The Chicago Cubs made a seemingly minor change to their rotation order, but one that will help heading into the All-Star break.
Taking advantage of the off-day today, Jon Lester will now move up to tomorrow, matched up against Chris Archer. Lester switched with John Lackey, who’ll instead go on Wednesday against Blake Snell.
The impact of the switch? Lester will now get an additional start before the All-Star break against the Pirates in the first half finale. Lackey, by contrast, will now make just one more start before the break.
Given how each has pitched this year, and given the potential for changes in the rotation after the break (Kyle Hendricks will return, the Cubs may make a trade), it makes sense to frontload Lester starts and defer Lackey starts where you can do so with normal rest.