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Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Dodgers preview, Friday 5/26, 9:10 CT

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The Cubs open their first West Coast road trip of 2017.

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David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Hello, first place. How have you been? It's been a couple of weeks and we have missed you.

Hopefully, the Cubs, now on a seven-of-nine roll, will stay in the top spot in the N.L. Central for the rest of 2017.

And isn't it nice to have six games coming up where you don't have to consult the weather forecast every five minutes?

Happy birthday to Ben Zobrist, who turns 36 today.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Zobrist LF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Happ CF, Contreras C, Heyward RF, Baez 2B, Russell SS, Arrieta P

Dodgers lineup:

Forsythe 3B, Seager SS, Grandal C, Gonzalez 1B, Taylor CF, Bellinger LF, Utley 2B, Puig RF, Wood P

Jake Arrieta vs. Alex Wood

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

Fun Jake Arrieta fact:

Tonight is, of course, Jake's first start in California for 2017. Dodger Stadium was the site of his first no-hitter in 2015. Jake had a good outing in his last start, Sunday against the Brewers, and current Dodgers are 10-for-60 (.167) against him. Most of those hits are from Adrian Gonzalez (6-for-21), so the rest of the current L.A. team is just 4-for-39 off Jake.

Time for him to have another Jake! start, I'd say.

What's gotten into Alex Wood all of a sudden? He's always been a decent MLB starting pitcher, when healthy. Suddenly this year he's one of the best starters in the major leagues, currently riding a scoreless inning streak of 19⅓ innings. Has he figured things out? Maybe. In two recent starts he struck out 10+ hitters in six innings or fewer against the Rockies and Pirates.

Current Cubs are 13-for-49 (.265) against Wood, a fairly small sample size. Kris Bryant is 3-for-7 with a home run.

Today's game is on ABC7 Chicago. It’s also on MLB Network outside the Chicago and Los Angeles 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.

Get tickets to Cubs games from our partner StubHub here.

Discuss amongst yourselves.