Wrigley Field, was a disaster. So was the start before that one. Let's hope he can get his early-season form back tonight. He had a good outing vs. Houston on April 16 at Wrigley Field, giving them no earned runs in seven innings.

Wesley Wright threw four good innings against the Cubs against the Cubs at Wrigley Field last Tuesday in his first major league start, and then the Cubs teed off on him, helped out by some shoddy Astros defense. Aramis Ramirez is now 4-for-5 against Wright with two homers, both of them coming in that game last week. A-Ram has slowed down a bit in his comeback from his bad first half; tonight would be a good time to resume the hot streak.

Tonight's game is on CSN Chicago and FSN Houston. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Astros site Crawfish Boxes.

Today's first pitch thread will be up at 7 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 8 pm, 9 pm and 9:45 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.