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Arrieta-Cole an all-time great ace clash

Not only we do get the Cubs and all their history in the NL wild-card game tonight -- we get the 97-win Cubs vs. the 98-win Pirates, and we get Jake Arrieta (22-6, 1.77) vs. Gerrit Cole (19-8, 2.60). Best one-game playoff matchup ever?

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Back, Back, Back to the Future

If "Back to The Future II," is any indication, the Cubs will win this year's World Series. But what do the next decades hold for Chicago and baseball in general? We took a lighthearted look at the future. 2045 Baseball Almanac

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19mJesse Rogers

Anthony Rizzo: 'We have a lot to prove'

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo says the team has a lot to prove as it seeks its first postseason win since 2003.

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1dTim Kurkjian

Kurkjian: Five NL wild-card questions

The NL wild-card game features an intriguing matchup: leading Cy Young Award candidate Jake Arrieta vs. the forgotten man, Gerrit Cole. Tim Kurkjian breaks it down.

Jim Bowden ESPN Insider 

Clint Hurdle playing his best defensive team...Joe Maddon playing his best offensive team...conservative vs Bold Pirates vs or go home...

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No tight race for NL Rookie of the Year

Don't believe the talk about Matt Duffy and Jung Ho Kang. Kris Bryant has the award locked up. In the final two months of the season, Bryant hit .323/.400/.567. Schoenfield's award selections

Phil Steele picks Northwestern-Michigan (1:01)
Phil Steele picks Navy-Notre Dame (1:04)
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Jury out on Wolverines-Wildcats

The Football Power Index has Michigan as a heavy favorite Saturday, but the polls have Northwestern ranked higher. What does our Mark Schlabach think of the matchup? It's time to play Man vs. Metric

Irish not out of the playoff picture yet (0:42)
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Bennett the focal point in Chicago

Some worried that with Marc Trestman's departure, Martellus Bennett's role with the Bears would decrease. Instead, injuries to the receiving corps have sent things in the other direction. Week 5 fantasy tips (Insider)

David Schoenfield SweetSpot blogger 

Tonight's lineups are certainly, umm, interesting. The Cubs are playing Kris Bryant and Kyle Schwarber in the outfield ... in order to get Tommy La Stella's bat at 3B. But La Stella has played just 81 innings at third in his pro career, Bryant has started just 10 games in the outfield and Schwarber has played just 14 innings in RF. The Pirates have benched Pedro Alvarez to get the better glove in Sean Rodriguez at 1B.

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Cubs choosing offense over defense with Tommy La Stella at 3rd and Kris Bryant in LF. Very few starts for either at those positions. La Stella batting 5th. They believe he'll make good contact against Gerrit Cole.

Buster Olney: Cubs and Pirates are best two teams in baseball (0:52)
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5hDan Szymborski

Szymborski: Does Mark Buehrle have HOF case?

With rumblings that Blue Jays pitcher Mark Buehrle could retire following this season, Dan Szymborski puts the crafty 36-year-old lefty's career under the microscope.

ESPN Stats & Info

Vegas granting Cavs a bye to Finals?

Las Vegas sportsbooks are all but giving Cleveland the Eastern Conference title now, pegging them as a 1-4 favorite to advance to the NBA Finals. You would have to wager $400 in order to profit $100, assuming the Cavs do win the East.


Cubs put Bryant in outfield

Rookie Kris Bryant started only four games in LF in the regular season -- compared to 136 at 3B -- but that's where he'll be playing for tonight's NL wild-card game. Tommy La Stella is taking his spot at 3B.

Jeff Dickerson ESPN Staff Writer 

Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio considers himself a good luck charm for the Chicago Cubs. Fangio tells us he was in San Francisco when the Giants won two of their World Series titles. Fangio even said he was the Texans defensive coordinator in 2005 when the Astros reached the World Series.

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Olney on NL wild-card game, Cubs' talent

ESPN MLB Insider Buster Olney discusses the merits of the wild-card format, the NL wild-card game, the Cubs' young talent, the evolution of the sport and the pressure on Matt Harvey.