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MLB World Series Preview: Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians

2016 World Series
Jake Arrieta

Here we are, 162 regular season games, two Wild Card elimination games, and four series later, with the 2016 World Series featuring the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians. Both teams have been World Series starved for more than 60 years. Now, finally, one of these old-time franchises will finally win the coveted MLB Championship while the other has to endure at least another year of being disappointed with the end result of their long season of baseball.

The 2016 World Series starts tonight with the first pitch being thrown at 8:08 p.m. ET. That game and the next one, while will be played tomorrow, are in Cleveland. The series then switches to Chicago with games three and four being played on October 28 and 29. If a fifth game is needed, that too will be played in Chicago on October 30. That is the only time a game will not start at 8:08 p.m. The October game is slated to start at 8:15 p.m. If needed, games will be played November 1 and 2 in Cleveland. But we doubt the series will go that long.

iCleveland Indians9In the ALCS, it took the Indians five games to eliminate the Toronto Blue Jays. The Cubs, whose bats went silent for two games, were able to take the NLCS by defeating the Dodgers four games to two. That’s the setup for the start of the 2016 World Series. In the division series, the Indians swept the Red Sox while Chicago beat the Giants three games to one.


cubs6The Chicago Cubs have the best starting pitching, while the Indians hold an edge when it comes to relief. Cubs’ starters posted a 2.96 ERA in the regular, which was the best in baseball by more than a half-run. In the playoffs, they were even better with a 2.56 ERA. Every one of Chicago’s four postseason starting pitchers posted ERAs of 3.35 or lower during the regular season. They were led by the NL’s top two in ERA, Hendricks (2.13) and Lester (2.44).

For the Indians, it comes down to Corey Kluber. He’s the one Cleveland pitch who will be able to deliver a quality start. Kluber, who was the 2014 AL Cy Young Award winner, had a 3.14 ERA and 227 Ks. His record was 18–9. In then playoffs he was impressive as he notched a 0.98 ERA in 18 1/3 innings pitched.

6-23 Free MLB PickAs noted, the Indians have the superior bullpen. Included is the inimitable Andrew Miller. Miller has had an amazing playoff season. He pitched in relief 11 2/3 scoreless innings and has allowed just five hits and two bases on ball while striking out 21. He’s gone more than an inning in each appearance and while relieving in Game 5 of the ALCS, he secured eight outs.

In the postseason, the Chicago bullpen has been inconsistent. Aroldis Chapman has played well overall, but he won’t give you quality multiple innings and he has a hard time holding down the fort with men on base.


Cubs MLB pickWhen it comes to hitting the edge goes to the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs did have two games in the postseason against the Dodgers where they could not hit. They will be looking to be more consistent in this series. The led the NL in postseason homers (12) and runs (48). Javier Baez and Kris Bryant both batted over .300 and each had 13 hits. The team batted .222, which was in the middle of the pack.

The Indians come in with a team batting average of .206. They smacked 11 homeruns while scoring 27 runs. Francisco Lindor was by far the top performer for the Tribe. He had 10 hits, 4 RBI, and 2 homeruns while batting 323. Too many Indians underperformed at the plate.

2016 World Series Prediction

indians3The Chicago Cubs look poised to take the 2016 World Series. They have superior pitching and dynamic hitting. If you’re looking for an edge when it comes to managers, stop doing so as there is none. The Cubs’ Joe Maddon and Indians’ Terry Francona are the two best managers in MLB. They should make this a genuinely interesting series.

We wish the 2016 World Series would go seven games, but we think that it will end after six with the Cubs finally breaking out. Look for a one-one split of the first two; the Cubs will then take the next two in Chicago, but the Indians will hold on and win the fifth game. Up three games to two, the Chicago Cubs win it all in Cleveland on November 1.

2016 World Series Outcomes: Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians

(The team in bold wins)

  • Game One: Tuesday, Oct. 26-Chicago (Jon Lester) at Cleveland (Corey Kluber)
  • Game Two: Wednesday, Oct. 26-Chicago (Jake Arrieta) at Cleveland (Trevor Bauer)
  • Game Three: Friday, Oct. 28-Cleveland (Josh Tomlin) at Chicago (Kyle Hendricks)
  • Game Four: Saturday, Oct.29-Cleveland (Danny Salazar? Ryan Merritt?) at Chicago (John Lackey)
  • Game Five: Sunday Oct. 30-Cleveland (Kluber) at Chicago (Lester)
  • Game Six: Tuesday Nov. 1-Chicago (Arrieta) at Cleveland (Bauer)

Chicago Wins the 2016 World Series


Paul has been writing about sports betting and sports for more than a decade, offering picks on the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, as well as on college sports and European football. He's written thousands of season and post-season previews, innumerable articles on sports betting strategies, and various books on sports and sports betting.

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