The Chicago Cubs demolished the Cleveland Indians 9-3 to extend the 2016 World Series to a seventh-and-deciding game.
Chicago struck in the first inning on a solo homer by Kris Bryant and a two-out double by Addison Russell – putting them up 3-0. The double was excruciating because Cleveland outfielders Tyler Naquin and Lonnie Chisenhall both misplayed it.
Josh Tomlin got into major trouble in the third inning, loading the bases before being pulled in favor of Dan Otero. The latter gave up a grand slam to Russell, making the score 7-0.
The Indians would threaten in the bottom of the fourth, with Mike Napoli producing an RBI single and the team loading the bases. However, starter Jake Arrieta got himself out the jam and ended the Cleveland threat.
Arrieta would leave in the sixth inning with two outs and a 7-2 lead. Aroldis Chapman pitched the rest of the way, giving up one run in the ninth.
The stage is set for an exciting Game 7 between the Cubs and Indians. Let’s take a closer look at what to expect, including the game line and analysis on both teams.
GTBets Line for Indians vs Cubs Game 7 (8pm EST, Nov 2)
Chicago Cubs -1.5 (+145), moneyline -118
Cleveland Indians +1.5 (-165), moneyline +108
World Series Game 7 Betting Analysis
If there’s one thing that the Cubs have done well during these playoffs, it’s been coming back from playoff deficits.
They were down 3 runs to the San Francisco Giants in the ninth inning, before an offensive explosion saved their postseason and helped them move to the NLCS.
In the NLCS, they got down 2 games to 1 to the LA Dodgers, before finding their offense again and beating a strong lineup of Dodgers pitchers.
Now, they’ll try to complete yet another comeback after facing a 3-1 deficit against Cleveland.
“It wasn’t no cakewalk for us facing the three-time champions in the first round, and the Dodgers with Kershaw and the way they’ve figured out ways to win all year,” said Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo.
Chicago will put Kyle Hendricks (16-8, 2.13 ERA) on the mound for Game 7. As good as Hendricks was during the regular season, he’s been even better in the postseason with a 1.31 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 20 innings.
Even in the Game 3 loss that he pitched, Hendricks gave up zero runs in 4.1 innings. In fact, he hasn’t given up any runs since facing the San Francisco Giants. So it would be hard to find a better pitcher for this Game 7 effort.
The Cubs’ bats finally woke up last night too, with Russell, Bryant, and Rizzo having outstanding games. They form a dangerous bottom of the order and one that Cleveland must work around to win this game.
This is the absolute last position that Cleveland wanted to be in when they raced out to a 3-1 series lead. All manager Terry Francona can do in this situation is lighten the mood as he goes for his third World Series title.
“I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s a really important game,” Francona told Cleveland.com. He also joked about how “I just might wear my uniform home” due to his excitement.
In reality, this is no joking matter for Cleveland. Game 6 was a disaster from the start after the fly ball botching, to Tomlin loading the bases and Otero giving up the grand slam.
The Indians can still claim the series, though, and they’ll have staff ace Corey Kluber (18-9, 3.14 ERA) trying to make it happen.
The 30-year-old has been worked hard this postseason, starting 5 games and pitching 30.1 innings. He’s 4-1 in those five starts with a marvelous 0.89 ERA.
In his Game 1 and 4 starts against Chicago, he gave up one run in 12 innings. If he can win, Kluber will become just the second pitcher (Bob Gibson, 1967) to win three games in the World Series.
Backing Kluber up will be the outstanding bullpen combo of Andrew Miller (0.53 ERA in playoffs) and Cody Allen (6 saves). From top to bottom, this Cleveland pitching staff is built to win a big game.
History in the Making
This is perhaps the biggest game in World Series history when you consider that the Cubs haven’t won in 107 yards and Cleveland hasn’t won in 67 years. Here’s an excerpt from ESPN that points out how rare this is:
“Obviously, there has never been a World Series Game 7 involving two teams that hadn’t won a championship in a combined 176 years. But what’s amazing is, we’ve seen nothing even close. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the combined droughts of these two teams are nearly double the previous record for any Game 7 — which is the 90 title-free seasons of the 1975 Red Sox and Reds, who also played a seven-game World Series for the history books.”
The pressure is on for both teams to end their win-less streaks. Cleveland has the home field, which will help. But this should come down to a staff-vs-staff pitching duel.
Final Prediction: Indians Win 3-2
How much does Kluber have left? If it’s enough to get Cleveland to the sixth inning with a lead, we see Miller and Allen shutting down the Cubs in a close game. The Indians bats were average last night, but they should provide just enough to give Cleveland their first World Series win since 1948.