Legends On Deck

NL Wild Card Preview: Chicago Cubs At Pittsburgh Pirates

(mlb.com)

(mlb.com)

The National League Central Division sent three teams to the playoffs and boasted the three best records in Major League Baseball. With the St. Louis Cardinals taking the division title, the Pittsburgh Pirates (98-64) and Chicago Cubs (97-65)  have  secured the two wild card spots and will go head to head on Wednesday night at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The winner will face the Cardinals starting this weekend, but here are some things that you might need to know:

Probable Starters:

Chicago Cubs:

The Chicago Cubs will send their Ace, RHP Jake Arrieta to the mound in this Wild Card matchup. Arrieta had twenty consecutive quality starts to end the 2015 season, a no -hitter and was quite close in several other starts. With an impressive 22-6 record on the season, Arrieta has just a 1.77 ERA and looks to be a top finalist for the Cy Young. In his last start of the regular season, Arrieta faced the Brewers, striking out seven batters and allowing just two hits, all under 80 pitches to keep him in the mix for postseason activity.

Pittsburgh Pirates:

The Pittsburgh Pirates will counter with one of the best members of their arsenal in RHP Gerrit Cole. With a 19-8 record and a 2.60 ERA on the regular season, his postseason ERA in two starts is 2.45.  In his last start of the season against the Cardinals, Cole allowed two runs in seven innings.

Notable Stats:

Chicago Cubs:

Arrieta is 6-1 on the season in nine starts against the Pirates. His road record is 13-1 in eighteen starts in 2015. Although the Cubs are young, Arrieta will be surrounded by some of the best up and coming players in Major League Baseball.

Pittsburgh Pirates:

Cole has a 7-1 record in nine starts against the Cubs and his home record is 9-3 in fifteen starts. The Pirates will use the energy from PNC Park and the experience of being in this position last year but on the losing end, could push the Bucs into the next round.

 

Bethany Cohen

Bethany Cohen

Senior Editor at Legends On Deck®
Bethany is a Graduate of the University of South Florida and currently resides in Tampa. She is a die-hard Yankees' fan and has been a freelance writer for six years. She has covered the Yankees' Minor League System since 2010 and also does freelance work for Examiner.com and CBS Local Tampa Bay. Follow her on Twitter @TampaBethany
Bethany Cohen