Cubs

Is Kyle Hendricks going to be the Cubs' Game 1 starter in the NLDS?

Is Kyle Hendricks going to be the Cubs' Game 1 starter?

The NLDS kicks off Friday, with the Cubs starting their best-of-five series against the Washington Nationals. While Joe Maddon will soon reveal who gets the ball in that game, NBC Sports Chicago's David Kaplan is hearing that Hendricks might be the guy.

"I believe — and my sources have confirmed this for me, Cubs have not confirmed it yet — that Kyle Hendricks will be the starting pitcher," Kaplan said while constructing his Game 1 lineup Tuesday on NBC Sports Chicago.

If Hendricks ends up being the Game 1 starter, he's certainly earned it with how he's pitched this season. He leads all Cubs starting pitchers with a 3.03 ERA, and he's been especially good since returning from a midsummer DL stint on July 24. In his 13 starts since coming off the disabled list, Hendricks posted a 2.19 ERA, allowing just 19 earned runs in 78 innings of work.

Also, Hendricks has the postseason experience after last year's championship run, throwing 7.1 shutout innings opposite Clayton Kershaw in the Cubs' pennant-clinching win in Game 6 of the NLCS and getting the start (allowing one earned run in 4.2 innings) in Game 7 of the World Series.