Win or go home.
The MLB wild-card game has quickly become one of the more exciting events in sports since its inception in 2012, and this year’s National League battle between the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates should be no different.
Considering the guys on the mound, it may just be first one to score wins.
Taking the bump for the Cubbies will be Jake Arrieta, who has been impossibly good down the stretch, going 11-0 with a 0.44 ERA in 11 starts. Overall on the season, he’s 21-6 with a 1.82 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 229 strikeouts in 223.0 innings. Opposing him will be Gerrit Cole, who in most years would be a legitimate Cy Young candidate. While he’ll come up short behind Arrieta, Zach Greinke and Clayton Kershaw in that regard, he has still been special, going 19-8 with a 2.60 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 202 punchouts.
On the season, Arrieta has made five starts against the Pirates, going 3-1 and giving up just three earned runs in 36.0 innings. Conversely, Cole has gone 2-1 against the Cubs with a 2.13 ERA in 25.1 innings. Overall, the Cubs own the head-to-head matchup, 11-8.
Last year, the Giants and Royals both went from the wild-card game to the World Series. These two teams, owners of the second- and third-best records in baseball, both have a good chance to replicate that success.
But first, they need one win to stay alive. Here’s everything you need to know about what should be one of the best games of the year:
NL Wild-Card Game Info
Date: Wednesday, October 7, 2015
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania