Two teams. Two tortured fan based. One hasn’t won the World Series in sixty-eight years, which would be the story heading into the final series, except for the fact that its opponent has the only longer World Series drought: 107 years. It’s fitting that these two teams will face off for the title.
Chicago Cubs’ fans have always prepared for the worst. Every close call has been immediately followed by losses in the most unimaginable ways. But could this be the year? Jon Lester has been pitching out of his mind this postseason, giving up 2 ERs in 21 innings pitched. And after being stifled in a couple early games vs the Los Angeles Dodgers, the bats came alive, scoring 10 runs and 8 runs in crucial series-turning games and then nailing the unhittable Kershaw in wrapping up the series. If there is a year to reverse the curse, this is as good as any. Don’t tell this to Cubs fans, but it’s their series to lose (really, don’t mention this). They have the better advanced stats, they are the team with the best record. They’ve been waiting for this longer than a lifetime.
Cleveland has had a magical year too, starting with LeBron James upending the Warriors. Having made short work of the Toronto Blue Jays, Terry Francona’s club will be rested and ready for Chicago. Cleveland remains an inspiration for small clubs. They had the 24th largest payroll on opening day. They were built from the draft. Nine of their players on the ALCS roster were originally from their draft. If Francisco Lindor stays hot (.323 in the postseason) and they show the same resiliency they’ve shown all year (overcoming pitching injuries), then this really will be the year for Believeland.
Two tortured teams? One will shed that label in the next two weeks. The other will keep searching.