The Chicago Cubs will begin their World Series title defense in St. Louis on April 2 against the Cardinals, and we now know who will throw out the first pitch of their 2017 season.

On Thursday, Cubs manager Joe Maddon announced that Jon Lester will get the ball for the first game of the season, giving him his second Opening Day start in the last three seasons.

Lester, who won 19 games last season and was a Cy Young Award finalist in the National League, gets the nod over Kyle Hendricks, who led the National League in ERA and was also a Cy Young finalist a season ago. Jake Arrieta, who started Opening Day in 2016 for the Cubs, was also beaten out for the distinction.

Hendricks will be the first of the starters to get into Cactus League action, as he’ll make his spring debut Saturday. Lester will get his first action of the spring season on Sunday when the Cubs take on the Texas Rangers in Surprise.

Published 5 hours ago

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