Look what we have here.
It is the 2016 World Series! The 112th Fall Classic to be exact.
The Cleveland Indians are representing the American League and the Chicago Cubs the National League. Yes, you read correctly. Two teams with the longest title droughts. The Indians have not won since 1948 and the Cubs since 1908.
I am writing this column after Game 1 just concluded. Corey Kluber did his job in game numero uno. Kluber dominated into the seventh inning, Roberto Perez had four RBI with a pair of home runs and the Indians beat the Cubs 6-0. The Cubs are the first team to be shut out in Game 1 of the World Series since 1990.
This World Series will be a good reason for calling in sick at the office. I’m writing to share even if you are not a fan of baseball, follow this series for the remainder of the three to six games that remain. It is a must watch.
It’s the Cubs and the Indians. Two perennial losers, but somebody has to win.
Cleveland has the more opportunistic team and will win if the game is decided on the margins.
The Cubs have the better starting pitching, the better defense and the deeper lineup, especially if Kyle Schwarber—the 23-year-old slugger who has been out since the first week of April with an ACL injury—is the DH for the games in Cleveland, which is expected.
The Indians have already won Game 1. The winner of Game 1 has won six straight and 24 of the past 28 World Series. There is something about this series that stands out and it will be interesting on how it plays out. Here are some of my points in the series. They may not be related to the play on the diamond itself but worth the banter.
Friday afternoon game.
Why is Game 3 not a Friday afternoon game in Chicago? Major League Baseball should be on the phone looking to set up the largest Ferris Bueller day off in reality. The NCAA gets away with it in March why not an afternoon World Series game at Wrigley field. The 1986 teen comedy film was still one of the coolest films I viewed while living in Chicago. I doubt ratings would suffer.
Corey Kluber who opened Game 1 with a win is as advertised. The Indians’ ace, who finished the regular season ranked in the top five in the American League in virtually every pitching category, could start three times in this series. Games 1, 4 and 7. Cleveland pitching coach Mickey Callaway said that starting Kluber on short rest in Games 4 and, if necessary, Game 7 is an option. Kluber started on short rest in ALCS Game 4, and despite taking his team’s only loss of the postseason to date, that experience, Callaway said, convinced Kluber and the coaching staff that he is well-equipped for it.
Indians über-reliever Andrew Miller has been almost unhittable and has entered games in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings this postseason. Call it Miller time.
The Chicago first baseman is likely to see Miller once per game, but every other at-bat he takes is likely to come against a right-handed pitcher. Rizzo posted a .970 OPS against righthanders this year, the seventh best in baseball, and an .832 mark against southpaws.
No lovable losers.
The Cubs have not allowed an unearned run in 120 consecutive innings since Sept. 29. Edge: Chicago.
This is the latest date on which the Cubs have ever played baseball. Cold and sometimes wet weather are in store. Any conditions other than ideal conditions favor Cleveland.
There is no home-field advantage, in my opinion. Home teams have won 55 percent of all World Series games. Indians and Cubs fans are what I consider a couple train stops away. Catch the game live in person or from your mobile device. We all win.