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NLCS: A first look on how both Cubs and Dodgers got there

NLCS: A first look on how both Cubs and Dodgers got there
Chicago Cubs players stand on the the field during a team workout in preparation for Saturday's Game 1 of the NLCS. (Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press)

How they got there

Dodgers: Won NL West with record of 91-71; defeated Washington, 3-2, in division series.

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Chicago Cubs: Won NL Central with record of 103-58; defeated San Francisco, 3-1, in division series.

Game 1: Saturday at Chicago, 5 p.m. PDT, FS1.

Projected starters

Dodgers: Stewart (2-2, 5.79 ERA) or Maeda (16-11, 3.48 ERA)

Chicago Cubs: Lester (19-5, 2.44 ERA)

A look at the matchup

This is going to be a fun series, unless you're a fan of the Tampa Bay Rays. Two years after Andrew Friedman left to run the Dodgers and Joe Maddon left to manage the Cubs, the Rays' creative alumni meet in the NLCS. The Dodgers will confront their greatest weakness immediately. They struggle against left-handers, and the Cubs will start left-hander Jon Lester in Game 1.

The Cubs' closer: Left-hander Aroldis Chapman, who faced 14 batters in the division series and struck out seven. The Dodgers likely won't have their ace, Clayton Kershaw, or closer Kenley Jansen available to counter in Game 1. The only Dodgers starter to beat the Cubs this season: Julio Urias, 20, who threw two shutout relief innings Thursday for the victory in his lone NLDS appearance.

The third basemen should be stars: The Dodgers' Justin Turner hit .400 in the NLDS and drove in five runs in five games; the Cubs' Kris Bryant — the likely NL MVP — hit .375 with three extra-base hits. It has been 28 years since the Dodgers last won the World Series — and 108 years since the Cubs last won.

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