COMMENTARY: Cubs to win World Series in 6 games

Last year we predicted that the New York Mets would win the World Series in seven games. They lost in five to the Kansas City Royals.

But this year, we have two totally different teams competing for the championship: the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians.

Is this Cleveland’s year? Will the Indians follow in the footsteps of the 2016 NBA Champion Cavaliers? Before the Cavs won the NBA title in June, Cleveland hadn’t won a championship since 1964. The Indians themselves haven’t won a World Series since 1948, which is one of the longest droughts in the American League. 

The Indians’ championship drought is second in MLB to only the Cubs. The Cubs have not won since 1908. That’s 108 years! Generations of fans have lived and died without seeing a Cubs title. Even more shocking, the Cubs have not even made a World Series appearance since 1945.

Regardless of which Cinderella team wins, history will be made this year.

Record wise, the teams are more or less similar. The Cubs led baseball with the best record, 103-58. The Indians had an AL best record of 94-67. The managers for the team are also veterans of the game.

Indians Manager Terry Francona is a two-time champion with the Boston Red Sox. Francona helped end the famous 86 year Red Sox title drought in his first season with the club in 2004. He won again with the team in 2007.

Cubs Manager Joe Maddon won a championship with the then Anaheim Angels in 2002, and made an appearance as the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008. It’s fair to say the coaching matchup is even.

Pitching for the Indians thus far in the postseason has been lights out. The team is 7-1, with a 1.77 ERA. While the pitching has been fantastic, the offense has not. The Indians have relied on hitting home runs this postseason. Don’t expect that to continue against the Cubs.

The Cubs have had the offense, scoring an average of 5 runs per game. The Cubs played against some of the best pitchers in the league throughout the playoffs. Pounding through the San Francisco Giants’ bullpen, in an even year (Giants won in 2010, ‘12 and ‘14), and beating Clayton Kershaw’s Los Angeles Dodgers, will prove to be the experience needed to win it all.

The NL Championship Series co-MVP, ace Jon Lester, took the mound in Game 1 sporting a 19-5 record. All-Star ace Jake Arrieta will pitch in Game 2. Offensively, the other co-MVP Javier Baez hit .318 in the NLCS, while Anthony Rizzo seems to have found his hitting stride.

The Cubs are the best team in baseball, and have better home and road records than the Indians. While Cleveland will have home field advantage, because the AL won the All-Star Game, it will not be enough to overcome the total package of the Cubs. 

The city of Chicago should prepare for a championship parade. The Cubs will win the World Series in six games.