November 2, 2016
Tonight's pick is for Game 7 of the World Series!
Take Chicago Cubs (-118) on the ML against Cleveland Indians risking 3.54% to win 3%.
It all comes down to this. These teams played 162 games in the regular season and many others in the playoffs to arrive here. Now it's time for Game 7, a winner-take-all matchup to decide the World Series champs, for two clubs that have faced lengthy droughts. The Cubs haven't won it all for over a century (1908) while the Indians have been waiting since 1948! It's fair to say that, one of the two fanbases will have the party of a lifetime when the last pitch is thrown.
We don't expect this game to be as lopsided as last night. SPS anticipates a tighly contested matchup that'll likely be decided by 1 or 2 runs, but the Cubs hold an advantage nonetheless. The edge may not be as big as last night when Jake Arrieta and Josh Tomlin each took the hill but the visitors should again emerge victorious, even if they have to work harder for it this time around. Joe Maddon's squad has a huge psychological edge over Terry Francona's in this spot. After all, it was the Tribe that led the series comfortably 3-1 and have been on the verge of clinching it all. And yet they've faltered so far and lost two in a row to allow Chicago right back in it. This series might be tied at 3 games a piece right now but the hosts are no doubt feeling a lot more pressure. They not only have the expectation of the home crowd to deal with but also have to overcome the mental doubt that has been slowly creeping in. They've needed just one more 'W' to get the commissioner's trophy and might be left searching for it.
The Cubbies have already had their backs against the wall in Game 5 and Game 6, matchups that were absolutely must-win for them in order to stave off elimination. The Indians, meanwhile, find themselves in that situation for the first time this post-season! Let's not forget, they held comfortable leads over the Blue Jays and Red Sox as well and so have not been in this particular scenario. The added pressure that comes with elimination games, nevermind for a starved franchise and at home, will likely be too much for a couple of these players to handle. We already saw nerves and anxiety play a factor in yesterday's contest for the Tribe, much to the delight of the Cubs and it wouldn't surprise us if Cleveland players committed another fielding error or two tonight. Having quality at-bats with runners in scoring position is another high-pressure spot for a team that is suddenly on the brink of elimination.
Not only do the Cubs have momentum and confidence on their side after yesterday's blowout win, but it's fair to say that the bats finally got going. For a team that had by far the best run differential in the regular season, and won a record number of games, they sure were showing signs of futility earlier in the series. They were shutout numerous times but ultimately hold too many capable hitters in this dangerous lineup to be kept quiet. The offense found its rhythm in last night's contest and heads to this one hot. The same can't be said for the Cleveland offense.
This should be a close game but we believe the Cubs will take the lead into the latter innings. If Arolidis Chapman, whose body language was disappointing last night doesn't blow away the save late, we believe Chicago will ends its 108-year wait and celebrate the championship! The hard-throwing lefty has been excellent in the post-season and if he was to throw away the lead, it would be uncharacteristic and not something that we could do anything about, even if we have certain concerns with it. The fact is that Kyle Hendricks' is the frontrunner for the Cy Young award this season and led the Majors in ERA! He's also held his last two opponents in the playoffs scoreless, including these Indians on October 28th! Kluber will be pitching on short rest and by now the Cubs offense has faced him twice. The Chicago offense will be better prepared for him tonight than they were in the previous two games and that should pay dividends.
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