Cubs Announce 2018 Opening Day Starter - NBC Chicago
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Cubs Announce 2018 Opening Day Starter

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    Jon Lester #34 of the Chicago Cubs stands on the pitcher's mound against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game one of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 15, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

    The Chicago Cubs rotation looks a bit different heading into the 2018 baseball season, but nevertheless, they're starting things off with a familiar face.

    The team announced Tuesday that Jon Lester will be the starting pitcher for Opening Day, when the Cubs will face the Marlins in Miami on March 29.

    In doing so, Lester will notch his third Opening Day start in four years, having only been beaten out by then-reigning Cy Young Award-winner Jake Arrieta in 2016.

    Lester had a 13-8 record in 32 starts last season, averaging about one strikeout per inning with the team. He struggled early on in the season, but rebounded nicely in the second half as he helped the Cubs to their third straight playoff appearance.

    Lester won the Opening Day distinction over pitchers old and new to the team, like Yu Darvish, acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers earlier this month, as well as Tyler Chatwood, who inked a three-year deal with the Cubs in December.

    The Cubs will open the 2018 season with a 10-game road trip beginning in Miami before heading to Cincinnati, then Milwaukee. The team's first home game at Wrigley Field will be April 9 against the Pirates.

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