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Cubs vs. Giants at Mesa preview, Saturday 2/25, 2:05 CT

It’s the Spring Training opener!

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

MESA, Arizona — We will get our first look at the pitch timer, shift restrictions and the new larger bases in this afternoon’s game, but I thought it was important to note this, from two Cactus League games played Friday afternoon:

I could not be happier to see those numbers. Jeff Passan is correct — baseball is going to be very, very different going forward. To refresh your memory, here are detailed explanations of the new rules (with video!).

Here’s something that will remind players of Wrigley Field (at least on some days): The wind will be blowing OUT strongly at Sloan Park this afternoon:

Cloudy through mid morning, then gradual clearing, with a high near 74. Breezy, with a light and variable wind becoming south 10 to 15 mph in the morning. Winds could gust as high as 25 mph.

Play ball!

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Hoerner 2B, Swanson SS, Happ LF, Suzuki RF, Mancini DH, Bellinger CF, Hosmer 1B, Wisdom 3B, Gomes C

That very well could be the lineup on Opening Day, March 30 at Wrigley Field.

Giants lineup:

Wade 1B, Estrada 2B, Pederson DH, Slater CF, Crawford SS, Ramos RF, Sabol C, Schmitt 3B, Piscotty LF

Marcus Stroman will start for the Cubs. Adrian Sampson is expected to piggyback with Stroman. After that (not necessarily in this order): Mark Leiter Jr., Roenis Elias, Vinny Nittoli and Eric Stout.

Tristan Beck will start for the Giants. Others on the Giants list today: Trevor Hildenberger, Nick Duron, Erik Miller, Sam Long, Drew Strotman and Daniel Tillo.

Today’s game is on Marquee Sports Network. Here’s a list of providers currently carrying Marquee. It’s also on radio, on 670 The Score. If you miss the live TV broadcast, this game will be rebroadcast on Marquee at 6:30 p.m. CT. Outside the Cubs market territory, this game will be rebroadcast on MLB Network at 10 p.m. CT. 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 Mediacenter for today.

Please visit our SB Nation Giants site McCovey Chronicles. If you do go there to interact with Giants 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.

As we have done in the past, we’ll have a first-pitch thread at five minutes to game time and one overflow thread, 90 minutes after game time. For today, that will be 2 p.m. CT and 3:30 p.m. CT. There will be only one set of threads for both games today since they start at the same time.

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 photos and regular-season stats will return on Opening Day.

Discuss amongst yourselves.