BOOM: Kyle Hendricks Will Start Game 1 for the Cubs (Yu Darvish and Jon Lester to Follow) | Bleacher Nation

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BOOM: Kyle Hendricks Will Start Game 1 for the Cubs (Yu Darvish and Jon Lester to Follow)

Chicago Cubs

Yu Darvish is the Cubs best chance at winning their second Cy Young award since 2015, but nobody pitches better at Wrigley Field than Kyle Hendricks.

And so the Cubs 2020 Opening Day starter will also get the ball in Game 1 of the NL Wild Card Round playoffs against the Miami Marlins at Wrigley Field:

Frankly, Ross couldn’t have gone wrong here – he later admitted that he feels like he has “two aces” – so I can’t argue with the choice (and obviously that’s especially true because both guys will go, at the same ballpark against the same team, no matter what). This isn’t a five or seven-game series where the first guy might go twice or more, so it’s not a huge deal.

Either way, I like it.

For his career, Hendricks has a 2.54 ERA at Wrigley Field over 537.2 IP. During that time opposing batters have hit just .227/.274/.339 off Hendricks, striking out 21.9% of the time and walking just 5.0%. This season, that Wrigley Field ERA is still an extremely impressive 2.80, while opposing batters are slashing .195/.214/.279 with a 21.4% strikeout rate and a … get this: 1.9% walk rate.

Meanwhile, Yu Darvish has a 2.57 ERA at Wrigley Field this year, but batters are hitting him a fair bit better: .212/.255/.346. Obviously, that’s still insanely impressive and the Cubs couldn’t ask for two better arms than Darvish and Hendricks to go against a Marlins team that struggles against righties.

UPDATE: And as expected, Jon Lester will get the ball in Game 3, if there is one.



Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami