At this writing, we're mere hours away from Game 7 of the 2016 World Series between the Cubs and Indians at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Look, we're all ready to light this candle, but in lieu of actual maximum-stakes baseball all we can talk about are reasonable expectations for what will happen on Wednesday night.
Speaking of which, we've already heard from Strat-O-Matic on Game 7, and now it's time for the SportsLine Projection System to weigh in. For matters such as this one, SportsLine deals in percentages and likelihoods, so here's how the model has tracked the pobablilities heading into Game 7 ...
|Juncture||Probability of winning World Series|
| Before series ||Cubs 59.3 percent |
|After Game 1 (CLE 6-0)||Indians 56.0 percent |
|After Game 2 (CHC 5-1)||Cubs 58.0 percent |
|After Game 3 (CLE 1-0)||Indians 58.0 percent|
|After Game 4 (CLE 7-2)||Indians 83.0 percent |
|After Game 5 (CHC 3-2)||Indians 73.0 percent |
|After Game 6 (CHC 9-3)||Cubs 55.0 percent |
Yes, the Indians are at home, and home teams typically prevail about 54 percent of the time. However, the Cubs simply have a stronger body of work this season, which is surely reflected in those numbers. They have Kyle Schwarber back at DH, and the Cubs are trotting out a full-rest Kyle Hendricks (possibly the NL Cy Young frontrunner) against Corey Kluber, who's making his second straight start on short rest. This will also be the third time the Cubs have seen Kluber this season, and the reasonable assumption is that familiarity confers a benefit on the hitter. Kluber's a better pitcher than Hendricks, but the full context of Game 7 must be taken into account. All that said, the margin is not a large one.
While Strat favored the Indians in Game 7, SportsLine is going Cubs. Actual baseball forthcoming!