The Chicago Cubs know for a fact that they will be playing in the National League wild card game in a week, but who their opponent will be for the contest has yet to be determined.
As it stands right now, that opponent would be the Pittsburgh Pirates, who hold a three-game lead over the Cubs for the top wild card spot in the NL and would host the one-game wild card playoff at PNC Park.
That could change depending on the results of a doubleheader that pits the Pirates against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday, however. The Pirates trail the Cardinals by four games in the National League Central Division race, but if they’re able to sweep the doubleheader, they would cut that lead down to two games and still possess an outside shot of grabbing the division title and forcing the Cardinals into the wild card game instead.
Unfortunately for the Pirates, if they lose just one of the games to St. Louis on Wednesday, they will be guaranteed nothing better than a wild card spot, and they would have to begin their preparations to face the Cubs next week.
The Cubs will likely be rooting for the Pirates to lose as much as possible over the final five games of the season, as Chicago still clings to hope that they can overtake Pittsburgh and win the right to host the wild card game. The Cubs wrap up the season with two more games against the Reds and a three-game series against the Brewers over the weekend, while the Pirates will welcome the Reds to PNC Park after they finish their series with the Cardinals on Wednesday.