NLDS Game 1: Jon Lester set to take on former teammate in Lackey


With the N.L. Wild Card in their back pockets, the Chicago Cubs are set to take on N.L. Central winning St. Louis Cardinals in what’s promising to be one heck of a match-up.

The Cardinals (100-62) had Chicago’s number early on, but it didn’t take long until this new-look club was able to bounce back by winning games in both St. Louis and at Wrigley Field.

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Tonight’s starter, Jon Lester (11-12, 3.34 ERA) will make his first postseason start as a member of the Cubs (97-65) along with longtime teammate, David Ross as they take on a man who helped them win a World Series title in 2013.

Lester carries a career 6-4 record with a 2.57 earned run average having allowed a combined 24 earned runs on 67 hits and eight home runs while posting a 73/23 K/BB ratio across 84 innings.

He’s no stranger at pitching against the Cardinals in the postseason as surrendered only one earned run in two starts back in 2013. Jon worked 15 2/3 frames that year, picking up wins in Game 1 and Game 5 for the Red Sox.

Starting opposite Joe Maddon‘s veteran southpaw will be 36-year-old John Lackey. Lackey (13-10, 2.77 ERA) has made only one start in a National League Division Series and it came with the Cardinals last season.

In a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Lackey held the N.L. West powerhouse to only one earned run on five hits while issuing one walk and recording eight strikeouts in seven innings of work.

He’ll definitely have his hands full with this young lineup tonight that was led by Kyle Schwarber who had three RBI in Wednesday night’s 4-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The bottom half of Chicago’s lineup will need to step it up. This team cannot rely on the top of the order to do all the work later on this evening as they struggled in the Wild Card playoff.

First pitch is scheduled for 5:45 p.m. central time and will air on TBS, WBBM 780 A.M.

Here’s a look at tonight’s starting lineup’s:

Next: Game 1 X-Factors for Cubs vs Cardinals