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Chicago Cubs vs. Boston Red Sox Preview, Friday 4/28, 6:10 CT

Theo Epstein's World Series champion Cubs visit his former club in Boston this weekend.

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday night, the Yankees and Red Sox played a game in two hours, 21 minutes.

Just eight games so far this year have been completed in that amount of time or shorter (shortest: 2:13, Padres vs. Diamondbacks on April 19).

But more significantly, it was the fastest Red Sox/Yankees game at Fenway Park in 25 years, since the teams played in 2:17 on June 15, 1992.

The Cubs, meanwhile, have played just two games this year in less than three hours.

No complaints, just pointing out a fact of modern baseball and marveling that two clubs (Yankees and Red Sox) known for long games managed to get one in Thursday in so short a time.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Schwarber DH, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist LF, Russell SS, Contreras C, Heyward RF, Baez 2B, Almora CF

The use of the DH in this series gives the Cubs an opportunity to put this lineup on the field, probably their strongest defensive lineup.

Red Sox lineup:

Bogaerts SS, Benintendi LF, Betts RF, Ramirez DH, Moreland 1B, Pedroia 2B, Bradley CF, Vazquez C, Hernandez 3B

Jake Arrieta vs. Drew Pomeranz

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The last time Jake Arrieta pitched in Fenway Park, June 30, 2014, he took a perfect game into the eighth inning. This game was a hint of what was to come for Jake in 2015.

He has been decent so far this year, not great, not awful, and one of the things that suggests to me that he could be in line for a good year is his walk rate -- just five walks so far in 24⅔ innings. Current Red Sox players are a small-sample-size 8-for-49 (.163) against Jake, but three of those hits are home runs (Mitch Moreland, Dustin Pedroia, Pablo Sandoval).

Drew Pomeranz threw six shutout innings against the Cubs in the second game of a doubleheader May 11, 2016 at Wrigley Field as a member of the Padres, one of the few visiting pitchers who had success against the Cubs at Wrigley last year.

So far this year, Pomeranz has one good start, one fair start and one poor start. Current Cubs have an even smaller sample size against Pomeranz: 6-for-27 (.222). Hopefully they can figure him out tonight.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago Plus. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Chicago and Boston markets).

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday game preview

SB Nation game preview

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The 2017 Game Thread procedure will be the same as the one used during 2016. Here's how it works.

You'll find the game preview posted separately on the front page, two hours before game time (90 minutes for some early day games following night games).

At the same time, a StoryStream containing the preview will also post on the front page. The First Pitch Thread and all the overflow threads will be published in that stream, as well as the recap. The recap will also live on the front page as a separate post, and at the time I write the recap I will rename the stream "Cubs vs. (Team) (Day of Week) Game Threads" so you can go back and find every thread related to that particular game.

You will also be able to find the preview, First Pitch Thread, all the overflow threads and recap in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page (you can also find them in this section link). They will also appear in the game's StoryStream as noted above.

The First Pitch thread will post at five minutes before game time, then an overflow thread at one hour, two hours and 2:45 after the scheduled game time.

Get tickets to Cubs games from our partner Stubhub here.

Discuss amongst yourselves.