Mark Anderson, Review-Journal: Cubs in 6
Cleveland ace Corey Kluber will keep the Indians in this series, but they can’t match up with the Cubs’ lineup over the long haul. And the Cubs’ success in the NLCS clincher against the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw gives them momentum and confidence.
John Avello, Wynn sports book: Cubs in 6
Pitching is even for the first two games, but then it’s advantage Cubs. Home field very strong for both teams, even more so for Chicago. Relief pitching is equivalent. The Cubs have better run production from their five star guys.
Clay Baker, ESPN Radio 1100: Cubs in 7
In a battle of beleaguered fan bases, I feel the Indians’ starting pitching will surprise the Cubs initially. Even with the weight of the world on their shoulders, the Cubbies will eventually outlast the Tribe and pull off an exhausting Game 7 victory.
Bill Bradley, Review-Journal: Cubs in 5
The Indians have great relief pitching, but they don’t have the starters to keep up with the Cubs’ bats. While Terry Francona has won two World Series, the Cubs’ Joe Maddon is a game-changing manager who could be the difference. It will end with a wild Sunday night at the corner of Clark and Addison.
Steve Carp, Review-Journal: Indians in 5
In all the euphoria on the North Side of Chicago over putting curses to rest, the Indians have swept into the World Series with nary a hiccup. They hit, pitch and defend well enough to win. Oh, and while Theo Epstein is being hailed in Chicago as the Great Ghostbuster, Cleveland manager Terry Francona knows something about exorcising ghosts from his time in Boston with Theo. He was in the dugout for the Red Sox when the Curse of the Bambino was lifted.
Steve Cofield, ESPN Radio 1100: Indians in 7
Cleveland’s lineup is too strong for this Cubs pitching staff. Plus, MLB’s brilliant idea of giving home field to the winning league in the All-Star Game will backfire as the Cubs, with nine more regular-season wins than the Indians, will fall on the road in Game 7.
Dave Cokin, SmokinCokin.com: Cubs in 7
I don’t think there’s any question the Cubs warrant the role of favorite. I also don’t think there’s much question that from an odds perspective, the betting line is too high. I make the Cubs minus-155 to win it all. So in terms of getting bang for your buck, the Indians offer value. But that doesn’t mean I can project Cleveland to win.
Joe D’Amico, Aasiwins.com: Indians in 6
Public perception has prompted the oddsmakers to make Chicago a 2-1 series favorite. Historically, the Cubs find a way to shoot themselves in the foot in the postseason. The Indians have a dangerous lineup, solid starting pitchers and a stellar closer. Cleveland will not just compete here, but win the series and get the money.
Chuck Esposito, Sunset Station sports book: Cubs in 6
In what I think will be a very competitive series with both teams having long World Series droughts, I’m leaning toward the Cubs due in large part to their starting rotation. Cubs pitchers have combined for a 2.93 ERA in 10 postseason games, led by Jon Lester and MLB ERA leader Kyle Hendricks. Although the weight of the Billy Goat, Black Cat and Bartman will clearly be on everyone’s mind, these young Cubs will avenge all the curses and become World Series champs.
Doug Fitz, Systemplays.com: Indians in 7
Two of the best managers in the game and two red-hot pitching staffs make this destined to go seven games. The Cubs have the edge in hitting, but the difference will be Cleveland’s home field.
Bernie Fratto, BernieFratto.com: Indians in 7
Bob Lemon once said, “The two most important things in life are close friends and a good bullpen.” The Cubs are hitting .192 in the postseason versus lefties. Meet Andrew Miller, whose opponents are hitting .181 against him. Oh yeah, the Tribe’s starters aren’t bad, either. Meanwhile, Cleveland relishes the underdog role and is focused.
Ed Graney, Review-Journal: Indians in 7
Is it possible as the nation salivated over Cubs-Dodgers and the talk of curses and billy goats and those named Bartman was finally put to rest, we totally disregarded and overlooked the best team in baseball? Sounds right.
Ron Kantowski, Review-Journal: Cubs in 7
Dare I say it? Is next year finally here? Will Cubs finally win one for Ernie, Ronnie, Billy, Fergie and Mick Kelleher? And for way too many guys like Mick Kelleher (11 years, five with Cubs, lifetime batting average .213)? I ain’t afraid of no goat. Try not to suck. Back, back … hey-hey! Ho-l-l-l-y Cow!
Jay Kornegay, Westgate sports book: Cubs in 7
This intriguing series will come down to pitching, as usual. The Cubs have a huge advantage with the starters, but the Indians have a superior bullpen. Indians manager Terry Francona will do whatever it takes to make Andrew Miller and Cody Allen a big part of this series, but it won’t overcome the injuries that Cleveland has suffered to its starting pitching. Cubs win in a dramatic game seventh game.
Allen Leiker, Review-Journal: Indians in 7
The World Series trophy stays in the AL Central. Terry Francona has been masterful in the postseason, and the Indians’ unhittable bullpen will be the difference.
Bryan Leonard, WagerTalk.com: Indians in 7
The Tribe has been counted out often this season and the playoffs have been more of the same. The team has overperformed and is a live ‘dog here. Because of all the Cubs futures, the Cleveland price is quite the bargain. The starting pitching edge goes to Chicago, but the value is on Cleveland.
Tony Macklin, TonyMacklin.net: Cubs in 6
Aroldis Chapman will out-close the Indians’ Andrew Miller.
Micah Roberts, VegasInsider.com: Cubs in 5
The Indians have done amazing job winning 10 of their past 11 games, but I don’t see how they can match up game after game against the Cubs’ starting rotation.
Jay Rood, MGM Resorts sports book: Cubs in 5
Cubs pitchers don’t play with drones. Cubs have Joe Maddon. Cubs are going to try not to SUCK.
Mike Scalleat, JimFeist.com: Indians in 6
I bet the Indians at plus-190 because I like their pitching, especially their bullpen, and manager Terry Francona. The Cubs were celebrating Saturday like they won the World Series. Cleveland wins close games.
Alex B. Smith, AxSmithSports.com: Indians in 6
The pressure for the Cubs to win this series is much larger than for the Tribe, despite both clubs suffering long droughts. Cleveland’s deeper bullpen should be able to keep the Cubs’ hot bats in check as the “Lovable Losers” will have to once again “Wait Until Next Year.”
Ken Thomson, SportsXradio.com: Cubs in 6
I was not unhappy to see my Mets bow out early in the postseason after a loss to the Giants. The Mets have been the Cubs’ nemesis for years ever since the 1969 season, and that has allowed me a chance to root for the 108-year drought to end for Cubs fans. Holy Cow!!
Matt Youmans, Review-Journal: Indians in 7
Corey Kluber probably wins Game 1 in Cleveland to put the pressure on the Cubs. Indians manager Terry Francona has an ace up his sleeve in the bullpen (Andrew Miller) and a confident team that just crushed Boston and Toronto.
Series picks: Cubs 12, Indians 11