Another drought will soon be ending! After Kansas City ended their misery last year, this year’s World Series will feature a team that has not won since at least 1948. Major League Baseball could be in an era of crowning new champions as bottom feeders improve. The matchup for the Fall Classic will be the American League champs Cleveland Indians against the Chicago Cubs, the National League winner. There will be no doubt that both teams will want to end their long Series droughts.
Cleveland is managed by Terry Francona and has not been crowned since the end of World War II. Cleveland comes into the last round having won the AL Central with a regular season record of 94-67. On their quest to the World Series, they breezed past favored Texas 3 games to 0 in the ALDS, and Toronto 4 games to 1 in the ALCS. As a team, the Indians had a batting average of just .208 with 51 hits and 11 home runs in the first two rounds. Shortstop Francisco Lindor led his team with a .323 batting average, 10 hits, 2 home runs, and 4 RBIs in 31 at-bats in October.
Despite the average hitting, the Indians’ key to getting to the World Series was pitching. Excluding the Wild Card Game losers, Cleveland pitchers led in pretty much every category among playoff teams. In eight games, the Indians pitching staff had an ERA of 1.77, 81 strikeouts and 6 saves while giving up just 15 runs. However, Cody Allen and Andrew Miller had to save most games, indicating that the Indians had to squeak out most of their victories. Cleveland’s best starting pitcher in October was Corey Kluber, who had a 0.98 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 3 games. In order for the Indians and future Twins Chief Officer Derek Falvey to be crowned world champions, Cleveland’s pitching needs to stay steady and its hitting needs to improve slightly.
The Chicago Cubs, managed by Joe Maddon, have not won the World Series since 1908! After finishing the regular season with a 103-58 record, the Cubs beat San Francisco in the NLDS and Los Angeles in the NLCS.
The Cubs have a dominant pitching staff, made up of ace and NLCS co-MVP Jon Lester, 2016 MLB ERA leader Kyle Hendricks, Jake Arrieta and John Lackey. Chicago led the league with a 3.15 team ERA in 2016. The Cubs’ offense is led by third baseman Kris Bryant and first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Bryant hit .292 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI during the regular season and is the favorite to win the NL MVP. I (Sam) think the Cubs will win the World Series sine Chicago’s offense is more dangerous than Cleveland’s.
I (Sam) would like to see the Cubs win, but it will be exciting just to have two teams in the World Series that have not won for a very long time! Make sure to tune in to FOX this Tuesday, October 25 for Game 1! Click here for more on the World Series matchup.
Written by: Michael Sack and Sam Graves