Cubs vs. Dodgers Preview, Wednesday 2/27, 2:05 CT

USA TODAY Sports

Didn't we just do this Monday?

You all know the saying, "Spring training stats don't mean anything." Here's a good read on exactly why they don't:

On any given day, both pitchers and hitters might be focusing on one particular area of their game on which to work. Maybe Justin Verlander hasn't felt good about his fastball, so he will make a point to throw nothing but fastballs in his spring training outing. During the regular season, Verlander would never do that, no matter how much confidence he has lost in his fastball. Additionally, the art of game-calling tends to take a back seat, so the cat-and-mouse game between the pitcher and hitter becomes a glorified version of batting practice. Hitters, rather than trying to make the best contact, might be trying to perfect swing mechanics or practice situational hitting.

Good summation. Incidentally, if you have not yet noticed, baseball-reference.com has added spring stats to its player and team pages. Here's the Cubs team page. Nice addition. Thanks, bb-ref!

This afternoon, the Cubs will face the Dodgers for the second time in three days, this time in Mesa.

Unlike Monday's game, there will be no TV coverage, so you'll have to follow along with the online audiocast, or right here!

And, given the huge number of players still in camp for both teams, the lineups look almost totally different than Monday. Looks like Dale Sveum is taking a long look at Brent Lillibridge to judge his versatility, starting him today at shortstop. Of the nine starters in Monday's lineup, only Welington Castillo is starting today's game.

And, once again, the Hairston brothers start against each other.

Cubs lineup:

Valbuena 3B, Castro DH, Rizzo 1B, Soriano LF, Schierholtz RF, Hairston CF, Castillo C, Barney 2B, Lillibridge SS

Dodgers lineup:

Hairston RF, Amezaga 3B, Ramirez SS, Gonzalez 1B, Luna 2B, Punto DH, Federowicz C, Puig CF, Herrera LF

This afternoon, Brooks Raley gets the start for the Cubs; he'll be facing the Dodgers' Aaron Harang. Other Cubs expected to pitch today: Alberto Cabrera, Shawn Camp, Jaye Chapman, Trey McNutt, Hector Rondon and Hisanori Takahashi.

MLB.com Gameday

Today's game is a webcast on cubs.com (and via the MLB At Bat app) with Len Kasper and Mick Gillispie. The webcast will be online starting at 1:50 p.m. CT.

For spring-training games, we'll have a first-pitch thread at game time and one overflow thread, 90 minutes after game time (because I know how you all like overflow threads!). For today, that will be 2 p.m. CT and 3:30 p.m. CT. These threads will not post individually onto the front page; instead, you can find links to them in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page. They will also appear in this StoryStream™. The pitcher box and regular-season stats will return on Opening Day.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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