The Chicago Cubs will host the Colorado Rockies in the National League Wild Card Game on Tuesday night. Both the Cubs and Rockies lost a playoff tiebreaker game on Monday night to find themselves in this position. The Rockies have named young Kyle Freeland as their starter for this game, and the Cubs will counter by starting their ace, Jon Lester.
The Cubs and Rockies split the six games they played against each other this season. The Cubs took two out of three games in Colorado, and the Rockies responded by winning two games at Wrigley Field in early May. The Chicago Cubs are -130 over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.
Cubs Relying on Lester Again
Veteran left-hander Jon Lester has made a ton of huge starts in his playing career, and the Cubs are in need of another one on Tuesday night. Lester was solid for the Cubs this season, finishing with an 18-6 record and a 3.32 earned run average. Lester went 4-1 with a sparkling 1.52 earned run average in his five September starts.
Anthony Rizzo blasted a solo home run against the Brewers on Monday, but it was the only run the Cubs would get. Veteran Ben Zobrist leads the team with a .309 batting average and has also gotten on base at a .378 clip this season. The Cubs need sluggers Kris Bryant and Javier Baez to break out their bats in this game, or the Cubs might be heading home.
Arenado Powering Rockies Offense
Rockies All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado did his part for Colorado this season, but his teammates didn’t provide much help on Monday. Arenado blasted his 38th home run of the season in the game against the Dodgers and also finished with 110 runs batted in. Charlie Blackmon has had great success against Lester in his career, going 4-9 with a triple and a double against the lefty.
Colorado manager Bud Black decided to bring Kyle Freeland back on just three days rest as the starter for this game. Freeland has been the Rockies best pitcher this season and posted a 17-7 record and a 2.85 earned run average through 33 starts this season. The young left-hander has won his last seven decisions dating back to August 6.
Cubs Find a Way, Advance to NLDS
The Rockies offense has gotten them to this point, but postseason games are usually won by a pitcher. Kyle Freeland has had success against the Cubs in his career, but it will be interesting to see how he performs on three days rest. Freeland is the type of pitcher that has given the Cubs fits this season.
Jon Lester will be looking to add another impressive postseason start to his resume. The Cubs have to be disappointed in the way their season ended, but they still have the talent to make a deep postseason run. Look for the Cubs to find enough offense in this game to support Lester and earn the victory. Bet the Chicago Cubs -130 in the NL Wildcard game on Tuesday.