Jon Lester will start the Chicago Cubs' playoff opener.
Manager Joe Maddon announced Tuesday he was going with Lester over Kyle Hendricks and 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta in Game 1 of the NLDS against the New York Mets or San Francisco Giants. The series opens at Wrigley Field on Friday, with the Cubs' sights set on winning their first World Series since 1908 after leading the majors with 103 wins.
Lester (19-5) was second in the majors to Hendricks with a 2.44 ERA.
Hendricks (16-8, 2.13) will start Game 2 at home on Saturday. Arrieta (18-8, 3.10) will pitch Game 3 on the road, with John Lackey (11-8, 3.35) starting Game 4 if necessary.
Lester was 10-2 with a 1.74 ERA at Wrigley Field. Hendricks also dominated at home, going 9-2 with a 1.32 ERA.
Arrieta was shaky down the stretch, going 3-3 with a 4.33 ERA in his last seven starts.