Wednesday night at Progressive Field, the Cubs tied the best-of-seven World Series at 1-1 thanks to a strong offensive performance by the middle of their order. The series now shifts to Wrigley Field in Chicago. Game 3 will take place Friday night, and some team will exit with a 2-1 advantage.
Here are the broadcast details.
Let's now preview the starting pitchers.
Kyle Hendricks (16-8, 2.13) vs. the Indians
Much like Game 2, Game 3 features a pair of somewhat similar starting pitchers. But whereas Game 2 was all about power, Game 3 is about finesse.
Hendricks is the better of the two crafty right-handers. His fastball sits in the upper-80s, yet he possesses impressive command of the pitch, allowing him to get by without enduring much damage. Likewise, Hendricks has a high-grade changeup that he's willing to use against batters of both hands. He'll mix in an occasional curveball as well.
Hendricks did not face the Indians during the regular season, and has almost zero exposure to Cleveland's lineup. Consider that an advantage for Hendricks.
Josh Tomlin (13-9, 4.40) vs. the Cubs
Tomlin is another soft-tossing northpaw -- albeit one who struggles with the long ball.
Tomlin has changed his approach during the playoffs. In the regular season, he threw 15 percent curveballs and 41 percent cutters. In two postseason starts, he's thrown 39 percent curveballs and 16 percent cutters. It's worth pointing out that the cutter was part of his home-run problems during the regular season. We'll see if he continues that pattern to evade the Cubs' barrels.
As with Hendricks, Tomlin didn't face the Cubs during the regular season. Ben Zobrist has seen him the most -- he has a .506 OPS in 21 plate appearances.
CBS Sports Predictions
Picking the score of a single baseball game is of course a fool's errands, so these fools have undertaken that errand. Here's how we see Game 3 going Friday night ...
| R.J. Anderson ||7-2||Tomlin departs early after yielding a few home runs. Hendricks spins another gem. Cubs win.|
| Mike Axisa ||5-2||Tomlin bests Hendricks in a matchup of command righties. Lindor has a big game and drives in four runs. This one is tight until the Indians tack on a pair of runs in the ninth.|
| Jonah Keri ||4-1||I said at the beginning of the series that the Indians would win two games Corey Kluber starts, and lose the other four. Not changing my mind here. Hendricks has too big an edge here, even over the version of Josh Tomlin that has pitched much better since ace pitching coach Mickey Callaway worked with him during an early-September hiatus.|
| Dayn Perry ||3-2||Cleveland scratches out a second-inning lead, and then the Indians bullpen allows one run in five innings of work.|
| Bill Reiter ||6-1||Kyle Hendricks remains unmerciful at home, the Cubs offense surges, and the prize comes within two mere games.|
| Matt Snyder ||6-1||Similar story to Game 2 except Hendricks doesn't have command issues and gets the ball directly to Aroldis Chapman.|
You can taste the intrigue.