The odd couple: World Series pits Cubs vs. Indians
The Chicago Cubs are facing off against the Cleveland Indians in the World Series. No, we’re not in the Twilight Zone – that’s an understandable question, though. Both teams seem to be faced with a curse. The Cubs haven’t won the World Series since 1908, while the last time the Indians won was in 1948. No matter who wins, the 2016 World Series will be historic.
Who has the edge in the World Series?
To answer this question, we need to break things down.
- Catcher: The Cubs have a big advantage here; their catchers hit 30 home runs and are fifth-ranked in the MLB in OPS.
- First base: Chicago’s Anthony Rizzo gets on base more and strikes out less. Cubs have the edge.
- Second base: The Cubs’ Javier Baez has holes that can be exploited, while the Indians’ Jason Kipnis is a much more solid defender. Edge goes to Cleveland.
- Third base: Chicago’s Kris Bryant has the edge over rookie Jose Ramirez here, though both have had good seasons. The only downside is that Bryant’s numbers aren’t as impressive against right-handed pitchers, which is obviously what the Indians will be pitting against him.
- Shortstop: Very close. This matchup should make for an interesting watch. Both Addison Russell (Cubs) and Francisco Lindor (Indians) play Gold Glove-caliber defense. Still, Lindor has an ever-so-slight advantage here.
- Starting pitchers: Both teams will be starting their top pitchers in Game 1, and both Jon Lester (Cubs) and Corey Kluber (Indians) will be coming in off four to six days of rest. I’ll have to go with ESPN on this one – Kluber’s been great in the playoffs, but Lester is one of the greatest postseason pitchers of this generation. Cubs have the edge.
This best-of-seven World Series run is going to be fun to watch, to say the least. Both teams are underdogs, so everyone has someone to cheer for. Still, with the way the Chicago Cubs have been playing this season, and the fact that they and their fans have been waiting 108 years for this moment – my money is on the Cubs in seven to win the World Series.