Indians lead series 3-2
The World Series could be decided by the team that gets a lead early and turns things over to the bullpen. The Chicago Cubs finally became that team with the early lead and the dominant reliever in Game 5 and play another elimination game when they visit the Cleveland Indians for Game 6 on Tuesday.
The Cubs, who trail 3-2 in the series, asked Aroldis Chapman to record eight outs in a one-run game Sunday and were rewarded when he allowed one hit and struck out four. “That was our best opportunity,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon told reporters of the decision to have Chapman work overtime. “I thought right now, based on the bullpen usage recently, he’s actually kind of fresh. He hasn’t been overused in the last part of this season nor throughout the playoffs.” The Indians, who used left-hander Andrew Miller for multiple innings since the start of the postseason, are keeping things loose while following the lead of manager Terry Francona. “We have the good plane again, so we can fly around for a while,” Francona told reporters of the trip back to Cleveland. “I don’t care. Then we’ll show up whatever day is the next day, and see if we can beat them.”
TV: 8 p.m. ET, FOX
WEATHER REPORT: The weather in Cleveland is expected to be perfect for playoff baseball (the forecast for Game 7 may be a different story, but Indians fans are hoping it doesn’t come down to a wet Wednesday). Tuesday at Progressive Field it is expected to be partly cloudy with temperatures in the mid-60’s. There is a 10 percent chance of showers and there will be a light 5 mph breeze blowing straight out to center field.
SERIES PRICE (PER SPORTS INTERACTION):
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs RH Jake Arrieta (1-1, 3.78 ERA) vs. Indians RH Josh Tomlin (2-0, 1.76)
Arrieta took a no-hitter into the sixth inning in Game 2 at Cleveland and ended up with the win, his first of the postseason. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner had a little trouble controlling his arsenal with three walks, but struck out six. “I just want to execute with quality in and out of the strike zone, and try to get ahead in the count as early and as often as I can to open up some more options for myself,” Arrieta told reporters of his approach to Game 6.
Tomlin surrendered two hits in 4 2/3 scoreless innings in Game 3 and was yanked by Francona at the first hint of trouble in a game the Indians went on to win 1-0. The 32-year-old Texan allowed two or fewer runs in each of his last eight appearances going back to the regular season and yielded one home run in that span. Tomlin is going on three days’ rest in Game 6 but only threw 58 pitches in Game 3.
* Cubs are 4-1 in Arrieta’s last 5 starts with 5 days of rest.
* Indians are 7-0 in their last 7 when their opponent allows 2 runs or less in their previous game.
* Indians are 5-0 in Tomlin’s last 5 starts vs. a team with a winning record.
* Under is 6-1-1 in Cubs’ last 8 interleague road games vs. a right-handed starter.
* Over is 12-3-3 in Arrieta’s last 18 road starts.
* Under is 11-1 in Indians’ last 12 playoff games.
* Under is 12-3-1 in Tomlin’s last 16 starts overall.
* Cubs are 6-1 in their last 7 games with Joe West behind home plate.
COVERS CONSENSUS: The Covers public is favoring the road favorite Cubs with their backs against the wall in Game 6 at a rate of 55 percent. Under is picking up 60 percent of the wagers on the total.
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