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Cubs vs. Rangers at Mesa preview, Saturday 2/24, 2:05 CT

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Today marks the Cubs’ spring home opener.

Action from Friday’s game at Maryvale
Al Yellon

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — The Cubs will play the first of 16 home games at Sloan Park this afternoon.

The weather forecast is a vast improvement over Friday’s, much better baseball conditions. It should be sunny and around 60 today. If you are going to the game and your seat is in the shade, bring a jacket.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

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

Ah, there they are — most of the regular lineup. Expect them all to get 2-3 at-bats before they depart.

Also, as Joe Maddon noted a couple of days ago, he will be trying out several different players in the leadoff spot. Expect the guys you see leading off this spring to rotate through the No. 1 spot as spring games go along, before Joe decides. Or he might not have a single “leadoff guy,” instead doing it based on matchups.

Rangers lineup:

DeShields CF, Odor DH, Profar SS, Mazara RF, Guzman 1B, Robinson LF, Nicholas C, Lopes 3B, Alberto 2B

Eddie Butler will start for the Cubs. Other pitchers on the Cubs list today: Cory Mazzoni, Luke Farrell, Dillon Maples, Alec Mills, Duane Underwood Jr. and Oscar De La Cruz.

Clayton Blackburn gets the call for the Rangers.

Today’s game is on 670 The Score with Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer.

MLB.com Gameday

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

Please visit our SB Nation Rangers site Lone Star Ball. If you do go there to interact with Rangers fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.

Please note that during spring training, Gameday doesn't usually go pitch-by-pitch as it does during the regular season -- usually, it will update after each at-bat.

For spring-training games, we'll have a first-pitch thread at five minutes to 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 3 p.m. CT and 4:30 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. There will also be a StoryStream on the front page with all the game thread links, as well as the recap after the game is over. The pitcher boxes and regular-season stats will return on Opening Day.

Discuss amongst yourselves.