Photo of Jon Lester

Jon Lester (SP)

Chicago Cubs

Bats: L, Throws: L

Jon Lester threw for eight innings and picked up his eleventh win of the season in a blowout over the Reds. He only surrendered three earned runs off of three hits and no walks with nine strikeouts. A strikeout in the fifth inning was his 203rd of the season, the most strikeouts in a season by a leftie in Cubs history.

Fantasy Impact: While 2015 has been a very up and down season for Lester, he finished strong in September with a 2.36 ERA and three wins. In September, Lester struck out at least seven batters on four different occasions and only struck out less than six on one occasion, making him an attractive choice for daily games if he can keep the momentum going and the Cubs make it past the Wild Card game.


Category: Game Recaps

Jon Lester followed up his first complete game of the season with a six inning loss against the Cardinals. He surrendered four earned runs off of six hits (two home runs) and three walks. He struck out seven batters on a total of 110 pitches.

Fantasy Impact: Lester has been very inconsistent this year and he has shown an inability to last late into ballgames despite his recent complete game. Manager Joe Maddon let Lester throw over 100 pitches for the his third consecutive start and he did manage to keep the strikeout numbers respectable, so all is not lost for fantasy owners.


Category: , Game Recaps

Jon Lester came through big for the Cubs in a nine inning win over Pittsburgh to even his record at 10-10. Lester only surrendered one earned run off of five hits and one walk. He struck out nine batters on a total of 111 pitches.

Fantasy Impact: This was Lester's first complete game of the season and the first time he has struck out nine batters since a 10 strikeout performance on August 13th. Manager Joe Maddon has clearly regained his trust in Lester as this was his second consecutive start in which he threw over 100 pitches, and Maddon also let Lester pitch the ninth after he already surpassed the 100 pitch mark in the eighth inning. Lester is pitching very well in September with a 2.25 ERA and he is yet to lose a game so far in the month.


Category: , Game Recaps

Jon Lester pitch great over seven innings against the Cardinals, having only allowed one earned run off of two hits and one walk. He struck out seven batters off of a total of 105 pitches and he slapped a double (his second hit of the year) and scored a run on the other side of the ball.

Fantasy Impact: This was Lester's best start of the month and he was set to take home the win until the bullpen blew the lead in the eight inning. This was the first time Lester has hit the 100 total pitch mark since August 13th and only the second time that he has made it through seven innings since August 7th.


Category: , Game Recaps

Jon Lester only lasted five innings, but it was enough to secure a win with the high powered Cubs offense behind him. Lester gave up two earned runs off of five hits and two walks. He struck out three batters on a total of 91 pitches.

Fantasy Impact: A win is always nice to see, especially when a pitcher has gone three starts without one, this was not a particularly encouraging effort against a Paul Goldschmidt-less Arizona squad. Lester has not been going deep into games and manager Joe Maddon has not let Lester throw more than 100 pitches in his last four starts. While this start was an improvement over his last, Lester still has some work to do before he can be trusted in fantasy.


Category: , Game Recaps

Jon Lester picked up his tenth loss of the season after a six inning performance (he faced four batters in the seventh inning). Lester surrendered five earned runs off of eight hits and zero walks. He managed to strikeout seven batters in 96 total pitches.

Fantasy Impact: Lester has had a couple of rocky starts as of late but is not time to panic. He has given up at least five earned runs in two of last three starts and his strikeout numbers have been down in August, but three of of his five August starts have been really good. Perhaps more concerning is the fact that the Cubs are averaging less than three runs a game when Lester takes the mound. The Dodgers are a solid offensive club so this may have not been the best matchup, but Lester is still a great option when facing weaker teams and he is often one of the more affordable pitchers on nights that he throws since he many of his peers are also aces.


Category: , Game Recaps

Jon Lester came through with one of his best starts of the year in an 8.2 inning performance, just one start after his worst game of year. Lester only allowed one earned run off of six hits and only one walk with six strikeouts. The Cubs would eventually go on to win the game thanks to a Kris Bryant walk-off home run, but Lester is only awarded the no-decision.

Fantasy Impact: Lester looks to be back to his good form after he put up a 2.2 inning bomb in his last start. Despite only two runs in this game, the Cubs are averaging 8.14 runs over their last seven games, giving all of their starting pitchers a good chance to pick up the win and the extra fantasy points.


Category: , Game Recaps

Jon Lester had his worst start of the year after only lasting 2.2 innings against the Tigers. He gave up seven earned runs off of seven hits (three home runs) and three walks, but only struck out four batters.

Fantasy Impact: This was Lester's shortest game of the season and also the most earned runs he had given up all season. Although Lester's overall numbers look very mediocre, he has pitched like a true ace in the second half of the season and this game should not be more than a blip on the radar.


Category: , Game Recaps

Jon Lester pitched for six innings in a blowout win over the Brewers. He gave up two earned runs off of seven hits and two walks. Lester managed 10 strikeouts, the fourth time he has struck out double digit batters this season.

Fantasy Impact: A double digit strikeout day is always going to help fantasy owners regardless of format, but this performance is especially nice considering the poor three strikeout performance that Lester put up last time out. This is Lester's third win in a row and his fourth out of his last five starts. The Cubs' offense is really clicking right now so all Cubs' pitchers are a good bet to pick up a win on any given night.


Category: , Game Recaps

Jon Lester came up with his second straight victory and his seventh this season in a seven inning performance against San Francisco. He gave up two earned runs off of six hits and two walks, but only struck out three batters.

Fantasy Impact: His lack of strikeouts is certainly surprising after fanning a career high 14 batters in his last start, but at least he is not giving up many runs. In fact, he has only given up an average of 1.5 runs over his last four starts; combine that with the Cubs finally picking up their offense after a sluggish July, and you get a winning combination (assuming the bullpen holds up).


Category: , Game Recaps

Jon Lester lasted eight innings and earned his second win of July with a season-high 14 strikeout effort (the most by a Cub since Mark Prior struck out 15 in 2004) against the Rockies. He gave up two earned runs on five hits and one walk.

Fantasy Impact: Lester put together his best month of the year in July, with a 1.66 ERA and a total of 50 strikeouts. His lack of run support is seriously concerning as wins do count in fantasy and the Cubs are only scoring an average of 2.17 runs when Lester pitches, but he is pitching like an ace, so the wins will come.


Category: , Game Recaps

Jon Lester came through with another solid outing, but it was not enough for the Cubs as they lost the lead in the ninth inning and lost after 10 innings. Lester threw seven innings with six strikeouts, seven hits, no walks, and two earned runs.

Fantasy Impact: Lester has now pitched at least seven innings in his last five starts and recorded at least six strikeouts in all five of those starts. Over this period he has an ERA of 1.53 with a WHIP of 0.77. His overall numbers for the season still look mediocre, but he has certainly been ace material in the month of July.


Category: , Game Recaps

Jon Lester managed to get back into the win column once again with 7.1 inning gem against Atlanta. He struck out seven men and only walked one. He took a no-hitter in the eighth inning, although a first inning Kris Bryant error was originally ruled a hit and was not changed until the sixth inning.

Fantasy Impact: Lester has now taken a no-hitter past the sixth inning in two of his last three starts. His strikeout numbers have been pretty consistent, with an average 7.5 per game over his last four starts. Lester's lack of run support should be a concern for all fantasy owners, this game was the first time since June 20th that the Cubs scored more than two runs in a Jon Lester start.


Category: , Game Recaps

Jon Lester took a no-hitter through 6.1 innings, but had it broken up by Jhonny Peralta on a hard hit ground ball to third baseman Kris Bryant (immediately after ESPN flashed a graphic that stated Jon Lester had surrendered zero hits). Two runs would go on to score, but neither were charged to Lester. He finished up with eight strikeouts and two walks.

Fantasy Impact: Lester is shaping into the the valuable fantasy piece that everybody believed he could be at the beginning of the season. His 15 strikeouts and zero earned runs over the past two starts paint Lester as a viable daily game candidate, but his lack of run support is cause for concern.


Category: , Game Recaps

Jon Lester put together one of his best performances as a Cub, but it was not quite enough to earn a win thanks to a struggling Cubs' offense and strong Mets' pitching (Cubs would go on to win in extra innings). Lester threw seven shutout innings that included seven strikeouts and one walk, while only giving up five hits.

Fantasy Impact: Take this performance with a grain of salt since the Mets boast one of the league's worst offenses, but it is still a positive sign for the shaky Lester. It is still too risky to roll with Lester in daily games due to his propensity to blow up and his pedestrian strikeout numbers.


Category: , Game Recaps

Jon Lester pitched 4.1 innings while giving up five earned runs, nine hits, and two walks. He struck out five. The outing raised his season ERA to 4.25 with a 1.43 WHIP and 70/20 K/BB ratio.

Fantasy Impact: This is back-to-back poor efforts from the Cubs' prized 2015 acquisition. Detroit had been scuffling prior to Sunday's win against the White Sox, and Lester's opponent, Anibal Sanchez, had not pitched well on the season. Lester had a career year in 2014, and it's highly unlikely he will approach those numbers again this year. However, he's coming off a run of quality starts and should continue to provide value for owners, albeit not the type they thought when they spent a high draft pick on a pitcher on top of his game moving to the easier league. He will look to rebound next time out against the Reds at Wrigley.


Category: , Game Recaps

Jon Lester pitched seven innings while giving up four runs (only one earned) in the Cubs' 6-5 win against the Cardinals on Wednesday. He struck out six while allowing seven hits and two walks. His season ERA sits at 4.04 and he has a 1.32 WHIP.

Fantasy Impact: Lester started out the season in rough shape after suffering from a "dead arm" in Spring Training. After getting a few kinks worked out, he has been better over his last three turns, giving up only four earned runs over 20 innings pitched. It's no guarantee that he will be the pitcher he was in 2014 with the Red Sox and A's, but he is certainly trending in that direction.


Category: , Game Recaps

Jon Lester tossed his best game of the season Friday as he struck out 10 in six innings of work against the Reds. Lester gave up five hits, three earned runs and walked one while he threw over 100 pitches for the first time this season.

Fantasy Impact: Lester was in line for his third loss of the season, until Chris Coghlan homered in the 7th to take Lester off the hook. The left-hander had a better command of his pitches as shown by his 10/1 K to walk ratio. He now has a 6.23 ERA, 1.57 WHIP and 9.96 K/9 rate through four starts. Lester will take the mound again Wednesday as the Pirates come to Wrigley.


Category: , Game Recaps

Jon Lester falls to 0-2

Sun, Apr 19th 11:52pm EDT
By Dale Redman

Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester had another rough outing Sunday, as gave up three runs in 5.1 innings and earned his second loss of the year. Lester allowed six hits and two walks while striking out four.

Fantasy Impact: Not exactly what the Cubs had hoped for when investing $155M in the left-hander. The results so far are disappointing, albeit a small sample size. With a 6.89 ERA and 1.79 WHIP through 15.2 innings, his value could not get lower. Lester makes for an excellent buy-low, as he numbers are bound to get better over the next few months.


Category: , Game Recaps

Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester did not have his best stuff Monday as he earned a no decision versus the Reds. Lester gave up six earned runs, 10 hits and struck out four while tossing six innings.

Fantasy Impact: Lester has had a rough start to his 2015 as he has thrown 10.1 innings while posting a 7.84 ERA and 1.94 WHIP over his two starts. On a positive note he has struck out 10 and only walked two batters, so his command seems to be there. Hopefully Lester can breakthrough for his first win of the year Sunday as he faces the Padres.


Category: , Game Recaps

Jon Lester did not have his best stuff Sunday, as he and the Cubs fell to the Cardinals, 3-0, on Opening Night. Lester went 4.1 innings, giving up eight hits, two walks and three earned runs. On the plus side, Lester did manage to strike out six batters.

Fantasy Impact: Lester did not have much control, as he threw only 57 strikes out of his 89 pitches. The good news is the left-hander came out of the appearance unscathed after concerns of a dead arm this spring. Lester will look to have a better performance when he takes the hill Sunday in Colorado.


Category: , Game Recaps

Jon Lester is expected to play in a minor league game Thursday and throw 60 pitches. Lester was scratched from Saturday's scheduled start with a dead arm. If all goes well Thursday, Lester will make one more similar start next week as a final tune-up before taking the ball on opening day. (Source: David Kaplan on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Everything appears to be ok, but the Cubs are understandably being cautious with their prized free agent signing. All parties involved are downplaying the serious of the situation, but I would feel better taking the left-hander closer to the 50-60 pick range of drafts as opposed to the 43.8 average draft position he carries now.


Category: , Injury Updates

Cubs starter Jon Lester will not pitch Saturday, as scheduled, due to what manager Joe Maddon calls a dead arm. Maddon went on to say that he is not worried about Lester's health. Lester has pitched 8 and 1/3 innings over three starts this spring. (Source: Jesse Rogers on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Maddon may not be concerned, but anyone drafting Lester as their No. 1 or 2 starter should be slightly concerned. While Lester does not have a history of arm injuries, anytime one of your frontline pitchers needs extra rest, it is a casue for concern. Even if Lester is ok, he may not pitch 220 plus innings as projected. A drop to even the 180-200 inning range may knock Lester out of fantasy SP1 contention and squarely into SP2/3 range.


Category: , Injury Updates

Making his third start of the spring, Cubs left-hander Jon Lester was roughed up by the Padres in his three and a third innings of work. Lester allowed six earned runs, seven hits, one walk and two home runs. He did manage to strikeout four before being pulled.

Fantasy Impact: Lester had not allowed a run in his five innings of work so far this spring. He did not have his usual command Monday, as he only threw 44 of his 70 pitches for strikes. Everyone has an occasional rough start. No need to worry about the Cubs ace just yet.


Category: , Game Recaps

Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester threw three scoreless innings in his second start of the spring Wednesday. Lester struck out two and gave up three hits. In his two starts, Lester has thrown five innings, struck out five and has not given up a run.

Fantasy Impact: Great start to the spring for Lester. Hopefully he can keep it up and be the ace the Cubs staff sorely needs. Lester is currently being drafted in the top 40 of drafts and is the around the 15th starting pitcher being taken.


Category: , Game Recaps

Cubs starter Jon Lester made his spring debut with the Cubs Friday. Lester pitched two innings, gave up one hit and struck out three. He threw 24 pitches in the two innings with 20 of them going for strikes.

Fantasy Impact: A great start to his Cubs career for Lester. Already tabbed as the opening day starter, the left-hander has had lofty expectations placed on him as the face of the rebuilt Cubs. Curently, Lester is being drafted 13th among pitchers and 40th overall.


Category: , Game Recaps

Jon Lester to start Opening Day

Tue, Mar 3rd 11:26am EST
By Dale Redman

The Cubs have announced that Jon Lester will throw the first pitch of the 2015 regular season as he will start for the Cubs on Opening Day. The former Red Sox pitcher signed a 6 year, $155 million to become the front of the rotation starter the Cubs have needed. Lester is 116-67 in his career with a 3.58 ERA. (Source: ESPN)

Fantasy Impact: No surprise here. Lester was brought in to be the face of the pitching staff as the Cubs push for their first playoff appearance since 2008. Lester had a 2.46 ERA and 1.10 WHIP while striking out 220 in 219.2 innings last year between Boston and Oakland. The lefty holds an average draft position of 39 as many expect his numbers to improve as he switches from the American to the National League. Lester should be drafted in the 15-20 starting pitcher range.


Jon Lester picks the Cubs

Wed, Dec 10th 1:54am EST
By Dale Redman

After much careful consideration, Jon Lester has decided to join the Cubs. According to sources, the deal is for 6 years and $155 million. Lester spent the first eight years of his career with the Red Sox before being traded to Oakland this past July. Lester has a career 3.58 ERA and averages 8.2 K/9 innings. (Source: ESPN)

Fantasy Impact: Theo Epstein has gone all in with this signing. The Cubs have the hitters, all they needed is a true number one pitcher. With all of the Cubs best prospects being hitters, free agency or trade was the only way to get a legitimate ace of the staff to come to Chicago. With his signing, Lester job now becomes the face of the franchise and will be the leader of the Cubs pitching staff. Lester has pitched in the AL all of his career, so a move to the Senior circuit should do nothing but help his numbers. Consider Lester a low SP1/high SP2 on your fantasy staff. A top 20 SP and top 75 player overall.


This will certainly get things rolling in San Diego, where MLB is holding the Winter Meetings. Lester joins a club that is intent on winning now and will be reunited with Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer, the two who originally drafted him. (Source: Ken Rosenthal)

Fantasy Impact: Pencil Lester in on your fantasy cheat sheets as the clear ace of the Chicago staff and someone who can add tremendous value on your roster. Lester gave this decision a lot of thought and will be very comfortable with his role on the staff, which includes Jake Arrieta and Jason Hammel.


Giants Assistant GM Bobby Evans told Fangraphs' Eno Sarris that the Giants have been eliminated as one of Jon Lester's options. (Source: Eno Sarris on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: That (apparently) leaves Boston, the Cubs and the Dodgers. No matter where he goes, he'll be a great fantasy option coming off a 2.46 ERA, a 1.10 WHIP and 9.0 K/9 in 2014. He's one of the most coveted free agents of 2014.