MLB Picks: Cleveland Indians vs Chicago Cubs World Series Game 3

The Cubs training for the World Series

Willie Bee

Friday, October 28, 2016 6:55 PM GMT

Friday, Oct. 28, 2016 6:55 PM GMT

A strong breeze blowing out at Wrigley tonight plays into our handicapper's free baseball pick for Game 3 of the World Series between the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs.

 

Season: 47-46 (+3.65) Postseason: 4-6 (-2.05)

Welcome to Wrigleyville, where tickets to tonight's 2016 World Series came between the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs are going for $3,000 and the stadium might literally explode with the excitement of the first Fall Classic performance in over 71 years.

As tough as it might be to find a ticket for Friday's 8:08 PM (ET), it might also become difficult for those who do make it into Wrigley Field to get out once Game 3 comes to an end due to the expected tens of thousands expected to fill the streets around the venerable old park. The vast majority will be milling about hoping for a Chicago victory that puts their beloved Cubbies up two games to one, and the current moneyline at BetOnline says their wish will come true with the North Side Nine priced -200.

Josh Tomlin is the scheduled starter for Cleveland opposite Chicago's Kyle Hendricks, the latter posting MLB's lowest ERA on the regular season (2.13). Unlike regular season games when totals at Wrigley are not released until 10 hours or fewer before first pitch, that number is already out for this one and stands at 8 on an evening a stiff breeze is expected to be blowing out towards Waveland Avenue. More on that in a bit.

 

Tomlin Looking For 3rd Postseason Dubya

MLB odds for this one are the same as the Series odds were to begin the historic confrontation when the Cubs were 1/2 chalk. Neither game so far has been exactly a nail-biter, the Tribe winning the opener 6-0 and Chicago coming right back with a 5-1 decision in Game 2.

Tomlin takes the hill for the first time in nearly two weeks after pitching the Indians to victories over Boston in the ALDS and Toronto in the ALCS. He held those two powerful lineups to just seven hits in 10.2 combined frames, not allowing a long ball and whiffing 20 would-be hitters. The Texas native will be facing the Cubs for the first time in his career, Ben Zobrist having the most experience against the righty going 2-for-19 (.105) with a home run.

Hendricks is making his fourth postseason start, the previous three with mixed results. The Giants made for a short outing in the NLDS, Hendricks not making it through the fourth though Chicago was already ahead and on its way to a 5-2 triumph. The Dartmouth alum took a tough 1-0 loss against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers in the second game of the NLCS, but he came back strong by pitching into the eighth of the 5-0 Game 6 clincher in Chicago, surrendering just two hits and striking out six. Friday will be his first career appearance vs. Cleveland, Coco Crisp the only batter to have faced Hendricks before (0-3).

 

Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

Crew chief John Hirschbeck is expected behind the plate, possibly the last time he'll call balls and strikes since he is retiring after the Series. The 32-year vet was very level this season on totals, 12-11-1 O/U/P, leaving him 45-42-5 since the start of 2013. Hirschbeck worked one game at Wrigley earlier this season, a contest that sailed well past an 8½ run total, and his past two World Series plate assignments (2010, 2013) also went 'over' the marks.

Singer-songwriter -- and Cubs fan -- Steve Goodman once sang about the "hawk wind" Lake Michigan generates, and we should get a taste of that tonight when the forecast calls for a 16-20 mph SSW blow during most of the game (out to left-center). Other than that, the weather looks fine with partly cloudy skies and temps remaining in the low-mid 60s.

The electricity in the air generated by Cubs fans could easily turn this into a one-sided Chicago victory, but my free baseball pick had more to do with the air blowing out with a play on the 'over.'

 Free MLB Pick: Indians-Cubs Over 8 (-110) Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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