The Cubs and Indians kick off the World Series on Tuesday evening in Cleveland (8 p.m. ET on FOX) in a series loaded with stars. To get ready, let's rank the 20 best players in this year's Fall Classic.
Josh Tomlin, SP, Indians
After Corey Kluber, the Indians desperately need Tomlin to be a stable presence in the rotation, given Trevor Bauer's pinkie is a mystery and rookie Ryan Merritt isn't quite a known quantity despite coming up big in the ALCS. Tomlin has been great so far this postseason, with a 2.53 ERA in two starts, and will get the ball in Game 3.
Cody Allen, RP, Indians
The overlooked one in Cleveland's bullpen, Allen has appeared in six games this postseason, striking out 12 over 7 2/3 innings without allowing a run. The Indians need him to be just as good in the World Series to beat the Cubs.
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John Lackey, SP, Cubs
Lackey is the overlooked guy on the Cubs' staff, but he's a huge asset as a No. 4 starter. The Cubs can be reasonably sure of what they'll get from Lackey in Game 4.
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Jake Arrieta, SP, Cubs
By the time the World Series is over, Arrieta could make this ranking look ridiculous. He's starting Game 2, which would put him in line for a potentially clinching Game 6. He hasn't been as good as Jon Lester or Kyle Hendricks this year, but we know the reigning Cy Young winner is talented enough to dominate the series.
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Ben Zobrist, OF, Cubs
Zobrist has had a quiet postseason — hitting .167 with a .244 OBP — but he's incredibly reliable and has been consistent all year. He's a weapon however Joe Maddon wants to use him. After winning the World Series with the Royals last year, Zobrist could play a big part in getting his second straight ring.
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Mike Napoli, 1B/DH, Indians
Napoli has four extra-base hits this postseason but that's about it. Like Santana, he has big raw power (34 homers this year) and can change the World Series if he slugs.
Carlos Santana, DH/1B, Indians
Santana has had a quiet postseason so far despite two homers, but he's still the guy who hit 34 jacks with a .370 wOBA this season. He can alter a series with a couple swings.
Addison Russell, SS, Cubs
Like many of the Cubs, Russell was having a rough postseason and then woke up in Game 4 of the NLCS against the Dodgers. He has six hits in the last three games and has the potential to be the star of the World Series.
Jose Ramirez, 3B, Indians
Ramirez, 24, is a burgeoning star, hitting .312 and slugging .462 this year with adequate defense at third base. He's hitting only .222 this postseason, and the Indians probably need more than that to beat Chicago. Ramirez is talented enough to provide a boost.
Getty ImagesJason O. Watson
Jason Kipnis, 2B, Indians
Kipnis doesn't feel truly appreciated. He hits, hits for power, gets on base, plays good defense — combining all of it for 4.8 WAR this year. He's had a horrible postseason at the plate so far, but is still unquestionably one of the best players in this series. If he gets hot, he could lead Cleveland to the title.
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Dexter Fowler, OF, Cubs
Fowler makes the Cubs at the top of the order and has played stellar defense in center this postseason. The Cubs could use more out of him in the leadoff spot than they've gotten this posteason — and if they do in the World Series, watch out.
Getty ImagesLisa Blumenfeld
Aroldis Chapman, RP, Cubs
He has not been invincible in the postseason, but he's still bringing 100-103 mph fastballs in the ninth inning and can be unhittable on any given night.
Javier Baez, 2B, Cubs
Perhaps no player has been more captivating this postseason than Baez. He's hitting .342 and playing outstanding defense at second. This might be too low on the list.
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Kyle Hendricks, SP, Cubs
The most sure thing in baseball in 2016 is Kyle Hendricks at Wrigley Field. He's made three starts this postseason — all at home — and has a 1.65 ERA in his games. He'll get the ball in Game 3 (at Wrigley), and could put a nice cap on his season before potentially winning the NL Cy Young.
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Corey Kluber, SP, Indians
No starting pitcher has meant more to his team this postseason than Kluber. He's made three starts and has a 0.98 ERA with 20 strikeouts over 18 1/3 innings. He'll get the ball in Game 1 and probably on short rest in Game 4. He could single-handedly flip this series for the Indians.
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Jon Lester, SP, Cubs
Lester has been everything the Cubs spent $155 million for, and then some. He has a 0.86 ERA in three starts this postseason and is as reliable as they come. He's set up for Games 1 and 5.
Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Cubs
After starting the postseason horribly, Rizzo returned to his normal self, knocking out seven hits in the final three games to eliminate the Dodgers. He's the best hitter behind Kris Bryant in the Cubs lineup, and a complete force to be reckoned with.
Andrew Miller, RP, Indians
This is unusually high for a reliever, but Miller is unusual. The ALCS MVP, Miller hasn't allowed a run in 11 2/3 innings this postseason while striking out 21. There is no better bullpen weapon in this series than Miller, and he could make his presence felt in every game.
Francisco Lindor, SS, Indians
Lindor is a full-fledged superstar at 22 years old, the heart and leader of the Indians and a guy who could win numerous MVPs in his career. He's hit .323 this postseason, and the Indians need him to be their best player against the Cubs.
Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs
He's the best player in baseball this side of Mike Trout, the all-but-certain NL MVP this year and a complete joy to watch. We should enjoy every Kris Bryant at-bat for as long as we have them.