Chicago Cubs 2017 preview: April presents distractions

The Chicago Cubs look ahead to a season full of new challenges and highlights. After a historical 2016, the Cubs will have a target firmly on their backs as the rest of the league works to match them. With Spring Training just around the corner, Cubbies Crib wants to preview 2017’s schedule and what lies ahead for the world champs.

If having the distraction of being a defending champion isn’t enough of a challenge, try starting that defense in your rival’s backyard.

The Cubs open up the 2017 campaign in St. Louis on April 2nd. Sunday Night Baseball will serve as the backdrop when the Cubs battle the Cardinals. In addition to the national audience, the Cubs will see a familiar face.

Former Cubs OF Dexter Fowler will likely be leading off for the Cards. The emotion and intrigue of that moment will be evident for both Fowler and the Cubs.

On April 10th the Cubs will open up the home portion of their season. The Los Angeles Dodgers will provide the opposition in a rematch of the NLCS. This will be a special night as the city of Chicago celebrates the first championship in the historic Wrigley Field.

The nine-game homestand will also feature divisional games against Pittsburgh and Milwaukee.

April’s slate will be headlined with a weekend interleague series against the

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