Cleveland (3-1) at Chicago Cubs (1-3)
When: Sunday, October 30th 2016
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
Time: 8:05 ET | TV: FOX
The Cleveland Indians are one win away from making the long-suffering Chicago Cubs fans wait at least another year for their first title in 108 years. The Indians have taken the first two World Series games at Wrigley Field since 1945 and now own a three games to one lead in the Fall Classic. Cleveland’s long-suffering fans have waited since 1948 for a Baseball championship and packed Progressive Field last night to watch the game on the big screen. Corey Kluber continued his dominant postseason pitching and the bullpen was solid again in last night’s 7-2 victory. Andrew Miller allowed a homerun to Dexter Fowler for the first runs he’s allowed in 17 playoff innings, but it wasn’t enough as the Cubs are hitting only .204 in the series and MVP candidate Kris Bryant is 1-for-14. Chicago native Jason Kipnis provided the big blow in Game 4 with a three-run homer in the seventh inning to help manage Terry Francona improve to 11-1 in World Series games. The Cubs should have the pitching advantage tonight with Jon Lester going up against Trevor Bauer.
Pitchers: Indians – Trevor Bauer (0-1, 5.00 ERA) | Cubs – Jon Lester (2-1, 1.69)
Bauer lasted just 3.2 innings while allowing two runs and six hits in a Game 2 loss Wednesday, giving up RBI singles to Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber. Bauer will do something he has never done in his career – start on three days rest. In his only outing at Wrigley Field, Bauer threw seven scoreless innings in a start in 2015. The bullpen will be well-rested behind him and Francona has long-relief options in Danny Salazar or Ryan Merritt if Bauer has another early exit.
Lester took the Game 1 loss, giving up three runs in 5.2 innings but he still owns a 2.60 ERA in 124.2 innings in his postseason career. Mike Napoli, who sat out last night’s contest against John Lackey, was 0-for-2 with a walk against Lester in Game 1 but is 6-for-17 with two homers and three walks in his career against the lefty, including the postseason.
The Cubs definitely have the pitching edge tonight, but that’s not going to help if they can’t start hitting. Bauer might struggle, but he’ll get a quick hook and the Indians bullpen is more than up to the task. They pitched almost nine innings and got the win when Bauer went out in the first inning in the ALCS against Toronto. I think the Indians win the series here tonight.
Pick: Indians +200