The Chicago Cubs find themselves on the brink of history as they return to Wrigley Field on Thursday.
The Cubs -- owners of baseball's best record, 93-52 -- would clinch their first division title since 2008 with a victory over the Milwaukee Brewers in the opener of a 10-game homestand.
The division crown would only be the Cubs' sixth since Major League Baseball split into divisions 47 years ago. Chicago is on pace for 103 wins, which would be its first season with 100 or more victories since 1935.
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Cubs manager Joe Maddon is ready to lock it down.
"Let's do it," he said Wednesday after the Cubs' 7-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. "I think it'd be a nice thing to do. The sooner, the better. Then we can make our appropriate plans going forward and really set things up to make our best push."
Jon Lester (17-4) worked eight innings on a hot afternoon at Busch Stadium while the Cubs wrapped up a 6-3 record in St. Louis this season, beating the Cardinals in all three series.
Lester won't see his next action until early next week as the Cubs continue with their late-season, six-man rotation. Left-hander Mike Montgomery (1-1, 3.67 ERA) goes against Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Jimmy Nelson (7-14, 4.42 ERA) on Thursday evening.
Montgomery, 4-5 with a 2.74 ERA overall between the Seattle Mariners and the Cubs this season, makes his fifth start with Chicago and second straight against the Brewers.
He didn't get a decision on Sept. 7 at Milwaukee in a 2-1 Cubs loss after allowing just two hits and one run while striking out six over five innings. Montgomery has given up just 12 hits in four starts with Chicago since arriving in a late-July trade.
Nelson is making his 30th start of the season and fifth against the Cubs.
He has repeatedly struggled against Chicago, going 0-3 with a 3.59 ERA in four starts this season. Nelson is 0-3 with a 4.32 ERA in five career games (four starts) at Wrigley Field. He has an 0-6 record with a 3.59 ERA in 11 career games (nine starts) against the Cubs.
He has been similarly unsuccessful against the Cardinals, posting an 0-7 record in eight career starts, including a 4-3 loss in his last appearance. He allowed four runs on five hits over six innings Friday in St. Louis.
"It's just a crazy game and stuff happens," Nelson said. "There's never really just one answer in this game to anything. You don't want to think there's something wrong and start over-analyzing stuff, so you just try to keep it simple."
The Brewers (65-81) snapped a two-game losing streak and salvaged one win in the three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds by earning a 7-0 victory Wednesday. Milwaukee is just 26-45 on the road.
The four-game series at Wrigley Field is the last leg of an 11-game Milwaukee road trip. The Brewers will be back at Miller Park on Tuesday to face the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Chicago's homestand includes four games with Milwaukee, three with Cincinnati and three against St. Louis. The Cubs close the regular season with seven road games beginning Sept. 26.