A drought is going to end in the 2016 World Series. The question is if it will be the Cleveland Indians winning their first title since 1948 or the Chicago Cubs winning their first title since 1908.

Starting on Tuesday, we’ll find out. Before we preview the matchup, here’s a look at the schedule and television information for the series: 

No team was better during the regular season than the Cubs. No team has been better in the postseason than Cleveland.

The Cubs finished an MLB-best 103-58 this season, led by manager Joe Maddon and the most balanced team in baseball. Offensively, the Cubs are paced by a cadre of superstars, including Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Addison Russell, and few teams are deeper on the bench. That offense has survived arguably the two best pitchers in baseball, Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw, this postseason.

The pitching staff, meanwhile, has a fantastic one-two punch in Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta and Aroldis Chapman closing down games with his heat-seeking fastballs. 

While the Cubs have gone 7-3 this postseason, Cleveland has gone an impressive—and surprising—7-1.

First, the team dispatched of the American League’s best offense, the Boston Red Sox, sweeping the series and holding Boston to seven runs in three games. Then the Toronto Blue Jays’ big boppers came to town and were promptly handled in five games, with Cleveland’s pitchers shutting out the Jays twice.

Cleveland’s pitching has been superb, led by Corey Kluber (2-1 with a 0.98 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 20 strikeouts in 18.1 innings pitched), Josh Tomlin (2-0, 2.53 ERA, 0.94 WHIP), Andrew Miller (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, four holds, one save, 11.2 innings pitched) and Cody Allen (0.00 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, five saves).

In many ways, these teams are similar. The Cubs were third in baseball during the regular season in runs scored (808); Cleveland was fifth (777). The Cubs led baseball in ERA (3.15) and batting average allowed (.212) during the regular season; Cleveland was seventh (3.84) and fifth (.243), respectively. 

Neither team has hit particularly well in the postseason (.222 batting average for the Cubs, .208 for Cleveland), though that is to be somewhat expected against baseball’s top pitchers in October. And the Cubs offense has recently awoken, scoring 23 runs in the last three games, while Cleveland has relied on timely hitting and the ability to win close games—five of its seven postseason triumphs have come by two or fewer runs—to reach the World Series. 

Of course, the storylines surrounding these teams are different. The Cubs are laden with talent, led by the curse-breaking Theo Epstein, the quirky but prescient Maddon and a giant payroll supplementing an impressive collection of young talent that has come through the team’s system.

Cleveland, meanwhile, is the scrappy, never-say-die bunch that has overcome injuries and was overshadowed by sexier organizations in the American League but has quietly been excellent all season long.

Of course, all the storylines are coated in drought. Neither one of these franchises has won a title in a long time. While Chicago has at least had the Bulls, Blackhawks and even the Bears in 1985 to help scratch that championship itch, Cleveland has had to suffer through the Browns and wait for the return of LeBron James to bring the Cavaliers a title this past season.

Ultimately, how each team handles the pressure will be a huge factor. So, too, will be each team maximizing its strengths and minimizing its weaknesses. The Cubs, on paper, have the better offense and starting rotation. Cleveland has home-field advantage and a lights-out bullpen. Maddon and Terry Francona are both excellent managers. 

Any way you slice it, this year’s World Series shapes up to be one of the most memorable in quite some time. One fanbase that hasn’t had a reason to celebrate a baseball team’s ultimate achievement will get that opportunity this season. The other will have the most familiar of heartbreaks to endure once again.

Watching it all unfold will be fantastic theater. And hopefully fantastic baseball, too.


You can follow Timothy Rapp on Twitter.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com