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Schoenfield: Arrieta-Cole an all-time great ace showdown

We all know Wednesday's Jake Arrieta-Gerrit Cole clash is a battle of aces, but it just might be the best one-game playoff matchup ever.

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3hJim Caple

Back, back, back to the future

Thanks to ''Back To The Future, Part II,'' we know the Cubs will win this year's World Series. But what do the next decades hold for Chicago and baseball in general? We traveled 30 years into the future to peek at the 2045 Baseball Almanac.

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2hDan 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.

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Astros own the moment that passes Yankees by

Dallas Keuchel got the better of Alex Rodriguez in a pivotal sixth-inning showdown Tuesday night, Gordon Edes writes, and the Astros are moving on to face the Royals in the American League Division Series.

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One and done: Grading the 2015 Yankees

After the shortest postseason in franchise history, it's time to hand out our year-end report card for the 2015 Bronx Bombers.

Rasmus smashes HR to right field (0:21)
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Dan 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.

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Stark: My World Series prediction

Our guy Jayson Stark doesn't have the best track record when it comes to predicting who will win the World Series. But this year is different. We promise!

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It happened in October ...

From Babe Ruth's called shot to Bill Buckner's error, no month features more thrills and agony than this one. We chronicle 31 epic October moments, including Roy Halladay's no-hitter.


Puig says he's included on NLDS roster

Yasiel Puig missed the final month of the regular season while sidelined with a hamstring injury, but the outfielder says he feels good. Manager Don Mattingly said players have been informed of their status for the series against the Mets, but the 25-man roster has not been revealed.

Jim Bowden ESPN Insider 

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

Jayson Stark Senior Writer, ESPN.com 

Baseball Info Solutions rated Sean Rodriguez as by far the Pirates' best defensive first baseman. He was at 4 runs saved above average. Pedro Alvarez and Mike Morse were minus-14 and minus-1 respectively

Jayson Stark Senior Writer, ESPN.com 

Clint Hurdle on why Sean Rodriguez starts at 1st for the Pirates for the first time since July 21: "We're putting our best pitcher on the mound. Want to put our best defensive team behind him."

This Is SportsCenter: Matt Harvey

When the Dark Knight eats ice cream, it's go big or go home.


Jayson Stark @jaysonst

On the #Cubs' side: Kyle Schwarber in RF. Played there twice - in last 2 games of year. Kris Bryant in LF. Only 2 starts there - 9/11 & 10/2

Doug Padilla ESPN Staff Writer 

Royals manager Ned Yost, on handling the expectations that come with being the AL's top regular-season team: "Pressure is what you make of it. Pressure is kind of like your little imaginary friend you had when you were 4-years old. If you think it's there, it's there. If you don't, you don't."

Gordon Edes ESPN Staff Writer 

The icemen cometh? Blue Jays show their support for that other sport in town in a full-page ad in the Toronto Star.

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.

Olney: Cubs, Pirates are best two teams

Buster Olney on the NL wild-card game: "It’s going to be a shame that one of these two team’s season is going to end tonight, but it adds to the drama of this game."


Gordon Edes ESPN Staff Writer 

David Price shows up at his pregame media conference with a cartoon of himself and his pup, Astro.

Doug Padilla ESPN Staff Writer 

The Kansas City Royals are on the field Wednesday for their final workout before the start of the ALDS on Thursday night. The Houston Astros are not expected to work out after winning the AL wild-card game in NY on Tuesday.

Jesse Rogers @ESPNChiCubs

People asking about the lineup: They like La Stella at 5 to "move the ball" as Maddon likes to say. For this particular matchup at least.

Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN

Pedro Alvarez is a big-time home run threat, but the Pirates know this: Jake Arrieta has allowed two homers in the last 113 days.

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.


One small surprise in Pirates lineup

Sean Rodriguez will start at first base instead of Pedro Alvarez for tonight's NL wild-card game vs. the Cubs (8:08 p.m. ET). Rodriguez has not started a game since Sept. 15, while Alvarez started six of the Pirates' last eight games.

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)

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Marchand: 2 offseason priorities for N.Y.

Andrew Marchand said the Yankees can improve in a couple of ways: "No. 1, starting pitching. They're going to have to get better there. ... Also, they've got to improve against left-handed pitching."