Did Maddon win the game and lose the series?
Not trusting his bullpen to protect a five-run lead, Joe Maddon used his best weapon in the 7th and 8th inning last night. Chapman didn’t throw a lot of pitches but it will be interesting to see how he handles whatever workload the Cubs throw at him tonight.
This probably wouldn’t be a big deal if Chapman had not pitched three innings on Sunday, but he did, and it is now doubtful he will be able to replicate that feat tonight. Plus Chapman didn’t even look that sharp and this will be the third game in a row that the Tribe hitters will get a long look at him.
The Tribe came into the series as huge underdogs so it was no surprise the Cubs came back from three games to one to even the series at three games apiece. The rotation was always going to be problematic after Kluber, but for the 3rd time in the series, the Tribe will have Kluber on the mound. They don’t need much from him, only five innings before the well rested Tribe bullpen can come in.
In what promises to be a monster event for Las Vegas sports books, the Cubs-Indians showdown in Game 7 on Wednesday opened with Cleveland as a minus-110 favorite. The line quickly moved to pick’em, and in less than an hour, the Cubs were bet to minus-115 favorites. The total is 7 (under minus-120).
They have Kluber / Shaw / Miller / Allen lined up with lots of rest for this one. The Cubs have Kendrick, a possible Lester, Chapman, and the rest of the bullpen that Maddon wouldn’t trust with a five-run lead in the 7th inning, and a possible fatigued Chapman. Maybe the Cub bats are now so hot it won’t matter who the Tribe throws at them but that is what many thought when the BlueJays broke through to score five runs in game four of the ALCS.
This has been a fun world series and with the possibility of a great game seven it will hopefully go out in a big way.
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