Cleveland failed to close things out in Game 5 on Sunday, dropping a 3-2 decision in Chicago, but maintain a 3-2 series lead going into Tuesday night’s Cubs vs. Indians betting matchup at Progressive Field.
The Indians kicked off their playoff run as +1200 longshots on the odds to win the World Series, and were pegged as betting underdogs on the series prices ahead of both their ALDS clash with Boston and their ALCS matchup with Toronto.
Despite needing just eight total games to knock off the Red Sox and Blue Jays, oddsmakers remained unconvinced, listing the Indians as +175 World Series underdogs prior to Game 1. But with the team just one win away from victory they have finally reached the top of the odds, pegged as -230 chalk to win the World Series.
Pitching and defence have made the difference for the Indians, who have recorded an MLB-record five shutouts during this postseason and held opponents to three or fewer runs in 10 of their 13 contests, forcing the run total UNDER on 11 occasions.
The Cubs, meanwhile, have traveled a tougher postseason road and now trail on the World Series odds as +190 underdogs.
Chicago led the majors with 103 wins during the regular season, but needed four games to vanquish San Francisco in their NLDS matchup, and six games knock off the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS, despite opening both those series as overwhelming favourites.
Run production has been an issue for the Cubs during these playoffs, with the team’s bats limited to three or fewer runs in seven of 15 postseason matchups. Chicago has also been shut out on four occasions during the postseason after suffering just six shutout losses during the regular season.
The Cubs are expected to send Jake Arrieta to the mound for Game 6. Arrieta finished the regular season with an 18-8 record, and is 1-1 during the postseason after allowing just two hits over 5.2 innings, earning the decision in Chicago’s 5-1 win in Game 2.
The Indians will counter with Josh Tomlin, who held the Cubs scoreless through 4.2 innings in Cleveland’s 1-0 win in Game 3, and has surrendered just nine hits in 15.1 innings during the postseason.