The Cleveland Indians were able to take an early series lead with a 6-0 win in Game 1 of the 2016 World Series, and the Chicago Cubs will look to avoid a difficult two-game hole on Wednesday in Game 2.

The Indians used a quick start and some dominant pitching to earn the comfortable victory, as a two-run first inning was all the team needed. Wednesday’s contest will also be moved up early due to rain concerns later in the night, per MLB.

Let us take a look at the television and live-stream schedules, the latest odds and some comments from both teams ahead of Game 2.

Jake Arrieta is set to take the hill in Game 2, as he tries to rediscover the dominant form that had him penciled in as the Cy Young favorite at the beginning of the season.

Arrieta was 9-0 with an ERA under 2.00 through May, but he has faltered slightly ever since. The 30-year-old went 9-8 for the rest of the season, but he still finished with a solid 3.10 ERA. 

That slide has continued a bit in these playoffs, where Arrieta has two starts for an 0-1 record and a 4.91 ERA in just 11 innings. The Cubs need their star pitcher to turn it around on Wednesday, but they also need some offense and a strong arm behind the plate. As a result, Chicago manager Joe Maddon is contemplating whether to play Arrieta‘s preferred catcher, Miguel Montero, or the more skilled Willson Contreras.

“The facts are the facts,” Maddon said, per Paul Skrbina of the Chicago Tribune. “They run, and Willson is one of the best young throwers in the game. You have to balance out how comfortable you think Jake’s going to be throwing to him versus Miggy.”

Of Chicago’s three catchers, including David Ross, Contreras led the team by throwing out just over 37 percent of runners attempting to steal, while Montero threw out just under 11 percent and Ross posted roughly a 27 percent success rate. The Indians were fourth in the majors with 134 stolen bases in the regular season, but they have just four in nine games in these playoffs.

Of the two under consideration to start Game 2, Contreras has been far better offensively, hitting .282 in the regular season and .409 in the postseason compared to the .216 and .111 respective marks from Montero.

Adding a surprise bat into the World Series lineup in Kyle Schwarber could also get Arrieta some needed run support. The pitcher is certainly confident, as was relayed by’s Jesse Rogers before Game 1:

Chicago president Theo Epstein also expressed assurance in the young Schwarber, praising the 23-year-old’s rigorous rehabilitation from an early-season knee injury, per the Chicago Tribune‘s Paul Sullivan.

“He did unbelievable job as a rehabbing player, and we weren’t going to take the opportunity away from him,” Epstein said. “He’s also a special talent and a special kid, and if anyone can contribute in a World Series environment after only four or five days of live pitching, it’s probably him.”

Schwarber did not show much rust on Tuesday, going 1-for-3 with a double and a crucial walk off Andrew Miller in the seventh inning to help load the bases.

On the other side, Trevor Bauer will start for the first time since his first-inning exit against the Toronto Blue Jays on Oct. 17. Yet, he does not anticipate his lacerated finger to cause problems again, per’s Jerry Crasnick:

Bauer will have a tough act to follow, as Corey Kluber was sensational in Game 1, going six innings, allowing no runs and four hits, and setting a franchise record with nine strikeouts in a World Series game, per SportsCenter.

As’s Andrew Marchand reported before Game 1, Cleveland manager Terry Francona is hoping he can get quality outings from his first three starters, which also includes Josh Tomlin. This would allow Kluber the opportunity for a possible Game 7 start, but Francona needs his other starters to help.

“It’s not just one guy can handle it and maybe come back early,” Francona said, per Marchand. “Because once you do that, then the other guys pretty much have to, too, [or] you’re really not helping yourself.”

While Kluber and the Cleveland bullpen were the catalysts for the win, the team did score six runs behind a breakout performance from catcher Roberto Perez. He went 2-for-4 on Tuesday, including two historic home runs, per USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale:

Perez’s teammates took notice of Perez’s play, as Miller noted that the mostly unproven player deserves his current playing time, per Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.

“He should be a star catcher,” Miller said. “He’s going in that direction. He’s that good behind the plate defensively.”

Francisco Lindor, who also had a big night by going 3-for-4 with a walk, said that despite Perez’s abysmal .183 average this season, the catcher had the potential for this type of outing, per Rosenthal.

“Remember, he went a long time without playing,” Lindor said. “He just needed time. If you take away the first 70 to 100 at-bats, he had a good offensive year.”

Still, even with the 15 total strikeouts and shaky pitching in Game 1, Ross believes the Cubs can build from this loss and improve against Cleveland’s top guys as the series progresses, per‘s Jordan Bastian and Carrie Muskat.

“We knew [the Indians’ formula] going in,” Ross said about facing Kluber, Miller and Cody Allen, “but I think the moral of the story is we got to see those guys on Day 1. Hopefully, that will pay off later.” 

Chicago better hope it can bounce back, as its streaky postseason offense once again did the team in. With some uncertainty around how well Arrieta will pitch and which Cubs lineup will appear, it looks like it could be a tough Game 2 for the visitors.

Chicago did show that it can improve against aces when seeing them again, as it solved Clayton Kershaw to clinch the NLCS from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yet, the series could be spinning out of control for the Cubs by the time Kluber returns to the mound for Game 4.


Statistics are courtesy of unless otherwise noted. Game 2 odds courtesy of Odds Shark.

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