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Kyle Hendricks to get the Game 1 NLDS start for the Cubs

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The Cubs face off against the Nats in the NLDS starting this Friday and the guy who will get the Cubs first start of the 2017 postseason is the same one who got the last start in the 2016 postseason: Kyle Hendricks.

Hendricks was 7-5 with a 3.03 ERA in 24 starts this year but had an outstanding second half of the regular season, posting a 2.19 ERA and a 72/19 K/BB ratio over his thirteen starts after the All-Star break.

Jon Lester will start Game 2 on Saturday, Jose Quintana will start Game 3 on Monday and, if the series is not a sweep, Jake Arrieta will start Game 4. Arrieta is being pushed back farther than he normally would be due to a right hamstring injury. John Lackey will, apparently, pitch out of the bullpen.

 

Mookie Betts, Javier Baez leading off the All-Star lineups

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I can’t imagine what it’s like to fill out the lineup card for an All-Star team. Most of the guys are 1-4 hitters on their own teams, but you gotta slot most of them someplace lower. Egos are probably a consideration. Strategic stuff. “Which top of the order or middle of the lineup hitter is batting eighth?” is both a difficult and thankless question.

Dave Roberts and A.J. Hinch have to do it anyway, and today they released the All-Star lineups. Seeing Bryce Harper batting sixth and Manny Machado batting seventh is just not part of the usual baseball experience:

AMERICAN LEAGUE

1. Mookie Betts, RF
2. Jose Altuve, 2B
3. Mike Trout, CF
4. J.D. Martinez, DH
5. Jose Ramirez, 3B
6. Aaron Judge, LF
7. Manny Machado, SS
8. Jose Abreu, 1B
9. Salvador Perez, C

NATIONAL LEAGUE

1. Javier Baez, 2B
2. Nolan Arenado, 3B
3. Paul Goldschmidt, DH
4. Freddie Freeman, 1B
5. Matt Kemp, LF
6. Bryce Harper, CF
7. Nick Markakis, RF
8. Brandon Crawford, SS
9. Willson Contreras, C

Not that this is gonna hold for long what with all of the substitutions.