If I told you that the Chicago Cubs would give up a 5-game lead at the beginning of September and be fighting for their lives in a winner take all NL Wild Card Game on Tuesday night, you’d call me crazy right?
Well, that’s exactly what’s happening.
After losing to the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 163 at Wrigley Field, the Cubs will now host the Colorado Rockies in the Wild Card game with their season on the line. After exploding for 10 runs in the win over St. Louis on Sunday, the Cubs managed to score just 1 against the Brewers in Monday’s tie-breaker game and had just 3 total hits.
It was a day to forget on the North Side and the Cubs will have to do just that as the turnaround will be quick. Colorado enters the game after losing to Los Angeles Monday afternoon, taking the cross country flight for the 7 p.m. CST first pitch.
If you’re looking for some odds on the game, BettingOdds.com currently has the Cubs as favorites in this game. The home field advantage at Wrigley Field may just be the decision maker.
When the Cubs do take the field, they will do so with Jon Lester as their starter. Lester was 18-6 during the regular season and posted a 3.32 ERA but has been very good over the past few weeks. He got the win over the Pittsburgh Pirates last week and will look to extend the Cubs’ season.
Lester has pitched in two Wild Card games prior in his career, most recently with the Oakland Athletics in 2014. The veteran has been Chicago’s best pitcher in the postseason since 2015 and he hopes he can do it again on Tuesday night.
Colorado is going with 25-year-old Kyle Freeland who posted a 2.85 ERA over 202.1 innings this season. He’s been very good against lefties this season so don’t be shocked if Joe Maddon stacks the lineup with righties for the game.
The winner will advance to take on Milwaukee in the NLDS beginning on Thursday night.