I think many of us assumed Jake Arrieta would start Game 1 of the National League Championship Series; he is the team's ace this year and Game 1 would put him on his normal four days' rest after he threw againt the Cardinals Monday.
Instead, manager Joe Maddon made the rumors we had heard earlier this week official Thursday afternoon:
Lester will start Game 1 for #Cubs and Arrieta in Game 2 #NLCS— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) October 15, 2015
Thinking about this more carefully, it makes sense. Jon Lester last started in Game 1 of the Division Series against the Cardinals; that game was Friday, October 9. Pushing him back to Game 2 of the NLCS would have had him starting on eight days' rest, perhaps too much. A Game 1 start has him going on seven days' rest, with Arrieta having an additional rest day past his normal, or five days' rest since the Monday outing against the Cardinals.
Now will start the speculation about the remainder of the series. I would assume that Kyle Hendricks will get the call for Game 3, the first NLCS game at Wrigley Field next Tuesday, and Jason Hammel will go on Wednesday for Game 4. That would set up Lester for a potential Game 5 and Arrieta for a possible Game 6.
More on this, of course, when it's available.