If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent the last two days watching and sobbing over videos of elderly Cubs and Indians fans recounting the last time they saw their teams in the World Series. Tuesday night is going to be historic for both these clubs in a series that I could easily see going to all 7 games. If the Indians won, Cleveland would have two championships for their city in one year. Before the Cavs won the NBA finals, the last Championship was in 1964 when the Browns won the Super Bowl. (And let’s face it the Browns don’t seem to be heading back there any time soon.) Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs have suffered under one of the longest Championship droughts in baseball history. 108 years since the last time they won the Fall Classic. I’m not going to bombard you with a list of things that weren’t around the last time the Cubs won a World Series. We’re all aware of the differences between 2016 and 1908. The point is, it’s been far too long. These are the best kind of match ups for the Fall Classic. Two teams that deserve a big win after years and years of tireless effort.
The Indians will have their ace Corey Kluber on the mound for Game 1. Kluber has been having a great postseason so far, pitching 18.1 innings, and over the last two games he pitched in the ACLS, 20 strikeouts. He only has two earned runs which came in the Tribes only post season loss so far.
Meanwhile, the Cubs have yet to officially name their Game 1 starter, though my money would be on Jon Lester. Lester has thrown 21 innings this postseason with an ERA of 0.86. Lester is no stranger to big stages, and barring the one collapse in 2014 against the Royals, he’s been next to perfect. In 2007 when he was just 23 years old, he threw 5 2/3 innings to get the Red Sox the win and the four game sweep against the Rockies to win the World Series.
What will be interesting to see is if the rest of the Indians rotation will be able to hold up just a little bit longer to try and pull off a Championship. It seems like injuries continue to plague them Tomlin and Bauer will most likely go for games 2 or 3 but the rest of their rotation continues to be a question mark beyond that. Danny Salazar is still trying to work his way back from a forearm injury he suffered in early September, but there’s no promise that he’ll be ready for game 4. It’s more likely that the Indians could use Ryan Merritt in that spot once again.
If you go back to August, you’ll see a post where I originally picked the Tribe to win the whole thing. But after seeing what the Cubs did in Game 6, it very well seems that the momentum coming off that game could shift everything in their favor. The pitching is set, the bats are hot, and Chicago is ready to take the whole damn thing.