A look at the National League wild-card game between the Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs:


Schedule: Tuesday, at Chicago, 8:09 p.m. EDT (ESPN).


Season Series: Tied 3-3.


Projected Lineups:

Rockies: CF Charlie Blackmon (.291, 29 HRs, 70 RBIs), 2B DJ LeMahieu (.276, 15, 62), LF David Dahl (.273, 16, 48), 3B Nolan Arenado (.297, 38, 110), SS Trevor Story (.291, 37, 108), RF Carlos Gonzalez (.276, 16, 64), 1B Ian Desmond (.236, 22, 88), C Chris Iannetta (.224, 11, 36).

Cubs: 2B Daniel Murphy (.299, 12, 42 with Nationals and Cubs), RF Ben Zobrist (.305, 9, 58), SS Javier Baez (.290, 34, NL-best 111, 21 SBs), 1B Anthony Rizzo (.283, 25, 101), 3B Kris Bryant (.272, 13, 52), LF Kyle Schwarber (.238, 26, 61), CF Jason Heyward (.270, 8, 57) or Ian Happ (.233, 15, 44) or Albert Almora (.286, 5, 41), C Willson Contreras (.249, 10, 54).


Starting Pitchers:

Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story is congratulated by fans after the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018, in Denver. The Rockies won 12-0. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Rockies: LH Kyle Freeland (17-7, 2.85 ERA, lowest full-season ERA for starting pitcher in team history).

Cubs: LH Jon Lester (18-6, 3.32).



Rockies: RH Wade Davis (3-6, 4.13 ERA, led NL with team-record 43/49 saves), RH Adam Ottavino (6-4, 2.43, 112 Ks, most by a Rockies reliever), RH Scott Oberg (8-1, 2.46), RH Seunghwan Oh (2-0, 2.57 with Rockies; 4-3, 2.68 with Toronto), LH Chris Rusin (2-3, 6.20), LH Jake McGee (2-4, 6.49), RH Bryan Shaw (4-6, 5.93), LH Harrison Musgrave (2-3, 4.63), LH Tyler Anderson (7-9, 4.55), RH Antonio Senzatela (6-6, 4.38), RH Jon Gray (12-9, 5.12).

Cubs: RH Pedro Strop (6-1, 2.26, 13/17 saves, uncertain if he’ll be available because of hamstring injury), RH Steve Cishek (4-3, 2.18, 4 saves), LH Justin Wilson (4-5, 3.46), RH Carl Edwards Jr. (3-2, 2.60), LH Brian Duensing (3-0, 7.65), LH Randy Rosario (4-0, 3.66), RH Jesse Chavez (5-2, 2.55, 5/6 saves for Rangers and Cubs; 2-1, 1.15, 4/5 saves, 31 games with Cubs), RH Brandon Kintzler (3-3, 4.60 for Nationals and Cubs; 2-1, 7.00 with Cubs), LH Jorge De La Rosa (0-2, 3.38 for Diamondbacks and Cubs; 0-0, 1.29 with Cubs), LH Cole Hamels (9-12, 3.78 for Rangers and Cubs; 4-3, 2.36 in 12 starts with Cubs), LH Mike Montgomery (5-6, 3.99 in 38 games, 19 starts).



Each team scored 33 runs during the season series, but they haven’t played each other since early May. … Freeland’s 17 wins tied for second in franchise history and were the most since Ubaldo Jimenez had a team-record 19 in 2010. The left-hander also became the first Rockies pitcher to reach 200 innings since Jimenez that year. Freeland, a Denver native, isn’t intimidated by pitching at higher elevation. He was 10-2 with a 2.40 ERA at hitter-friendly Coors Field, the lowest mark for a starter in club history. But in this game he’ll be on the road, where he went 7-5 with a 3.23 ERA. … Colorado’s 57 wins against teams at or above .500 led the majors. … The Rockies had 46 comeback wins, third-most in club history. … Chicago finished fourth in the NL in runs despite being held to one or zero in 39 games. … Rizzo went from batting .246 before the All-Star break to .329 afterward. He has four straight 100-RBI seasons, making him the first Cubs left-handed hitter to drive in at least 100 in four different years. … Contreras slumped at the plate following a strong start, hitting .200 after the All-Star break. But he threw out an NL-high 27 runners trying to steal.


Colorado Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon follows the flight of his RBI-double off Washington Nationals starting pitcher Kyle McGowin in the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Big Picture:

Rockies: Chasing first division title in 26-year history of the team, Colorado fell just short Monday with a 5-2 loss at Dodger Stadium in a tiebreaker for NL West crown. That sent Rockies (91-72) on road in wild-card game for second consecutive season under manager Bud Black. They lost 11-8 at Arizona last year. Colorado is making back-to-back playoff appearances for first time. … Arenado led NL in homers, and Story set career high with 37. Blackmon joined Willie Mays and Duke Snider as only NL center fielders to have at least three seasons with 25 homers and 100 runs. … After an eight-game home losing streak ended June 19, team went 36-14 at Coors Field. The .720 winning percentage was best mark in NL during that time. … Rockies went 19-9 in September, their second-most wins in the month behind 20 in 2007.

Cubs: Went from trailing Brewers by 4 1/2 games in NL Central on May 30 to leading them by five on Sept. 2. Chicago dropped four of six to Milwaukee in September before losing 3-1 to Brewers at Wrigley Field in tiebreaker for division title Monday. … Chicago (95-68) is in playoffs for franchise-record fourth straight season, a run that includes three consecutive appearances in the NLCS and a World Series championship in 2016 that ended a 108-year drought. … Cubs play in wild-card game for second time in four seasons. They beat Pittsburgh in 2015. … Baez became team’s first NL RBI champion since Sammy Sosa led majors with 160 in 2001. … Zobrist was sixth in NL in batting average after hitting .232 last year. … Bryant, the 2016 NL MVP, made two trips to disabled list because of left shoulder inflammation and played in only 102 games. … Cubs are 387-261 in four seasons under manager Joe Maddon.


Watch For:

— Story Time. It’s been a big season for Story, the first shortstop in major league history with at least 40 doubles, 30 homers and 25 stolen bases. He hurt his elbow late in the season at Los Angeles, missing five games, but has quickly picked up where he left off.

— Bryant’s Bat. If the Cubs are going to make another deep playoff run, it would obviously help to have Bryant contributing at the plate. He homered just twice in his final 30 regular-season games, though he did drive one out against St. Louis last Friday.

— Flashing Leather. It seems almost every game, Arenado turns in a highlight-reel play at third base. He’s won five straight Gold Gloves.

— End Game. Chicago has been using a closer-by-committee, with Strop (hamstring) and Brandon Morrow (elbow) injured. Morrow is done for the season, but Maddon wasn’t sure if Strop could be available for this game. The reliever was hurt running to first on a double-play grounder Sept. 13 but expects to return during the playoffs.


Source: The Associated Press

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