Cubs beat Mets 5-1 in Las Vegas exhibition (The Associated Press)

Ben Zobrist had two hits, including an RBI single in Chicago's three-run fifth inning, and the Cubs beat the New York Mets 5-1 on Thursday in an exhibition that was the teams' first meeting since last year's NL Championship Series. Cubs right-hander Ryan Williams, who was assigned to the minors on March 25 but stayed with the team through its Las Vegas trip, tossed three scoreless innings. Tommy La Stella had two hits for Chicago, which was swept by New York in the playoffs.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on March 31, 2016

'Cursed' Chicago Cubs tipped to end drought as season begins (AFP)

The Chicago Cubs have Major League Baseball buzzing at the prospect of seeing the game's long-time loveable losers end their century-plus World Series title drought in 2016. The Cubs were a group of over-achieving youngsters when they powered to the National League Championship Series last season, only to have their hearts broken by the New York Mets.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on March 31, 2016

Spring Headlines: Andrew Miller will pitch through hand injury (Big League Stew)

The New York Yankees aren't about to panic just yet. Reliever Andrew Miller may have a fracture in his non-pitching hand, but that won't prevent him from taking the mound during the regular season. Miller has decided to pitch through the injury rather than go on the disabled list , according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News. [ Sign up for Fantasy Baseball | Play for $40K | Expert rankings | Mock draft ] The news probably comes as a big relief to Yankees fans, as the club was set to open the season without two of its three vaunted relievers. Aroldis Chapman will miss time serving a 30-game suspension after an offseason domestic violence incident. With the 30-year-old Miller also out, that would have left Dellin Betances as the only elite back-end option for New York. That will no longer be the case. Miller and Betances will again team up to form one of the best late-inning duos in the game. The on field results should only get better once Chapman arrives. While a hand injury to a pitcher never seems like a good thing, the Yankees escaped without a major issue here. Considering much of their roster construction in the offseason was based on having multiple elite relievers, he club is likely breathing a huge sigh of relief. OTHER SPRING HEADLINES Benched: Travis Shaw, not Pablo Sandoval, will open the season as the Boston Red Sox's starter at third base. [ The Stew ] Disappointed: New York Mets ace Matt Harvey is upset some members of the media made fun of his recent health issue. [ New York Daily News ] Looking good: Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano is getting rave reviews from scouts this spring. [ New York Post ] Made it: After two Tommy John surgeries, reliever Cory Luebke has made the Pittsburgh Pirates opening day roster. He hasn't pitched in the majors since 2012. [ Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ] Don't budge: Baltimore Orioles outfielder Hyun Soo Kim is resisting being sent to the minors. Kim has a clause in a contract that requires his consent if the club sends him down. The team can either put him on the 25-man roster, or release him. [ @Ken_Rosenthal ] Get him: The Chicago White Sox are among the teams aggressively pursuing recently released pitcher Miguel Gonzalez. [ @ChrisCotillo ] More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: The StewPod: A baseball podcast by Yahoo Sports Subscribe via iTunes or via RSS feed - - - - - - - Chris Cwik is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at christophercwik@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on March 31, 2016

Podcast: MLB prediction bonzana with ESPN’s Aaron Boone (Big League Stew)

This is The StewPod, our baseball podcast with a dash of pop culture. If you dig the show, please  subscribe and review us on iTunes . With opening day getting closer by the hour, this week's podcast is devoted to everyone's favorite thing this time of spring — predictions. Oh yes, The StewPod has predictions for you.  And so does Aaron Boone, the ESPN analyst who you'll see this season on Sunday Night Baseball alongside Dan Shulman and Jessica Mendoza. That's the broadcast team you'll hear calling Sunday night's opener, a World Series rematch between the New York Mets and Kansas City Royals.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on March 31, 2016

Cubs, Brewers illustrate baseball's boom-bust cycle (The Associated Press)

Practically neighbors, the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers illustrate baseball's boom-bust cycle. At Wrigley Field, the Cubs have boosted payroll by about $50 million this year in an effort to win their first World Series title since 1908. At Miller Park, the Brewers overhauled their roster after finishing last in the NL Central and cut their big league player budget to under $60 million.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on March 31, 2016

Cinderellas dream of wearing World Series crown (Reuters)

The Kansas City Royals won their first World Series in 30 years last season but that wait could seem fleeting if the Chicago Cubs write their Cinderella story in the 2016 Major League Baseball campaign. The Royals and New York Mets, who battled in last year's Fall Classic, meet to launch the season on Sunday and could well return to glory, but it is Chicago and their drive to end a 107-year drought who are the darlings heading into the campaign.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on March 31, 2016

Five players to follow during the 2016 MLB season (Reuters)

(Reuters) - Five players to track during the 2016 Major League Baseball season which opens on Sunday. CARLOS CORREA (HOUSTON ASTROS) The 21-year-old shortstop, who became the first Puerto Rican to be selected first overall in a Major League Baseball draft in 2012, won American League Rookie of the Year honors even though he spent the first two months of last season in the minors. The slick-fielding Correa, who fit right in at the major league level by hammering 22 home runs, stealing 14 bases and batting . ...

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on March 31, 2016

Five storylines to follow during the 2016 MLB season (Reuters)

(Reuters) - Five storylines to track during the 2016 Major League Baseball season which opens on Sunday. ICHIRO'S PURSUIT OF 3,000 HITS With 2,935 hits, the countdown is on to Japanese outfielder Ichiro Suzuki becoming only the 29th player in MLB history to join the magical 3,000-hit club. Suzuki will return with the Miami Marlins this season in the same outfield reserve role he occupied last year, but it should still offer him a decent shot at reaching the milestone.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on March 31, 2016

Here are our previews for every MLB team before the 2016 season (Big League Stew)

The Major League Baseball regular season is nearly upon us. In anticipation of the season, the Big League Stew crew compiled team previews for all 30 clubs.  [ Sign up for Fantasy Baseball  |  Play for $40K  |  Expert rankings  |  Mock draft  ]  The previews were ordered based on team strength, with the Philadelphia Phillies landing at 30 and the Chicago Cubs at the top spot. In case you missed out on one or two previews, or in case you want to catch up on them now, we're compiling them below for all to read.

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on March 31, 2016

Baseball-Five players to follow during the 2016 MLB season (Reuters)

March 31 (Reuters) - Five players to track during the 2016 Major League Baseball season which opens on Sunday. CARLOS CORREA (HOUSTON ASTROS) The 21-year-old shortstop, who became the first Puerto Rican to be selected first overall in a Major League Baseball draft in 2012, won American League Rookie of the Year honors even though he spent the first two months of last season in the minors. The slick-fielding Correa, who fit right in at the major league level by hammering 22 home runs, stealing 14 bases and batting . ...

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This post was written by Yahoo! Sports - MLB - New York Mets News on March 31, 2016