Cubs, Tribe set to meet with media today

Managers and Game 1 starters to speak on last off-day before World Series

October 24th, 2016

The red, white and blue bunting will bedeck the facades of Progressive Field. A classic autumn chill will hang in the lakeside air. On Tuesday night, the last two teams standing in Major League Baseball will begin what figures to be an epic showdown.

It's almost time for the World Series, and what a long-awaited one this will be. It can't be repeated enough that the Cubs are in the Fall Classic for the first time since 1945 and haven't won it all since 1908, and that the Indians last claimed a world championship in 1948 and haven't been in the Series since 1997.

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But prior to Tuesday's Game 1, there might be a bit of gamesmanship during an important pre-Series tradition. Today is 2016 World Series Media Day, when both teams will step in front of the cameras and lay out their plans for the best-of-seven duel to become baseball lords of the rings.

It starts at 3:45 p.m. ET at Progressive Field, where Cubs manager Joe Maddon will reveal his team's 25-man roster -- which might include slugger -- and announce his Game 1 pitcher. Indians skipper Terry Francona has not surprisingly already made it public that Cleveland ace will get the ball to open the Series.

Most observers of the sport seem to think Maddon will tab either right-hander or left-hander, postseason veteran and co-National League Championship Series MVP for the Game 1 start.

Lester might be more of a likely choice for the nod, given the fact that he started the openers of the NLCS vs. the Dodgers and NL Division Series vs. the Giants. If that's the case, expect speedsters in Cleveland's lineup, including , Jose Ramirez and , to push the envelope when it comes to taking leads off first and stealing bases. Lester is notoriously shaky when it comes to throwing the ball to first base, a flaw the not-as-fleet-of-foot Dodgers tried to exploit in the NLCS.

And Kluber has been dynamic this October, too, with seven shutout innings in a win in Game 2 of the American League Division Series over the Red Sox and a 1-1 record with a 1.59 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings in his team's AL Championship Series triumph over Toronto.

Chicago's Game 1 starter will meet with the media after Maddon, and the Cubs will then take the field from 4-5:30 p.m. ET for a workout. At 5:15 ET, Kluber will take questions from the media, and he will be followed by Francona. The Indians will work out on their home field beginning at 6 ET, and that will conclude Monday's activity before the fanfare of Game 1 begins Tuesday.

It's safe to say both teams are more than happy to oblige the media on their last off-day before the World Series, although they might prefer to get between the lines.

"We're living the dream," Cubs first baseman said. "This is what you dream of as a kid. I know it's cliche, but we're going to the World Series. This is what you dream of, and we're going to enjoy it as much as we can."