We’re just 35 games into the 2016 season and the first-place Chicago Cubs have already opened up a nine-game lead on the second-place Pittsburgh Pirates and will look to make that a double-digit lead in today’s series finale at Wrigley Field. The Dodgers could help out a little bit as well with a sweep of the St. Louis Cardinals, who are tied with Pittsburgh at nine games back, but the Cubs obviously can’t control that.
What they can control is yet another sweep of the Pirates, which would already be the second one of the year against the Bucs, and Jon Lester will lead the charge today at the Friendly Confines. The Cubs left-hander hasn’t given up more than three runs in any of his seven starts this season and threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings against Pittsburgh 11 days ago. His 1.96 ERA ranks tenth in the Majors this season.
Gerrit Cole will take the mound for the Pirates, who’ll be looking to fare a little better than he has recently against Chicago. He took the loss in last year’s Wild Card game after allowing four runs in five innings and gave up six runs in just 4 2/3 on May 2.
Here’s everything else you need to know about today’s series finale.
Pittsburgh Pirates (18-17) at Chicago Cubs (27-8)
Time: 1:20 PM CT
Location: Wrigley Field
Radio: 670 The Score
Starting Pitchers: Gerrit Cole (3-3, 3.78 ERA) vs Jon Lester (4-1, 1.96 ERA)
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