Cubs and Indians set to square off in Fall Classic

Tony Dombrowski, Editor-in-Chief


The 2016 Major League Baseball season has come and almost gone, and will conclude starting on Tuesday, Oct. 25 with game one of the best of seven 112th World Series between the American League champion Cleveland Indians and the National League champion Chicago Cubs. Both teams have a lot riding on this series, for both are representing teams that have a history of losing. The Indians have not won a World Series championship since 1948, and the Cubs have not won since 1908. The players are not only competing for their teams, but also playing for their diehard fan bases that are due for a championship celebration.

The Indians are the American League champions for the first time since 1997, after defeating the AL East division champion Boston Red Sox in the American League Division Series in three games, and AL Wild Card Toronto Blue Jays in the American League Championship Series in five games. This appearance will be the sixth for the Indians, having won their first two championships and losing their next three. The city of Cleveland knows a lot about losing, no team in the city has won a professional championship in over 70 years, until recently in the summer when the Cleveland Cavaliers won the National Basketball Association championship. The Indians, if they win this World Series, can join the Cavs and become the first city to win multiple championships in the same year since 2002 in Los Angeles. The team is lead by manager Terry Francona, who will be seeking his third championship. They are also led by all star shortstop Francisco Lindor, rookie sensation outfielder Tyler Naquin, all star starting pitchers Corey Kluber and Danny Salazar, and the American League Championship Series Most Valuable Player relief pitcher Andrew Miller. Led by their strong starting pitching and almost dominant bullpen, the Indians have a good chance to end their drought this season.

The Chicago Cubs are the National League champions for the first time since 1945, after defeating the NL Wild Card San Francisco Giants in the National League Division Series in four games, and the NL West Division champion Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series in six games. This appearance will be the 11th for the Cubs, which is tied for sixth all time. The franchise knows a lot about losing, for the Cubs have not been in the World Series in 71 years, one of the biggest droughts in all of sports. The fan base has been through a lot, with Steve Bartman, the curse of the Billy Goat, and the multiple losing seasons. It has been a long time coming for Cubs fans old and young, just wanted to see their team win just once before they die. The Cubs are led by manager Joe Maddon, who will be looking to win his first World Series championship. They are also led by all star third basemen and potential NL MVP Kris Bryant, first basemen Anthony Rizzo, utility man and NLCS Co-MVP Javier Báez, and all star pitchers and previous CY Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, and the NLCS Co-MVP Jon Lester. The Cubs have an almost complete team, with their high powered offense, dominant starting pitching, and shut down bullpen. The team has already broken one curse, and look to break another with a World Series championship.

The World Series has not even started yet, and they are already lots of story lines going into the series. This will be the first Fall Classic to feature two teams with droughts of over 50 plus years. The Cubs and Indians all time have split their 18 meetings, and this is their first appearance against each other in the World Series. These two teams have waited for this moment for a long time, and both the players and fan bases are ready to engage in battle. Game one is tonight from Progressive Field in Cleveland, live on Fox Sports 1. The projected pitching matchup is set to be Lester against Kluber.