Cubs tab Jon Lester over Jake Arrieta as opening-day starter

It’s a difficult choice any manager would love to have which ace pitcher to start on opening day.Joe Maddon said Thursday the defending World Series champion Cubs will go with Jon Lester, last season’s National League Cy Young runner-up,when they open the regular season against the Cardinals on April 2.Lester, who was 19-5 last year with a 2.44 ERA and 197 strikeouts https://www.diamondbacksedges.com/arizona-diamondbacks/chris-owings-jersey , got the nod over Jake Arrieta, who was 18-8 with a 3.10 ERA and 190 Ks.”I had the conversation this morning,” Maddon said Thursday, via ESPN. “I called Jon Lester and asked Jonny if he’d mind being the https://www.diamondbacksedges.com/arizona-diamondbacks/nick-ahmed-jersey Opening Day starter. He’s earned it and deserved it. I also talked to Jake about being the No. 2 guy. Jake understood why we went with Jon first.”Kyle Hendricks, who finished third in Cy Young voting last year after going 16.8 with a 2.13 ERA, will likely wrap up the three-game series with the Cardinals, with John Lackey then starting the fourth game of the year against the Brewers.Lester, 33, started two games in the World Series and won the Babe Ruth Award for postseason MVP after going 3-1 in October with a 1.93 ERA and 30 strikeouts to six walks in 35 2/3 innings.Arrieta, 30, has a no https://www.diamondbacksedges.com/arizona-diamondbacks/archie-bradley-jersey -hitter in each of the last two seasons and was the NL Cy Young Award winner in 2015.”Not many groups have that luxury we do,” Maddon said of having two ace pitchers, via MLB.com. “Jake, two years in a row, has done an outstanding job, so has Jon Lester. Of course, there’s the ascension of Kyle. It has to go to Jon Lester based on the body of work. We feel good about that. However we want to set up three, four, five will follow.”