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October 26, 2016

There is one pick tonight.

Take Chicago Cubs (-132) on the ML against Cleveland Indians risking 3.96% to win 3%.
(Arrieta and Bauer must start for wager to have action)

The Cubs understand the historical significance of winning Game 2 after dropping the World Series opener. Kris Bryant and company admitted that they are well aware of the fact that only 13 of the 79 teams that have lost the first two games of a best-of-7 World Series have gone onto winning the 'Fall Classic'! That is a small percentage and would have them facing long odds. On the other hand, nearly half of the teams that have managed to tie the World Series 1-1 after losing the first game have managed to end up with the Commissioner's trophy! In short, a 'W' tonight puts Chicago right back in it while a defeat would nearly all but evaporate their season-long objective of a championship. For a club that set new records and won over 100 games to finish with the best record in MLB, this is undoubtedly their biggest game of the season so far! Failure to walk out victorious would all but realistically eliminate them and would be bitterly disappointing for a club that really has been the best in the Majors this year.

Everything that could have gone wrong for the Cubs did last night but we don't believe they're about to throw in the towel. This is a determined squad that knows how to win and brush off defeats. They don't let them linger in their minds and that is aided by the fact that they have a competitive but easy-going manager in Joe Maddon and several players that share similar personality traits. They also have highly experienced players such as Ben Zobrist and David Ross in their clubhouse. Their veteran leadership will make sure nobody is hanging their heads low just yet. This is a bounce-back spot for a team that has shown its tenacity all season long and we'd be surprise if Jake Arrieta and company let this opportunity pass them by.

The Indians, meanwhile, played well last night but were also extremely fortunate. It's not often that a team escapes a bases-loaded jam with no outs recorded without any damage! The Cubs loaded the bases with no outs and yet uncharacteristically failed to punch in even one run. Such situations often lead to big innings and yet last night, good fortune smiled on the home side. They also managed to work around a lead-off double that could have led to another disastrous inning. As if that wasn't enough, offensively, they had their fair share of luck as well. The fact that 5 of their 6 runs came via 2-out RBIs proves that! It was another anomaly and perhaps this was all foreshadowed when Brandon Guyer was hit by a pitch on an 0-2 count with 2-outs which 'walked' in a run. All in all, it was a strange night of baseball and one in which nearly everything went right for the hosts. We don't believe the Indians will be fortunate tonight.

Trevor Bauer takes the hill for Terry Francona's side. In his last start, he lasted less than an inning against the Blue Jays! The cut on his injured finger got open and led to a bloody mess. When the umpires took notice of that, they ordered him off the field as the Indians went on to use relievers for recording 25 of the 27 outs that night! On that occasion, they prevailed but if Bauer has another short outing tonight, we're not so sure they can survive again. Trevor Bauer might also be quite rusty. Not only was that short start all the way back on Oct 17th, he didn't last long in his prior outing either. All in all, he's pitched just over 5 innings since October 1st and that is not a recipe for success. It'd surprise us if he recorded a quality start in this one as Arrieta is likely to outduel and outlast him. And with top reliever Andrew Miller having thrown a season-high 46 pitches last night, he'll likely be available on a very limited basis if at all tonight. The fact that Chicago hitters got to step up to the plate against him and Indians closer Cody Allen will serve them well moving forward as they now have seen them pitch and wil have a better idea of what to expect. The bullpen edge lies with the visitors in this matchup much like starting pitching. The odds should be closer to the -155 range in our opinion and for that reason present great value at the current number! Look for the Cubbies to even up the series at one games apiece.

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