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.
Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon is shaking up his lineup a little for the National League wild-card game.
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.
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.
Jim Bowden ESPN Insider
Jake Arrieta batting 9th for #Cubs only 4th time all year...La Stella at 3B for de and Schwarber in RF...Sean Rodriguez at 1B for #Pirates for de
How to bet Cubs-Pirates
Runs will be at a premium tonight at PNC Park so keep that in mind when considering the odds. Best bets (Insider)
The Northwestern Wildcats have suffered three consecutive painful losses to the Michigan Wolverines.
Andy Reid expressed surprise on Wednesday that ex-Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub is not an NFL head coach.
Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane said Wednesday he's focused on playing hockey and the start of the NHL season while he continues to be investigated for an alleged sexual assault.
ESPN Chalk's Vegas experts give their best bets for the NL wild-card game between the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates.
On Tuesday, I previewed the American League playoffs, and today, it's the National League's turn.
Bears' Robbie Gould honored after making three field goals against Oakland, including the winner from 49 yards out with two seconds left.
With a young core and a strong one-two punch at the top of the rotation, the Cubs are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
How to bet the NL wild-card game
Writes Andrew Lange: "As good as [Gerrit] Cole has been, [Jake] Arrieta has been better. ... It's important to look at this game through the lens of a one-game scenario but make no mistake, Arrieta is well deserving of being the road chalk." Chalk picks (Insider)
He doesn't hit much and hasn't for years. He doesn't play much, either. Nonetheless, here's a claim for backup catcher David Ross as one of the Cubs' most valuable players entering the playoffs.
Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic discuss the Astros' AL wild card win and preview the NL wild card matchup with Buster Olney and Jayson Stark. Plus, Kirk Herbstreit and Ronda Rousey join the show.
What the Cubs lack in experience, they've made up for with talent and confidence all season long. The formula will be put to the test in Pittsburgh.
Jake Arrieta is bad news for Pirates
Arrieta's 0.75 ERA against Pittsburgh in the regular season is tied for the lowest a pitcher has had against a postseason opponent in the same season (Elias).