#902 Cleveland Indiansvs.#901 Chicago Cubs
Written by Benjamin Hayes
Line: Chicago -115/Cleveland +105
It all comes down to game seven of the World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians Wednesday night from Progressive Field in downtown Cleveland. The Cubs will be sending 26-year old right hander Kyle Hendricks to the mound, and the Indians will give the nod to 30-year old right hander Corey Kluber. The Cubs took game six in convincing fashion, defeating the Indians by a 9-3 score behind a tremendous six RBI performance from Addison Russell. The Cubs will be aiming for their first World Series title since 1908, and the Indians their first World Series since 1948.
Kyle Hendricks will make his second start of the World Series, and fourth start of the Postseason, looking to pick up where he left off in game three. Hendricks tossed 4.1 scoreless innings to go with six strikeouts, finishing with the no decision in a 1-0 loss. The young right hander has been terrific over his four Postseason starts, conceding only three runs in 20.2 innings, giving him a dazzling 1.31 ERA.
The trio of Bryant, Rizzo and Russell have gone a combined 13 for 25 with 11 RBI’s in the Cubs wins in game five and six. The Cubs have really executed with runners in scoring position in game five and six which is something they did all season. Chicago notched six hits with runners in scoring position over their last two games, and also notched five RBI’s with two outs in game six, something they struggled with in the first four games of the series. The Cubs are sporting a .233 team batting average in the World Series, and have a 3.23 team ERA.
Corey Kluber will make his third start of the World Series, looking to replicate his previous performances. Kluber has been outstanding in his two World Series starts, allowing only one run on nine hits in a total of 12 innings, notching the win in both starts. The Indians have to be very confident with Kluber on the mound, as the Ace has posted a phenomenal 0.89 ERA with 35 strikeouts in 30.1 innings pitched in the Postseason. Kluber will be pitching on three days rest again in game seven, marking the second time he has done so in the World Series.
The Indians do not have the luxury of inserting a starter into the rotation that they can trust if Kluber falters early. They used Salazar for two innings in game six, and likely do not trust Bauer who has been shaky in the Postseason. Cleveland will definitely use Andrew Miller who has been dominant, conceding just one run with 29 strikeouts in 17 innings pitched in the Postseason. Watch for the duo of Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez who each notched two hits against Hendricks in game three. Lindor has been tremendous throughout the entire Postseason for the Indians, hitting .340 with two homers and six RBI’s, and is 8 for 22 with two RBI’s in the World Series. The Indians are hitting .229 in the World Series, and feature a 3.06 team ERA.
The Chicago Cubs are:
The Cleveland Indians are:
I am taking the Cubs to win the World Series and the under. I have to go with the Cubs after seeing them taking game five and six. Chicago has all the momentum and confidence, and their bats are hot and I think they will get the job done. The Cubs will be able to insert Lester into the game after Hendricks, and the two have a 1.31 and 1.93 ERA respectively in the Postseason, so I am confident with the Cubs pitching, and I think they get the job done. I think the best play in this showdown is the under, as mentioned Hendricks owns a 1.31 Postseason ERA, and Kluber an 0.89 ERA, plus we have two dominate bullpens facing off. The Cubs will put in Lester at some point and he has a 1.93 Postseason ERA, and I can’t see anyone doing much off Chapman and Miller. The under has hit in each of Kluber’s starts in the World Series, and it also hit Hendricks’ start, and it should hit again in this one.
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Ben has been a sports writer for over 30 years, dabbling in college and pro basketball, college and pro football, baseball, college lacrosse, minor league baseball and even college gymnastics. He's also been involved in the gaming industry for over 25 years and has been looking to beat the books since he was 13!