The NLCS comes down to what players step up to lead their teams. For the Chicago Cubs, there are four players to watch versus the Dodgers.

Three is the magic number. And, after over a century of futility, the Chicago Cubs reached their third straight NLCS. And, for the second year in a row, they face the Los Angeles Dodgers. This is a different Dodgers team than last year.

Yet, so are the Cubs.

In 2016, the Cubs enjoyed home field advantage in the NLCS, taking the series 4-2. Though they lost Game 2 at Wrigley Field, the took two games at Dodger Stadium. Home field does not mean much in this series. However, during the regular season, the Dodger swept the Cubs in Los Angeles. I am sure most fans are hanging their hats on that fact.

Let us remember the following: the series in LA was played at the end of May. That would be during the notoriously rough first half of the season for the Cubs. However, the second half of the season witnessed the Cubs play to the best record in the NL.

Now, it is the playoffs. The Cubs are a tested team. They went through these battles before. The first time, they were swept away like crumbs on a table after a meal. Then, a 2-1 deficit turned into a 4-2 series win. This time, the Cubs are ready for anything.

To win, they need these five players to perform.

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