Indians look to close out World Series as Game 6 underdogs at home

Leave a comment

The good news for Cleveland Indians fans is that almost 80 percent of MLB teams that come home with a 3-2 series lead do win – but the bad news is it might take another loss to produce a big betting payoff.

Ahead of Game 6 at Progressive Field, Cleveland is set at -230 in the series prices, while the rallying Chicago Cubs are listed at +190 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

For Tuesday’s game itself, which has a pitching matchup of Chicago RHP Jake Arrieta and Cleveland RHP Josh Tomlin, the Cubs are listed at -143 to win with the Indians the +133 underdogs. The total for the game is set at seven runs.

A Cubs win that forces a Game 7 would cause the odds to shift – but Cleveland would still have their ace Corey Kluber, with his 0.89 postseason era, taking the ball. Kyle Hendricks is the Cubs’ scheduled starter for Game 7.

In MLB postseason history, 69 of 81 teams that took a 3-1 series lead went on to finish the job, so missing the first chance to clinch hasn’t been a big deal. Also, 55.3 percent of teams which have come home for Game 6 with a 3-2 series lead have immediately closed it out.

Cleveland is 6-4 in Tomlin’s last 10 home starts, but that does not reflect the scintillating 1.71 earned run average he has posted since September 1, when he junked his cut fastball and started relying on his curveball.

The righty is working on three days’ rest for only the second time in his career, the other instance having come in 2010. That might not pose a problem since Tomlin is relying on his curveball, and only threw 58 pitches during his start last Friday in Game 3.

With the off-day after a loss, manager Terry Francona should have a fully stocked bullpen. Lefty relief ace Andrew Miller, who has been near-untouchable in the playoffs, has had two days off since throwing 27 pitches in Game 4.

The Cubs are 5-5 in their last 10 road games as a favorite with Arrieta as their starting pitcher.

Arrieta was credited with the Game 2 win in Cleveland after allowing one run and two hits over 5.2 innings.

Arrieta is clearly not at his best, with a 4.30 ERA in eight starts since September 1. However, if he gets touched up for an early run or two, the Cubs hitters – 1B Anthony Rizzo, 3B Kris Bryant, SS Addison Russell and others – will have the benefit of seeing Tomlin for the second time.

No team has overcome a 3-1 deficit to win the World Series since the 1985 Kansas City Royals.

Cubs overwhelming favorite for 2017 World Series futures

Leave a comment

No team has won back-to-back World Series since the turn of the millennium, but the Chicago Cubs are favored to do so after ending their 108-year drought earlier this month.

The Cubs opened 2016 at the top of the board and delivered by winning three elimination games in a row to defeat the Cleveland Indians. The Cubs will return almost all of their nucleus except for free-agent closer Aroldis Chapman, so it is no surprise that Chicago is at the top of the 2017 World Series odds at +350 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

With utilityman Javier Baez, 3B Kris Bryant, 1B Anthony Rizzo, SS Addison Russell and LF Kyle Schwarber all in their peak years, Chicago is well set up to be postseason regulars for years on end.

Only the 1998-2000 New York Yankees have gone back-to-back during the 22-season postseason history of the wild-card era. The afterglow of the Cubs winning has probably inflated the prices for other contenders. The Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers are each listed at +900.

The Red Sox will have five everyday players who will age 28 or younger next season and are rumored to be the landing spot for free-agent DH Edwin Encarnacion, who has turned down a qualifying offer from the rival Toronto Blue Jays.

The Dodgers won the NL West last season even though ace LHP Clayton Kershaw missed a third of the season, so clearly their ceiling could be even higher than last season’s 91 wins.

The Washington Nationals are listed at +1200, on the presumption that they might eventually have a bullpen to buttress the star power of RF Bryce Harper and RHP Max Scherzer.

Washington’s prospectus will change if they go against their emphasis on starting pitching and get in on the bidding war for one of the four prized free-agent closers – Chapman, Greg Holland, Kenley Jansen or Mark Melancon.

Despite coming within one run of winning the World Series, Cleveland is listed at +1400 along with Toronto, the New York Mets and the San Francisco Giants.

It seems strange to see the New York Yankees well down the board at +2500, but the Yankees are still in belt-tightening mode and are unlikely to add more payroll.

Best moments from the Chicago Cubs World Series parade

Leave a comment

It’s time.

Chicago Cubs fans waited for more than 100 years to celebrate bringing a title back to Wrigley Field and they wasted no time securing a spot to watch the parade.

Don’t get mad Blackhawks fans, but this was the biggest parade that the city of Chicago has seen since Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

And it lived up to expectations.

Even Grant Park, where the Cubs will be ending their parade, was packed before the parade started.

parade_csnchicago

Other Cubs fans took to the great outdoors to conduct their parade.

Chicago’s well known for dying its river green on St. Patrick’s Day, but today, it’s blue.

In an incredible twist of irony, Chicago Public schools were scheduled to be closed on Nov. 4th anyway for a school improvement day, but some schools in the Chicagoland area were still given the opportunity to participate in the festivities thanks to a really cool principal.

On the buses, Anthony Rizzo was amped, while team grandpa David Ross discovered how to take a pretty well done selfie.

(Update: Kris Bryant is still wearing the belt.)

Travis Wood just got a little too excited.

Veteran pitcher Jon Lester has been through enough World Series parades to know that when they tell you to sit, there’s probably a good reason.

Walter Payton’s son, Jarrett, found a warm (and rather spacious) spot to watch the parade.

The intro of the day goes to play-by-play man Pat Hughes, who summed up exactly what all Cubs fans are thinking.

“Did anybody go to work today? Did anybody go to school today? Your teachers and bosses are all here, too.”

Theo Epstein reflected on the Cubs’ season and what this World Series meant to the team in an emotional speech at Grant Park. He mentioned that the rain delay during Game 7 was a big deal for the squad, and after introducing Joe Maddon, he relayed that he’s going to continue on his bender.

The Cubs manager also wore a “We Did Not Suck” shirt.

Miguel Montero and Jon Lester kept it short and sweet. Montero just said, “We Are Good!” and Lester called for more cheers for David Ross.

MVP Ben Zobrist spoke a bit longer, giving credit to Anthony Rizzo for playing Rocky movies all week long and David Ross for inspiring the team when the Cubs were down 3-1.

Anthony Rizzo gave credit to nearly every person associated with the Cubs, even giving the final out to owner Tom Ricketts. The most touching moment of the speeches was when the first baseman got emotional when introducing catcher David Ross.

Grandpa Ross revved up the crowd with a major CHICAGO, thanked his family, and then did the most millennial thing of all time.

He took a selfie with the crowd.

We made it through nearly the entire parade before we found the Cubs’ J.R. Smith: Travis Wood, who lost his shirt as Brett Eldredge closed out the event with a rousing rendition of “Go Cubs Go”.

For a celebration 108 years in the making, a turnout of 5 million people is tremendous.

Enjoy it, Chicago.