Chicago Cubs (0-0) vs. Cleveland Indians (0-0)
MLB World Series Game One: Tuesday, October 25, 2016 at 8:00pm EST
Line: Chicago -110/Cleveland +100
The Chicago Cubs will make their first World Series appearance since 1945 as they take on the Cleveland Indians in game one of the World Series Tuesday night from Progressive Field in downtown Cleveland. The Cubs will give the game one start to 32-year old left hander Jon Lester, and the Cubs will turn to 30-year old right hander Corey Kluber. Chicago defeated the Dodgers in six games in the NLCS, and Cleveland beat the Blue Jays in five games in the ALCS. The Indians have not won a World Series since 1948, and the Cubs have not won since 1908, the two longest droughts in the Major Leagues.
Lester with Great Career Success Against Indians
Jon Lester will make his fourth start of the Postseason, looking for his third win. Lester last started in game five of the NLCS and was outstanding, tossing seven innings of one run ball to the Dodgers, and notched the win. The veteran left hander has been brilliant in the Postseason, allowing only two runs in 21 innings, giving him a dazzling 0.86 ERA. Lester has seen plenty of the Indians over his career and has been terrific, posting a solid 3.03 ERA with a 7-1 record in 95 innings of work. Carlos Santana is 4 for 15 against Lester, while Mike Napoli is 6 for 10 with two home runs, and Jason Kipnis is 3 for 8. Lester has enjoyed great success in the World series in his career as a member of the Red Sox, posting a 3-0 record with a stifling 0.43 ERA.
The Cubs offense really came alive after being shutout in games two and three of the NCLS, scoring 23 runs in the last three games of the series. Javier Baez has really stepped up, leading the Cubs with seven RBI’s in the Postseason to go along with a .342 batting average. Kris Bryant has also been very productive, hitting .333 with six RBI’s in ten games. The Cubs have been very efficient with runners on base, hitting a solid .284 with 35 RBI’s in 81 at bats with runners in scoring position in the Postseason. The Cubs pitching has also been solid throughout the Postseason, posting a 2.93 ERA in ten games.
Kluber Perfect in Two Postseason Home Starts
Corey Kluber will make his fourth start of the Postseason, aiming for win number three. Kluber last pitched in game four of the ALCS and wasn’t as sharp as his first two starts, conceding two runs over five innings to the Blue Jays, and took the loss. Overall, the Indians right hander has been outstanding in the Postseason, tossing 13.1 scoreless innings over his first two starts which both took place at home, and has conceded only two earned runs in 18.1 innings in his three Postseason starts. He has made one start in his career against the Cubs which took place in 2015, and he tossed a gem, conceding one run over 7.2 innings. Ben Zobrist is just 1 for 13 against Kluber, while Anthony Rizzo is 1 for 3 with a triple, and Kris Bryant is 0 for 3.
The Indians bullpen will play a huge factor in this series, and if the Indians bullpen performs like it did in the first two rounds, the Indians a good chance to have success in this series. The Indians bullpen has gone 3-0 with a stifling 1.67 ERA with 41 strikeouts in 32.1 innings pitched in the Postseason. However, Cleveland will likely need to score more runs then they scored in the ALCS to have a good chance of winning this series. The Indians only averaged 2.4 runs per game in the ALCS, compared to the Cubs who averaged 6.2 runs per game in six games in the NCLS. Mike Napoli will be one to watch, as he is a solid 6 for 10 with two homers and five RBI’s against Lester. Napoli is only hitting .179 with one homer and two RBI’s in the Postseason. The Indians pitching has been tremendous, featuring a minuscule 1.77 team ERA in eight Postseason games.
The Chicago Cubs are:
- under is 10-3 in the Cubs last 13 games against a starter with a WHIP of less than 1.15.
- under is 4-1 in the Cubs last five interleague road games.
The Cleveland Indians are:
- under is 7-0 in each of the Indians’ seven Postseason games.
- under is 6-1 in Kluber’s last seven home starts against a team with a winning record.
I really like the under in game one. Both starters have been incredible in the Postseason; Kluber has only allowed two runs over 18.2 innings, giving him an 0.98 ERA, and Lester has also conceded only two runs over 21 innings, good for a 0.86 ERA. Furthermore, the Indians bullpen has been dominant this Postseason, posting a 1.67 ERA, so I think this will be a lower scoring game. I know the Cubs have a powerful offense but the Indians were able to hold the number one offensive team in the Majors in the Red Sox to seven runs over three games in the ALDS, and the Blue Jays to a total of four runs in four games in the ALCS, so they have silenced some strong lineups. Good pitching trumps good hitting, and I think that will be the case in game one.