Cubs Enter the World Series as Favorites
- Updated: October 25, 2016
Looking to end a World Series drought that dates all the way back to 1908, the Chicago Cubs enter the Fall Classic as betting favorites with the best-of-seven set starting on Tuesday night.
Chicago is the -185 favorite on the odds to win the World Series, with the Cleveland Indians opening the series as +165 underdogs. The Cubs posted by far the best record in the league during the regular season, going 103-58 to run away with the NL Central title and the top seed in the National League half of the playoff bracket.
The Cubs then knocked out the San Francisco Giants in four games in the NLDS before getting past the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games in the NLCS. Chicago won the opener against Los Angeles, dropped the next two games of the series, and then won three games in a row to advance to the World Series for the first time since 1945.
But thanks to the National League’s loss in the All-Star Game the Cubs will start the World Series on the road Tuesday night, with Jon Lester heading to the mound to open the series.
Lester, after going 19-5 with a 2.44 ERA during the regular season, has an ERA under 1.00 through his first three starts of the playoffs. The left-hander threw eight scoreless innings while giving up just five hits in an NLDS win against the San Francisco Giants, then gave up only two earned runs on nine hits over 13 innings in two outings against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In his career against the Indians Lester has a 7-1 record with a 3.03 ERA through 15 starts.
Kluber Starts for Indians
The Indians will counter with Corey Kluber in Game 1 at home on Tuesday night. Right-hander Kluber went 18-9 with a 3.14 ERA during the regular season, and was also the winning pitcher at the All-Star Game – which earned the Indians home-field advantage in this series.
Kluber has had three starts so far in the playoffs, holding the Boston Red Sox scoreless on three hits over seven innings in an ALDS victory and going 1-1 against the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALCS while giving up just two earned runs on 10 hits over 11 1-3 innings of work. Kluber’s lone start against the Cubs came back in August 2015, when he held them to one run on four hits over 7 2-3 innings in a no-decision.
Cleveland went 94-67 during the regular season and won the NL Central title, then swept the Red Sox in the ALDS before knocking out the Blue Jays in five games in the ALCS. The Indians own the second-longest World Series drought, last winning the title back in 1948. Cleveland’s last appearance in the World Series came in 1997, losing in seven to the Marlins.
*Odds as of October 25, 2016