The awakening of the Cleveland Indians’ bats gave them a 6-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs and a 1-0 lead in the World Series Tuesday, but the teams are back in action Wednesday night, when the Cubbies have a chance at redemption.

Cleveland rode the dominance of starter Corey Kluber and reliever Andrew Miller into the driver’s seat; however, Chicago is unlikely to see either of them in Game 2, which means it has a golden opportunity to even things up.

Ahead of Wednesday’s pivotal Game 2, here is a look at the top odds and bets to consider, as well as a prediction for which team will come out on top.

Where: Progressive Field in Cleveland

When: Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET

Watch: Fox


Odds and Prop Bets


Cubs Player to Watch: Jake Arrieta

Jon Lester wasn’t his dominant self in Game 1, which adds pressure on Jake Arrieta to regain his Cy Young form in Game 2.

Arrieta won the National League Cy Young Award last season, and although his numbers were great this year (18-8 with a 3.10 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and 190 strikeouts), he faltered a bit down the stretch.

The 30-year-old veteran went just 6-4 with a 3.69 ERA during the second half of the regular season, which was solid but far from the form he displayed previously.

His up-and-down nature has carried over into the playoffs, too, as he struggled in his National League Division Series start against the Los Angeles Dodgers by allowing six hits and four earned runs in five innings.

He can’t afford a similar outing in Game 2, especially since history is already working against the Cubs, according to ESPN Stats & Info:

The entire roster is counting on Arrieta to toss a gem Wednesday, and that includes Lester following his shaky performance, per Steve Greenberg of the Chicago Sun-Times:

Arrieta‘s career postseason ERA of 4.11 may not inspire a ton of confidence, but he does boast a 1.01 WHIP and 38 strikeouts in 30.2 innings, which suggests some bad luck has been involved.

Despite his playoff inconsistencies, Arrieta seems ready to take the ball in the biggest game of the season to this point, according to Paul Skrbina of the Chicago Tribune.

It’s why you play the whole season to be in this position,” the pitcher said. “It means a ton.”

A 1-0 deficit is already difficult to come back from, so the Cubs can’t afford to drop Game 2 as well.

Chicago’s bats will have to contribute to make that happen, but if Arrieta gives the Cubs length and quality, that will go a long way toward leveling the series.


Indians Player to Watch: Trevor Bauer

After being forced to exit his American League Championship Series start against the Toronto Blue Jays after just 0.2 innings due to a bleeding cut on his pinkie suffered while working on a drone, Trevor Bauer will take the mound for the Tribe.

While Bauer’s hand was a bloody mess against the Jays, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reported that the injury appears to have improved:

In addition to that, Bauer insisted he feels good and ready to compete on the biggest stage in baseball, according to Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune.

“I feel confident every time I take the mound,” he said. “I wouldn’t take the mound if I didn’t feel I’d be able to pitch and help the team.”

Although the Indians are up 1-0, Bauer is facing a ton of pressure to go deep in the game due to Cleveland’s bullpen situation.

Miller threw 46 pitches Tuesday, so one can only assume that manager Terry Francona would rather not have to turn to him again.

Closer Cody Allen could potentially be available for multiple innings, but that would still require a long outing for Bauer or strong performances from some of Cleveland’s less heralded relievers.

Bauer went just 4.2 innings and allowed six hits, three earned runs and two home runs in the division series against the Boston Red Sox, which won’t cut it in Game 2.

The Cubs are a sleeping giant offensively with big bats such as Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber waiting to break out.

If Bauer can last against that lineup, it will go a long way toward ending Cleveland’s World Series championship drought.


Game 2 Prediction

Although Game 2 isn’t a must-win situation for the Cubs in a technical sense, the uphill climb toward winning the World Series would be steep if they fall behind 2-0.

Chicago has a deep enough starting rotation and lineup to overcome any deficit; however, talk of curses and “the same old Cubs” is bound to pop up if they are unable to tie the series in Game 2.

The pitching matchup appears to favor the Cubs despite Arrieta‘s hit-and-miss form as of late, especially since Bauer was poor down the stretch and has yet to turn in a strong playoff start.

Chicago also has too much hitting talent to stay down for long, while Cleveland isn’t going to get two home runs from catcher Roberto Perez every game like it did in Game 1.

The Cubs are better built to deliver consistent offensive performances, and their starter has a better chance to go deep in the game Wednesday.

The biggest key is the possibility that Miller may not even be available for the Indians, so if Chicago can knock Bauer out fairly early, that will put Cleveland at a disadvantage.

With the stakes at their highest so far this season, the Cubs will come through and deliver a victory in Game 2 to even up the series as it heads back to the Windy City.

Game 2 Prediction: Cubs 5, Indians 1


Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.

Read more MLB news on