Poll: Who do you think will win the World Series?
This year’s World Series match up features two teams who have been championship-starved for a total of 176 years.
The Cleveland Indians are the American League Champions, and are returning to baseball’s biggest stage for the first time since 1997, when they lost on a heart-breaking walk-off to the Florida Marlins in Game 7. Cleveland has not won the title since 1948.
On the other hand, the Chicago Cubs have not won the World Series since 1908, and have endured what many have called “curses”, such as Cubs’ fan Steve Bartman taking a foul ball away from right fielder Moises Alou in the midst of a critical game in the 2003 National League Championship Series.
Now, both teams are four wins away from raising a banner and ending their championship drought.
The Indians boast a mix of veterans and young players who have grown on the postseason stage. Shortstop Francisco Lindor has been the leader on offense, while the pitching staff has really carried the Tribe. Starting Pitcher Corey Kluber has led the way with two wins, and reliever Andrew Miller has struck out 21 batters over his first 11 postseason innings. Manager Terry Francona has used his bullpen in an unconventional manner during the playoffs, bringing in his best relievers earlier in the game if he deems the situation pivotal enough. Thus far, the strategy has worked perfectly.
On the other side, the Cubs are a team that has been comprised over years of development and key free agent signings. The offense has been a juggernaut all season, led by 2015 Rookie of the Year and MVP Candidate Kris Bryant and first baseman Anthony Rizzo in the middle of the lineup. The pitching staff has been nearly as good as the offense, with ace Jon Lester helping the team win each of his three starts this postseason. Of course, the Cubs boast a strong bullpen as well, led by the hardest thrower in the Major Leagues, closer Aroldis Chapman.
These teams have easily been one of the best performers all years in their respective leagues, and after a strong postseason run, they are on the cusp of the World Series crown. Our question is, who do you think will win the World Series?