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Cubs vs. Rangers at Mesa preview, Thursday 3/14, 3:05 CT

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The Cubs return home, and Yu Darvish faces his old team.

Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

MESA, Arizona — This will be Yu Darvish’s first appearance against his former team, the Rangers, this spring. He faced them once last spring as well. Depending on how the Cubs announce their rotation, he might wind up facing them in the opening series at Texas.

In the grand scheme of things, that probably doesn’t mean much at all. Just a random note on a random March day during spring training.

The weather has finally turned nice in the Valley. It will be sunny and in the mid 60s today, then rapidly warm through the 70s into the 80s by the weekend, weather much more conducive to baseball.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

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

Albert Almora Jr. left Tuesday night’s game earlier than any of the other regulars, after only three innings, but he’s back in the lineup this afternoon, so there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with him.

Rangers lineup:

Choo LF, DeShields CF, Guzman 1B, Davidson 3B, Pence RF, Kiner-Falefa C, Forsythe SS, Tocci DH, White 2B

The Rangers are a split squad today.

As noted above, Yu Darvish gets the start for the Cubs. Cubs relievers today (in alphabetical order): Brian Duensing, Brandon Kintzler, James Norwood, Duane Underwood Jr. and Rowan Wick.

Adrian Sampson will go for the Rangers. Other Rangers pitchers scheduled today: Connor Sadzeck, Jordan Romano, Phillips Valdez, and C.D. Pelham.

Today’s game is an audio webcast on cubs.com. No TV today.

MLB.com Gameday

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.

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.

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.