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Pregame Notes: Chicago Cubs to face off against Oakland; Mike Olt gets start at third


Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs today will travel to Phoenix Municipal Stadium to play against Billy Beane`s Oakland Athletics, which will be the teams` final game in the stadium as the Athletics are set to move to Hohokam Park next year, of course, the Cubs old facility. After dropping an 8-3 contest against Cincinnati yesterday afternoon the Cubs will look to pick up win number twelve, while the Athletics are searching for number thirteen.

The North Siders will send right-hander Jason Hammel (1-0, 4.50 ERA) to the mound to take on the Athletics, and will be opposed by fellow righty Jesse Chavez. All the injuries Oakland has suffered opened up a spot in the rotation for Chavez, who has had a magnificent spring with an ERA of 1.04.

The lineup for the Cubs today features once again, Mike Olt at third base. This weekend has been a very important test for Olt, as he will start consecutive games at the hot corner for the first time all spring. If Olt shows he can handle the throws to first every day, there`s a very large chance he will be in the opening day lineup.

Luis Valbuena is at second base today, who some fans forget that he can play there everyday. This puts even more pressure on Darwin Barney to perform, as Valbuena has been tearing it up this spring.

Luckily for Cubs fans, the game today will be televised on WGN, giving us another look at Olt. Not to mention, Ryan Kalish in his late pursuit for a bench job.

Here`s how the two teams will line up:

The Cubs:

And the Oakland Athletics: