MLB Picks - Game One Of The World Series Betting Preview - Cubs vs Indians

Jon Lester Of The Chicago Cubs

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 1:26 PM GMT

Wait! Is our handicapper already hedging his free World Series pick by going with Jon Lester and the Cubs in the opener Tuesday night against Corey Kluber and the Indians?

Season: 46-45 (+3.60) 

Postseason: 3-5 (-2.10)

So this is it, one best-of-7 collision after 2,427 regular season games and 28 more so far in the playoffs to determine the 2016 MLB Championship. It happens pretty much the same way each year, only this time there's a very different and exciting feel to the whole affair with it coming down to the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians.

Four more dubyas ends a long drought for somebody, and it gets underway Tuesday night with an 8:08 PM (ET). That toss will be delivered by Cleveland's Corey Kluber, Chicago sending Jon Lester out in opposition. Top Rated Sportsbook, BetOnline sent this one out first as a pick 'em, but has since adjusted the moneyline to Chicago -110. The total is 6½ across the board and leaning slightly to the high side.

 

Kluber, Lester Dueled At Wrigley In 2015

As you've probably already guessed given their combined World Series futility, it's the first time the two have paired up in the postseason. If their regular season clashes are any indication, the series should go the full seven with interleague matchups all square at nine wins apiece. They split four in 2015, also going 1-1 against each other home/away. Three of the games stayed 'under' the total, the two at Progressive Field 1-1 O/U.

It's only fitting that the final game of their 2015 interleague matchups pitted Lester against Kluber, the Cubs taking a 2-1 decision as -130 chalk on the MLB odds. That was Lester's 6th-straight start against the Tribe that ended in a win for his side, the streak dating to his Boston days and including a lopsided victory over Kluber four years ago in Cleveland.

Both hurlers have been magnificent in the postseason so far. Lester will have to work around a couple of hitters that have given him fits; Mike Napoli (6-10, 2 HR) and Rajai Davis (14-46, 1 HR) have had the most success, though Davis is hitless in the playoffs. Kluber has had very little experience against these Cubs, though nobody in their order has taken him deep and sporting a combined .098 average without a free pass in 41 at bats.

 

Will Joe West Make 1st Bad Call?

John Hirschbeck, who is retiring after this World Series, chiefs the umpire crew but will not be behind the plate for Game 1. He closes out a 32-year career in his fifth Fall Classic and will position himself in the rotation to call balls and strikes in Game 3 when the action moves to Chicago. Larry Vanover should have the plate Tuesday and is working his first Series. Vanover was an 'under' lover in the regular season, 20 of his 32 games behind the mask falling short baseball odds with three games pushing totals, but his one plate appearance in the postseason finished 'over.' Home teams are 22-11 (4-2 as underdogs).

It's also worth pointing out Joe West is part of the crew, working the RF line in the opener and up for plate duty in Game 6 if it goes that far. Ol' Country Joe has some recent history with both managers, ejecting Maddon and Francona earlier this season.

Weather can always play a factor this time of the season in northern climes, and the good news is it looks okay for Game 1 though a little on the cool side. Look for the mid-upper 40s at 1st-pitch under cloudy skies with a 10-15 mph NW blow (left to right).

I've already played the Tribe to win the Series, so I should run with them in the opener for my free baseball pick, right? No, I'm hedging that play from the start with Chicago as road chalk.

Free MLB Pick: Cubs -100 

Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

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