The 2016 World Series became all knotted up Wednesday, as the Chicago Cubs were able to steal a road win over the Cleveland Indians.

After Cleveland shut out Chicago 6-0 in Game 1, the Cubs returned the favor in Game 2 with a 5-1 win behind stout performances from Jake Arrieta and Kyle Schwarber. Now the series shifts for a three-game set in Chicago, as the Cubs have a chance to grab a lead at home.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the television and live-stream schedule for Game 3, in addition to a preview of the critical showdown.

Game 3 Preview

Not only was Game 2 important for the Cubs in terms of tying the series, but it also put the team in position to take advantage of a nice pitching matchup on Friday with a series lead on the line.

Chicago will trot out Kyle Hendricks, who became one of the best pitchers in baseball this season in a loaded Cubs rotation. The 26-year-old led the majors with a 2.13 ERA, and he has been excellent this postseason with just three earned runs allowed in 16.1 innings.

Hendricks was much better at home this season than on the road. He went 9-2 with a sparkling 1.32 ERA at Wrigley Field compared to a 7-6 mark on the road, which was the best in baseball, per CSN Chicago’s Christopher Kamka:

However, we don’t know how Hendricks will handle Cleveland’s lineup, since he has practically no experience against the current roster. He has faced only Marlon Byrd and Coco Crisp, and since Byrd has not been a playoff contributor, the only relevant comparison is with Crisp, who is 0-for-3 against Hendricks.

The Cy Young candidate should have plenty of confidence, as he proved he can win on the big stage in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series. With a trip to the World Series on the line, Hendricks was sensational with two hits and no runs allowed in 7.1 innings. That garnered praise from his potential MVP teammate, per’s Bradford Doolittle.

“That’s the best pitching performance I’ve seen,” Kris Bryant said after Game 6. “Just throwing exactly where he wants to. Soft contact. He’s certainly the unsung hero of this team.”

Cleveland will counter with Josh Tomlin, who was solid this season with a 13-9 record and 4.40 ERA.

With Danny Salazar just coming back from injury and Carlos Carrasco out, Tomlin was thrust into the playoff rotation and has responded well. Though he has only 10.2 innings pitched in two starts, he is 2-0 with a stout 2.53 ERA with only three walks allowed. 

Indians manager Terry Francona seems to have plenty of trust in Tomlin, as the 32-year-old is expected to receive multiple starts in this series, per Bleacher Report’s Scott Miller:

Both of those starts will come at Wrigley Field, and as opposed to Hendricks, Tomlin actually performed better on the road this season than in Cleveland. He went 8-4 with a 4.31 ERA on the road compared to 5-5 with a 4.50 ERA at home.

Tomlin also has little experience against this current Cubs roster, having faced only Miguel Montero, David Ross and Ben Zobrist. In 19 career at-bats, Zobrist has just two hits off Tomlin.

It looks like the difference in Game 3 will be which team can get runners in scoring position. On the season, Hendricks was excellent in this situation, surrendering just a .178 opposing batting average in 33.2 innings pitched. On the other hand, Tomlin struggled with a .287 opposing average in 29.2 innings. He also allowed 49 earned runs to Hendricks’ 29.

Through two games this series, Chicago has been able to get in this position more often than Cleveland has, but the Cubs are converting at a less efficient rate. They are 4-for-23 combined with runners in scoring position, while the Indians are 2-for-13.

Given that the Cubs are generating more baserunners in scoring position, they should feel good going up against Tomlin. There will also be a ton of energy in Wrigley Field, as Chicago is playing its first World Series game in the stadium since 1945.

This should give Chicago an edge in Game 3, especially if Hendricks continues to pitch well. Cleveland could have a chance to hold off the home team if it can get a lead after about five innings of work from Tomlin, but that may be a lot to ask for.


Statistics are courtesy of and FanGraphs, unless otherwise noted.

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