Lackey, 36, led the Cardinals in innings pitched this season and recorded a 2.77 ERA and 175 strikeouts in 33 starts. With Carlos Martinez shut down with a shoulder strain and Lance Lynn struggling over the past month, St. Louis manager Mike Matheny tabbed the right-hander over lefty Jaime Garcia.
Though Lackey (13–10) struggled a bit in his most recent start, he strung together seven straight quality starts before that. In 18 career playoff starts, he holds a 7–5 record and 3.08 ERA. He made multiple starts in two World Series runs, with the Angels in 2003 and Red Sox in 2013.
- Jeremy Woo