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Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants preview, Thursday 5/25, 1:20 CT

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The Cubs go for the series win over the Giants.

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David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Notice something missing here?

For the first time in this series, no WGN weather radar. There's no rain in the forecast for this afternoon -- none at all!

Not that it's going to be real nice; temperatures will struggle to get out of the 50s, and maybe we'll see a bit of sun, that's it.

More importantly, the Cubs have a shot at a 7-2 homestand with a win this afternoon. That'd be a nice way to send them off to the West Coast and Joe Maddon's "Anchorman" themed road trip.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Zobrist 2B, Schwarber LF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Happ CF, Heyward RF, Montero C, Baez SS, Butler P

The Giants lineup was not available at posting time.

Eddie Butler vs. Jeff Samardzija

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

Hey, here's some potential good news. The last time Eddie Butler faced the Giants, May 8, 2016 in San Francisco, he was really good: six shutout innings, four hits, two walks, six strikeouts. I'll take another one of those, please.

Butler was really good against the Cardinals in his Cubs debut, then walked half the planet in his last outing, last Friday against the Brewers. I'm willing to give him a mulligan on that given the awful weather conditions for that game.

The last time Jeff Samardzija faced the Cubs was Game 2 of the division series last year, and the Cubs chased him in the third inning, with six hits and four runs off him. And the last time he threw against the Cubs in the regular season, September 1, 2016 at Wrigley Field, the Cubs batted around in the first inning and Shark threw 49 pitches in that inning.

Oh, you want to know what he's done this year. Well, his last start was very good: eight shutout innings against the Cardinals. He's got one other really good eight-inning effort (one unearned run vs. the Dodgers, with 11 strikeouts). Apart from those two, though, he's been pretty bad this season, the other seven starts include 31 earned runs in 43 innings with seven home runs.

He hasn't pitched well in Wrigley since he left the Cubs. Hope that continues this afternoon.

Today's game is on ABC7 Chicago. It’s also on MLB Network (outside the Chicago and San Francisco markets).

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com 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.

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Discuss amongst yourselves.