It has been a long time coming for the Chicago Cubs, but the oddsmakers believe that Chicago’s North Side baseball team will be celebrating at the conclusion of this year’s World Series.

The Cubs are -190 favorites over the Cleveland Indians, according to Odds Shark, while the Indians are +170 underdogs. The Cubs are attempting to win their first World Series since 1908, while the Tribe are trying to bring home their first title since 1948.

The Cubs are slight favorites to win Game 1 of the World Series Tuesday night at Progressive Field in Cleveland with odds of -113, while the Indians are -103 to take the opener.

Recent historical trends indicate that winning the World Series opener is vital, as nine of the last 10 Game 1 winners have gone on to win the World Series. The lone exception came in 2009, when the New York Yankees lost the opener at home to the Philadelphia Phillies but went on to win the championship in six games.

The first game comes with a full menu of drama, as both teams will start their aces. Corey Kluber gets the ball for the Indians, and in addition to having a wonderful regular season, he has been on point during the postseason.

Kluber was 18-9 during the regular season with a 3.14 ERA and a 1.056 WHIP. He also struck out 227 batters in 215.0 innings.

Kluber has a 2-1 postseason record along with a 0.98 ERA and a 0.857 WHIP. He has 20 strikeouts in 18.1 innings.

Jon Lester, a World Series hero during his run with the Boston Red Sox, will take the mound at Progressive Field for the Cubs. Lester was brilliant during the season with a 19-5 record, a 2.44 ERA and a 1.016 WHIP.

Lester has given up two earned runs in 21.0 innings during the current postseason, and he has also been remarkable throughout his career in the World Series. He has a 3-0 record with a 0.43 ERA and 0.762 WHIP.

The key for the home team is to have a lead in the middle part of the game, because that’s when manager Terry Francona likes to turn the game over to his outstanding bullpen.

Since Kluber is on the mound in Game 1, it is realistic to think that he should be able to get through the sixth inning and pitch into the seventh if there are no signs of trouble. At that point, the manager can give the ball to ace left-hander Andrew Miller, who can pitch through the eighth inning before letting closer Cody Allen pitch the ninth inning.

If Francona wants to go to his bullpen sooner, such as the fifth inning, he can get Bryan Shaw and Dan Otero involved.

The bullpen may be the one area where the Cubs are at a disadvantage in this series. This is not a weak spot for manager Joe Maddon, but Miller is probably the best reliever in all of baseball, and he is coming off an MVP performance in the American League Championship Series.

If the Cubs have the lead in the ninth, flamethrower Aroldis Chapman will get the ball. He can reach 103 mph on the radar gun (or even higher), but he has been hit hard on occasion and is not a guarantee to secure a save with a one- or two-run lead.

The Cubs have a powerful lineup with Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell and Javier Baez, and they will get a lift with the return of slugger Kyle Schwarber. The powerful left-handed hitter has been out since early April with an ACL tear, but the Cubs activated him on Tuesday.

The Indians have a couple of power hitters of their own in Mike Napoli and Carlos Santana, as both men hit 34 home runs this season. Shortstop Francisco Lindor, second baseman Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall are all solid offensive contributors.


Prop Bet

Based on the odds listed for the potential World Series Most Valuable Player, it seems the Cubs are likely to come away with the championship.

Four Cubs are listed among the top five candidates to come away with the World Series MVP Award. Kris Bryant is the favorite at +600, according to Odds Shark. Lester is the second choice at +750.

Miller is the only Indian to make the top five, and he has odds of +900, and that’s slightly better than Rizzo at +950. 

Jake Arrieta, the 2015 Cy Young Award winner, is +1200 to win the honor as the World Series MVP.

Read more MLB news on