Pittsburgh Pirates

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The Cubs know nine-figure contracts for 30-something pitchers are ticking time bombs. They understood what the data said when they gave Jon Lester six years and $155 million guaranteed.

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For all the unbridled optimism and positivity surrounding the Cubs, they’ll still have to get through Pittsburgh Pirates ace Gerrit Cole to make their first playoff appearance since 2008 count.

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Hold the confetti. Keep the champagne bottles corked. Unplug the smoke machine.

For a few hours, at least.

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The Pittsburgh Pirates know where to find Chris Coghlan if they believe in eye-for-an-eye justice.

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The Cubs are having their best season in years and enter the week with their magic number for clinching a wild card berth at five.

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