Lester was clicking from spring to fall in 2016
When the dust settled on the Chicago Cubs’ 103-win regular season two years ago, Jon Lester boasted a league-leading .793 winning percentage. Simply put, when this guy took the ball, his team won.
Chicago flew the W more than it had in a century that year – and Lester’s dominance can’t be overstated. In his 19 starts that culminated in a victory for the lefty, his ERA barely broke 1.00. Cactus League action served as a sign of what was to come as he put up a 2.12 ERA in four spring outings.
When the regular season opened, the southpaw just kept rolling. A staggering 4.71 strikeout-to-walk ratio is evidence enough. He was able to do as he pleased with his pitches, coupling his stuff with pinpoint control every time he took the mound.
When the heat was on, there was no one better. Lester limited opposing hitters to a horrendous .065 average with runners in scoring position and two away, and a .115 clip in ‘high-leverage’ situations.
And, of course, in the postseason, he shared NLCS co-MVP honors with Javier Baez. He came out of the bullpen for Joe Maddon in Game 7, helping bring the Cubs their first World Series title in 108 years in the process.