2016 World Series Game 4 Preview: Cleveland Indians vs. Chicago Cubs

On an unseasonably warm night in Chicago with the wind blowing out to center field, in the first World Series game at Wrigley Field in 71 years, the Cleveland Indians stole Game 3 by a score of 1-0.  The focus now shifts to Game 4 today, where the Cubs will look to tie the series up at two while the Tribe hope to extend the lead and have the chance to close out the series on Sunday night.  Here’s a look at Game 4.

Game Time:

Saturday at 8:00 PM ET on FOX in Chicago, Illinois

 

Matchup:

Corey Kluber vs. John Lackey

 

Why this game is worth watching:

After a gutsy performance in Game 3, the Indians can smell the finish line as they approach that all-important fourth victory in the World Series.  The Cubs, on the other hand, need a win to avoid being on the cusp of elimination in Game 5 on Sunday.  The crowd on Friday night was electric.  Add a little desperation, and you’ll get to see either the most entertaining or most emotionally difficult game to watch imaginable.

 

Key to the game:

The key is how effective will Corey Kluber be on short rest in Game 4.  After starting the series opener on Tuesday night, Kluber returns on three days rest.  He made history in Game 1 mowing down the Cubs lineup, but it will be interesting to see what else he has up his sleeve for Saturday’s start.  One thing is certain: he doesn’t have the nickname “Klubot” for nothing.  He shows almost no emotion on the mound, good or bad, so the situation won’t be too much for him as he attempts to pitch the team one game closer to a title.

 

Player who is an X-Factor:

I’m gonna hop on the Schwarber train again.  As I mentioned in the Game 3 preview, Schwarber will get one at bat.  On Friday night he popped out.  What will he do in Game 4?  Chances are it will be late in the game.  And chances are Terry Francona won’t let Schwarber beat them without a fight.  Expect him to get a chance in a high-leverage situation but have a difficult matchup (think: Andrew Miller).

 

Intriguing stat:

Corey Kluber has made four playoff starts in his career, all this year.  In Game 2 of the ALDS against the Boston Red Sox he threw seven innings with seven strikeouts and no runs allowed.  In Game 1 of the ALCS against the Toronto Blue Jays, he threw 6.1 innings with six strikeouts and no runs allowed.  In Game 1 of the World Series, he threw six innings with nine strikeouts and again, no runs allowed.  The one start in which he allowed the opposition to score was Game 4 of the ALCS where he allowed two runs in five innings to the Blue Jays.  The takeaway: that was the only game where he started on short rest like he’ll be asked to do on Saturday night.

 

Vegas odds:

Chicago, -130

 

Prediction:

You know Cubs fans are nervous.  The team may not be, but the fans are, and that’s contagious.  With Kluber on the mound, and World Series winner Terry Francona at the helm, the Indians are going to be cool, calm, and composed.  Sometimes a nervous energy isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when it’s been brewing for 108 years it won’t help.  The Cleveland Indians take Game 5 on Saturday night in Chicago.

Cleveland Indians 2, Chicago Cubs 0

Written by

Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. Graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Aerospace Engineering. Avid Ohio sports fan with 15+ years dominating fantasy baseball. Began as a contributor to the Clutch Sports Blog in 2011, now the lead baseball writer for The6i4.com.

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