Indians vs. Cubs, 10/29/16 – Prediction & Preview

Game Snapshot

Cleveland Indians
vs.
Chicago Cubs

Saturday, October 29, 2016 at 8:05pm

Written by on

Image licensed from USA Today Sports
Cleveland Indians (94-67, 8-2) vs. Chicago Cubs (103-58, 8-4)

MLB: Saturday, October 29, 2016, Wrigley Field, Chicago, Illinois, 8 pm ET

Lines: Chicago -105, Cleveland -105; Over/Under: N/A

It’s Game 4 of the World Series and depending how things go when this one is all said and done, one team could be a win away from a long awaited title or we could be all square. The Cleveland Indians play the second of three games of the series at historic Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs Saturday night. After Cleveland took the opener 6-0 at home in Game 1, the Cubs squared the series with a 5-1 victory in Game 2 Wednesday night. The Game 3 matchup saw Josh Tomlin pitch for the Indians against Kyle Hendricks of the Cubs.

Cleveland Indians Expect to Go Back to Kluber

Cleveland announced that they will be going with a three man rotation in the World Series. One has to wonder if that’s still Terry Francona’s thought process after Game 2. The Indians had just four hits in the Game 2 loss with none coming until Jason Kipnis’s (run) double in the sixth, by which point Cleveland was in a 5-0 hole. Mike Napoli had two hits while pinch hitter Brandon Guyer had the other hit for the Indians. The Indians’ run wasn’t driven in by anyone as Kipnis scored on a wild pitch. Trevor Bauer lasted just 3.2 innings in taking the loss. He allowed two runs on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts while throwing 87 pitches. That put a lot of stress on the bullpen

Corey Kluber takes the mound for the Indians for his 5th postseason start after 32 regular season outings. He went 18-9 with a 3.14 ERA and a 1.056 WHIP with 227 strikeouts in 215 innings of work. In the playoffs, Kluber is 3-1 with a 0.74 ERA and a 0.986 WHIP over 24.1 innings with 29 strikeouts. He picked up the win in his last start, which came in Game 1 of the World Series. He threw six scoreless innings, allowing four hits with no walks and nine strikeouts. Cleveland won the game 6-0. Of course, Kluber is also pitching on three days’ rest. When he did that in Game 4 of the ALCS, he was beaten by Toronto. He allowed two runs on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts over five innings in that one. Kluber took a no-decision in his lone start at Wrigley Field, which came in 2015. He allowed a run on four hits with no walks and 11 strikeouts over seven innings.

Chicago Cubs Go With Veteran Arm

Chicago, after being flummoxed in the opener, came back with a vengeance in Game 2, battering the Indians and squaring the set. The Cubs couldn’t solve Kluber, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen in Game 1 but had little problem with the Indians in Game 2. Chicago finished with nine hits and drew eight walks and they ground at-bats the way we’ve seen all season long. Ben Zobrist (run, RBI) and Kyle Schwarber (run, two RBI) each had two hits for Chicago. Schwarber became the first player in World Series history to drive in a run in the World Series after having zero RBI in the regular season. Anthony Rizzo (two runs) and Addison Russell drove in the other runs for Chicago. Jake Arrieta evened his postseason record at 1-1 with the win. He threw 5.2 innings, allowing one run on two hits with three walks and six strikeouts. Mike Montgomery threw two scoreless innings, fanning four before Aroldis Chapman got the last four outs.

John Lackey gets the call for Chicago for his third postseason start after 29 regular season outings. He went 11-8 with a 3.35 ERA and a 1.057 WHIP with 180 strikeouts over 188.1 innings in the regular season. He was 4-1 in his last nine regular season starts dating back to late July. Lackey has no record with a 5.63 ERA and a 1.875 WHIP over eight innings in the postseason. He took a no-decision in his last postseason start, which was Game 4 of the NLCS against the Dodgers. He allowed two runs on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts plus a hit batter over four innings. The Cubs won the game, 10-2. Lackey makes his 21st career start against the Indians. He is 8-9 with a 3.92 ERA and a 1.399 WHIP over 128.2 innings of work. This is his 19th career start at Wrigley Field. Lackey is 8-5 with a 2.47 ERA and a 1.011 WHIP over 123.2 innings.

Trends:

Cleveland

  • No Key Trends

Chicago

  • Cubs are 6-1 in their last 7 interleague home games
  • Cubs are 4-1 in their last 5 playoff games
  • Cubs are 4-1 in their last 5 playoff home games

This one is arguably a tossup. The Indians have their ace going in this contest as Kluber stifled the Cubs in the opener. He had issues pitching on three days rest in the ALCS and that could come back to haunt him here. Lackey has scuffled in the postseason but Joe Maddon knows he has a capable set of arms to work with in the bullpen should he need to. Francona has to adjust to not having a DH, which could impact Cleveland in the field and with their pitchers. Can he afford to have Kluber bat with runners on in a close game? Those questions are just enough to tilt the scale in favor of Chicago but it’s a coin flip.

Pick: Chicago Cubs -105

NBA on Wednesday, 1-18-2017

Charlotte Hornets vs. Portland Trailblazers, 01/18/17 - Prediction

It’s an inter-conference clash between a pair of skidding teams looking to get back on track in Buzz City. The Portland Trail Blazers are on the road as they continue a trip with... Read More

Washington Wizards vs. Memphis Grizzlies, 01/18/17 - Prediction

It’s an inter-conference clash between a pair of teams in their respective playoff races in the nation’s capital. The Memphis Grizzlies are on the road as they battle the Washi... Read More

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Toronto Raptors, 01/18/17 - Prediction

DeMar DeRozan and the Toronto Raptors will take on the surging Philadelphia 76ers in a divisional battle Wednesday night from the Wells Fargo Center.... Read More

Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks, 01/18/17 - Prediction

It’s a matchup of Atlantic Division foes up in the Northeast. The New York Knicks continue a road trip as they battle the Boston Celtics Wednesday night. New York lost for the 11... Read More

New Orleans Pelicans vs. Orlando Magic, 01/18/17 - Expert Prediction

An inter-conference clash of teams trying to pick up a victory takes place down in the Big Easy. The Orlando Magic closes their six game road trip as they take on the New Orleans P... Read More

Atlanta Hawks vs. Detroit Pistons, 01/18/17 - Expert Prediction

It’s a matchup of Eastern Conference foes in the Motor City. The Atlanta Hawks are on the road as they battle the Detroit Pistons Wednesday night. Atlanta won for the ninth time ... Read More

Houston Rockets vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 01/18/17 - Prediction

The Houston Rockets will be playing the second game of a back-to-back situation when they host the Milwaukee Bucks at the Toyota Center on Wednesday night.... Read More

Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 01/18/17 - Prediction

Golden State got some revenge on "rival" Cleveland on Monday night, winning with ease, 126-91 at home. Oklahoma City is coming off a 120-98 road loss at the Los Angeles Clippers on... Read More

Sacramento Kings vs. Indiana Pacers, 01/18/17 - Preview & Prediction

The Pacers head to Sacramento to take on the Kings on Wednesday night. Both of these teams have aspirations of making the playoffs. The Pacers have won six of ten and are curren... Read More

NCAAB on Wednesday, 1-18-2017

Florida vs. South Carolina, 01/18/17 - Prediction & Preview

The red-hot South Carolina Gamecocks face the even hotter Florida Gators on Wednesday in a matchup of undefeated SEC teams. SC is now 4-0 in the SEC after beating Ole Miss, 67-56 o... Read More

Missouri St vs. Indiana St, 01/18/17 - Expert Prediction

The Missouri State Bears will battle the Indiana State Sycamores in a conference matchup Wednesday night from the Hulman Center.... Read More

Fordham vs. VCU, 01/18/17 - Expert Prediction

The VCU Rams will be trying to bounce back from a rare loss when they visit the Fordham Rams at Rose Hill Gym on Wednesday night.... Read More

Temple vs. Cincinnati, 01/18/17 - Expert Prediction

Temple has now lost five of six games after falling at home to Tulsa, 70-68. The Owls are just 1-5 in the AAC, while Cincinnati is 5-0 and has won eight straight games overall. The... Read More

See all upcoming picks!

Last Updated: October 28, 2016

Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.