The Chicago Cubs might be one win away from making the World Series for the first time since 1945, but Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw stands in the way in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series on Saturday night.

While the Dodgers look to stay alive and overturn a 3-2 series deficit, the Cleveland Indians will be waiting for the winner after their five-game triumph over the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League Championship Series. 

A quick turnaround awaits the National League champion, as the 112th Fall Classic will begin on Tuesday in Cleveland:

The final three teams have been thirsting for a title with significant droughts, with some obviously larger than others.


Odds Guide

Odds to Win World Series

Cleveland Indians: 163-100

Chicago Cubs: 50-59

Los Angeles Dodgers: 27-4

Relayed by Odds Shark


Cleveland Indians

World Series Appearances: 6 (including 2016)

World Series Wins: 

Last World Series Win: 1948

Last World Series Appearance: 1997

The Indians have shown throughout the 2016 season that they are one of the most well-rounded rosters in all of baseball, and that’s been highlighted through slumps and injuries. 

With a roster that’s lost starting pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar, Cleveland’s arms have stepped up in a big way, especially this postseason, as they’ve been able to work alongside a limited offense that’s hit just .208:

In terms of starting pitching, ace Corey Kluber has been supported by veteran Josh Tomlin and the 25-year-old Trevor Bauer until the latter sliced his pinky open while repairing a drone. 

The most recent hero came in the form of Ryan Merritt, who started Game 5 after recording just one regular-season start during his rookie campaign, putting him in sparse company, per MLB Stat of the Day:

He went 4.1 innings, allowing just two hits in Game 5 to help the Indians clinch the pennant. 

In the bullpen, it’s been all about reliever Andrew Miller, who has been the definition of untouchable during October. The ALCS MVP has pitched 11.2 innings in the postseason, allowing no runs on just five hits while striking out 21 batters.

Against either a Dodgers or Cubs team that has scored over 30 runs during the postseason, that dominant Indians pitching will have to be just as good to secure a championship for the first time in 68 years. 


Chicago Cubs

World Series Appearances: 10

World Series Wins: 

Last World Series Win: 1908

Last World Series Appearance: 1945

The longest, most well-documented drought in major North American professional sports looks like it could come to an end this year. 

Baseball’s best regular-season team, with a 103-58 record, barnstormed through the league this year behind a core of young, powerful stars in the batting order and a strong pitching staff. 

But those big Chicago bats fell upon hard times in the postseason, as they scored one run or less in three games, including two straight shutouts in Games 2 and 3 of the NLCS.

They’ve come alive over the past two games, though, scoring a combined 18 runs on 26 hits, which is something that could cause any pitching staff stress.

Pair that with Jon Lester’s postseason dominance, and the Cubs will most likely feel confident about their title hopes if they can get by the Dodgers:

Getting to the World Series would be a massive accomplishment for this franchise regardless of what happens as they are one win away from breaking another sizable drought of 71 years without a Fall Classic appearance.


Los Angeles Dodgers

World Series Appearances: 18

World Series Wins: 6 

Last World Series Win: 1988

Last World Series Appearance: 1988

The last time the Dodgers were in the World Series, Kirk Gibson delivered one of the most memorable home runs in baseball history:

While a 28-year drought is a considerable one, it is nothing compared to the other two that could be ended this postseason. 

But the Dodgers have their back up against the wall for Game 6 of the NLCS. One more loss, and they will fall one series short of the World Series for the fourth time since 2008. 

Luckily for them, Kershaw is taking the hill and has already taken care of the Cubs once in the NLCS. In fact, he joined some elite company in shutting them out in Game 2, per ESPN Stats & Info:

He’s been the lone bright spot in a Dodgers pitching staff that has gotten hammered throughout the playoffs. In 10 games, they’ve allowed 50 runs, 45 of them earned, which will make it extremely difficult for the offense to overcome, even if the Dodgers can find a way to come back against the Cubs.


Stats courtesy of

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