2016 World Series Preview

Will the Chicago Cubs or Cleveland Indians end a championship drought? We’ll tell you here, in our 2016 World Series Preview.

series

It’s finally going to happen. Either the Cleveland Indians or the Chicago Cubs are going to win this year’s World Series, ending one of the two longest active World Series championship droughts.

The Indians won their last World Series in 1948 and made their last appearance in the Fall Classic in ‘97 — a seven-game series that will forever be remembered for closer Jose Mesa’s blown save. Ironically enough, the 2016 Indians have rode their lights-out bullpen, led by ALCS MVP Andrew Miller, all October and to seven wins in eight postseason games against the high-powered Red Sox and Blue Jays.

The Cubs finally exorcized their National League pennant demons, beating the pesky Dodgers in six games, and earning their first World Series trip since 1945. The Cubs were hands down the best team in baseball during the regular season, winning 103 games and showing few, if any, flaws. But the Cubs aren’t simply happy to be here. No, Joe Maddon’s team is looking to erase 108 years of “Wait ’til next year” by winning the franchise’s first World Series title since 1908.

Chicago Cubs vs. Cleveland Indians

(All games are on FOX at 8 p.m. ET)

Game Date Pitching Match-up Location
1 Tues., Oct. 25 Jon Lester vs. Corey Kluber Progressive Field, Cleveland
2 Wed., Oct. 26 TBD vs. TBD Progressive Field, Cleveland
3 Fri., Oct. 28 TBD vs. TBD Wrigley Field, Chicago
4 Sat., Oct. 29 TBD vs. TBD Wrigley Field, Chicago
5* Sun., Oct. 30 TBD vs. TBD Wrigley Field, Chicago
6* Tues., Nov. 1 TBD vs. TBD Progressive Field, Cleveland
7* Wed., Nov. 2 TBD vs. TBD Progressive Field, Cleveland

*If necessary

I’ve got a feeling that this could go down as one of the best World Series that we’ve seen in a long, long time. The obvious storylines of downtrodden fan bases, curses and droughts are obviously going to be prevalent and looming all series long, but the matchup between these two teams is fascinating — and it starts with the managers, two of the game’s very best. The chess match between Chicago’s Joe Maddon and Cleveland’s Terry Francona inning by inning could be the deciding factor in a series that could go the distance.

Analysis

The Indians have proven that they have the lineup and bullpen that can go toe-to-toe with the AL’s very best, but these young Cubs have too many ways they can beat you. Whether it’s a lights-out pitching performance from one of the team’s Cy Young candidates in Jon Lester or Kyle Hendricks, the long ball with MVP front-runners Kris Bryant or Anthony Rizzo, or one of the young up-and-comers like Javier Baez or Willson Contreras — the Cubs were built for this — curses be damned.

Prediction: Cubs in 6

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