The final spot in the National League Divisional Series is up for grabs on Tuesday night when the Chicago Cubs host the Colorado Rockies in the win-or-go-home NL Wild Card game.
The game is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN and ESPN2. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can still watch a live stream of the game (or DVR it) on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
In addition to a Netflix-like on-demand streaming library, Hulu also offers a bundle of 50-plus live TV channels, including all the ESPN channels. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
If you can’t watch live, “Hulu with Live TV” also comes with 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of DVR space and the ability to fast forward through commercials).
ESPN and ESPN2 are both included in the “Sling Orange” channel package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the game on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app.
If you can’t watch live, you can get 50 hours of cloud DVR storage as an additional add-on.
Additionally, you can also watch a live stream of the game on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the ESPN app. You’ll need to log in to a cable provider to watch this way, but if you don’t have that, you can still sign up for one of the above options and then use your Hulu or Sling TV credentials to sign in and watch on the ESPN digital platforms.
For the Cubs, who lost Monday’s NL Central tiebreaker to the Milwaukee Brewers, Jon Lester will take the hill in Tuesday’s all-important matchup. With three World Series rings, an NLCS MVP and a 2.55 postseason ERA to his resume, Lester is easily one of the best players in the league to hand the ball to in this situation.
The 34-year-old finished the 2018 regular season with 18 wins and a 3.32 ERA, but some of the peripheral numbers were a little concerning. His WHIP (1.310) was above 1.3 for the second year in a row after going under that mark in four consecutive seasons, while his strikeout rate (7.4 per 9) was his lowest since 2012.
That said, those numbers were affected by a brutal July and August, but he recovered down the stretch. In five starts since the start of September, Lester went 4-1 with a 1.52 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 30 strikeouts in 29.2 innings. Opponents hit just .259 against him in those starts after going .315 and .340 in July and August, respectively.
The Rockies, who lost in this game last year and are looking to book a spot in the NLDS for the first time since 2009, will counter with ace Kyle Freeland. The 25-year-old has been fantastic in his second season, compiling a 2.85 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 202.1 innings.
Freeland may not have the postseason experience (none, to be exact) of Lester, but he’s been a model of consistency this season. He has given up more than three earned runs in just four of his 33 starts, with the last such outing coming all the way back on July 21. Moreover, the Rockies are 15-2 in his last 17 starts.
Both starters will need to be on top of their games as they each must deal with one of league’s best offenses. The Cubs finished the year first in the NL in batting average, second in on-base percentage, sixth in slugging and fourth in runs scored, while the Rockies were third, seventh, second and second, respectively.
Two great starters, two offenses that can rake, and one spot in the NLDS on the line. Welcome back, playoff baseball.