Pittsburgh Pirates v. Chicago Cubs: The Starting Pitchers

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Jul 10, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) takes the field to pitch against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

In many ways, Gerrit Cole has been primed for a moment like tonight ever since he was taken no. 1 overall in the 2011 MLB entry draft. With a pedigree and a promising young career to this point, Cole took a huge step forward, setting career highs in virtually every category that we use to measure modern-day pitchers.

Jake Arrieta took a different path. After mediocre performances for the better part of 4 seasons, Arrieta has found his game in a Cubs uniform. At times earlier in his career he seemed like a borderline back-end starter or middle reliever. Whereas Arrieta has scratched and clawed his way to this stage, Cole has been primed for it his entire career, and it shows. Gerrit Cole is not tweeting Cubs fans. He’s been aiming for a night like tonight since his first day in the major leagues. It consumes his thoughts and drives his performances.

In a season where he has put it all together to begin tapping into his potential, Cole is primed to take a great leap forward and then douse himself in champagne afterwards.

Arrieta’s recent performance cannot be ignored.

Sometimes though, you just have to get out of the way of a budding superstar.

For his track record, his pedigree, and the seemingly predestined climb to this moment, the advantage goes to Cole.

Next: Pirates vs Cubs: The Intangibles