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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)

Getty Images, USA TODAY Sports

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."


Five questions for Rangers-Jays series

Tim Kurkjian leads with the most daunting task for Texas' pitching staff: "Can anyone slow down the Toronto offense?" Four more Q's


This Is SportsCenter: Matt Harvey

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


Marchand: Yankees had a good season

Despite losing the AL wild-card game, Andrew Marchand said N.Y.'s season was OK: "It's a pretty good season because this Yankees team was expected to be in the bottom half of the AL East. Instead, they nearly won the division."


Pitching could rule in NL wild-card game

Jake Arrieta was 3-1 with an 0.75 ERA in five starts against the Pirates this season. Gerrit Cole was 2-1 with a 2.13 ERA in four starts against the Cubs, striking out 32 and walking four. What's gonna give? Wild card stats to know

Getty Images, AP Photo

Royals believe in the pen without Holland

Last October, the Royals knew leads were safe in the hands of their lockdown bullpen. Can Kansas City's relievers slam the door again despite the loss of closer Greg Holland? Still gritty and scrappy

David Ross, the Cubs' difference-maker?

How did a 38-year-old backup catcher who hit .190 the past 3 seasons become the clubhouse leader? Why does manager Joe Maddon refer to Ross as someone who "brings out courage and strength in other people" and is an irreplaceable piece of these Cubs? Intangibles


Adam Rubin @AdamRubinESPN

Terry Collins affirmed that Lucas Duda, Daniel Murphy and Curtis Granderson are starting Game 1 vs. LHP. Only regular LH to sit is Conforto.

What’s next for the Yankees?

Jim Bowden says the Yankees have a solid, young core but should acquire a right-handed, middle-of-the-lineup bat. Three offseason objectives (Insider)

Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports