MLB.com experts offer their NLCS prediction

MLB.com experts offer their NLCS prediction

In one of the most anticipated National League Championship Series in memory, the Dodgers will do battle with the Cubs, with Game 1 on Saturday at Wrigley Field (8 p.m. ET, FS1).

These are two of baseball's signature franchises, but both are in the midst of lengthy World Series droughts. The Dodgers have not been to the Fall Classic since they won it all in 1988, and the Cubs -- who infamously have not won the World Series since 1908 -- have not even played in one since 1945.

Game Date Matchup Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 15 CHC 8, LAD 4 video
Gm 2 Oct. 16 LAD 1, CHC 0 video
Gm 3 Oct. 18 LAD 6, CHC 0 video
Gm 4 Oct. 19 CHC 10, LAD 2 video
Gm 5 Oct. 20 CHC 8, LAD 4 video
Gm 6 Oct. 22 CHC 5, LAD 0 video

As we await first pitch, a collection of MLB.com analysts, columnists and reporters shared their thoughts on who will come out on top.

Barry Bloom: Cubs in 6
The midseason acquistion of closer Aroldis Chapman gives the Cubbies a leg up to make the World Series for the first time since 1945.

Anthony Castrovince: Cubs in 6
I actually picked the Dodgers to win this potential series when the postseason began, but that was before they had to move heaven and earth (and Clayton Kershaw) to get past Washington. The well-rested Cubs will take advantage and get back to the Series for the first time since 1945.

Jim Duquette: Cubs in 6
Chicago is deeper, more talented and, most importantly, well-rested. The Cubs' starters line up perfectly, and they may only have to face Kershaw one time before the NLCS is over.

Cubs' pitchers hot at the plate

Alyson Footer: Cubs in 5
The Cubs enter the NLCS with just enough rest to recharge the batteries and reset the rotation, yet there wasn't too much down time where they would get stale. There are few weaknesses to expose on this Cubs team, whereas the Dodgers have holes pitching-wise, which will be more difficult (or impossible) to hide in a best-of-seven series.

Paul Hagen: Cubs in 6
The Cubs have had enough rest to get their rotation in order and to rest their everyday players without having them get rusty. The Dodgers have the adrenaline … but a tired pitching staff, and that includes Kershaw.

Phil Rogers: Cubs in 5
With Javier Baez and Willson Contreras emerging, it's the Cubs' world. The NLCS could be a sweep if Kershaw can't win his start.

Baez showcases skills in NLDS

Mike Petriello: Cubs in 6
The Cubs are indisputably the best team in baseball, and they come into the NLCS well-rested and well-prepared, while the Dodgers will have to scramble to piece together a pitching staff that was used heavily to beat the Nationals. While the addition of Chapman got all the attention, note that the Cubs' bullpen also features Carl Edwards Jr., Hector Rondon and Pedro Strop, giving manager Joe Maddon plenty of pieces to play with behind a strong rotation.

Tracy Ringolsby, Cubs in 5
The Cubs are rested and ready to go. The rotation and bullpen just got a couple of days off, while the Dodgers were busy mixing and matching to get past the Nationals. Pitching is the difference in October.