No one asked what I thought about the Post Game 1 world we now live in, so I am going to tell you anyway. I did, however, say people that donated to my Movember got looped into my World Series Text Chain ™. That said, I can assure you, no one really wants that, and I was also busy winning trivia at the bar down the street last night, which meant no phone usage.
tl;dr - winning beats losing.
Over on fivethirtyeight.com, they’re giving the Cubs a 54 percent chance of winning Game 2 tonight and the Indians a 55 percent chance to do the one thing left to do (hint: it’s “win the whole fucking thing.”). They also - somehow - pick the Cubs to win the next 4 games. Which seems totally incongruous.
It bears noting, though, that I don’t think their pitcher adjustments takes bullpens into account. That seems like a major flaw. Which means surely I am missing something. It seems like you’d want to factor in the most dominant pitcher of the post season and the ALCS MVP. But what the hell do I know? Maybe that’s how we keep sneaking up on people.
Also, potentially of note: Danny Salazar isn’t factored in.
Historically,* when the home team wins Game 1 of the World Series, they go on to win Game 2 55.8 percent of the time and go on to win the series 68.8 percent of the time.
When leading a best-of-7 playoff series 1-game-nil, the Cleveland Indians have a series record of 1-0 and a Game 2 record of 1-0. When trailing a best-of-7 playoff series 1-game-nil, the Chicago Cubs have a series record of 0-9 and a Game 2 record of 4-5.
* This is sort of a worthless stat, as MLB changed the way they awarded World Series home field advantage in 2003 … so we don’t really have a hundred year yardstick here. Merely 13 years. Speaking of that ...
I saw this from ESPN today:
Over the past three decades, almost every team that lost Game 1 of the World Series found it had just dug itself a canyon it couldn't climb out of. It's tough to comprehend, but Game 1 losers have lost the past six World Series. And 12 of the past 13. And 17 of the past 19. Not to mention 19 of the past 22 and 24 of the past 28. Going all the way back to 1997, the only two teams to lose Game 1 and survive were the 2009 Yankees and the 2002 Angels. Hard to believe in a best-of-seven series, but 100 percent true.
I haven’t researched it, but I’m assuming it’s 100 percent true. it’s also fairly worthless as you’re dealing with one of the least lucky franchises on one of the least lucky towns in the history of professional organized sports.
But none of that means shit for this series.
Regardless, today, I awoke in a world where my beloved Indians led the World Series for the first time since 1948. And I’ve savored that bit of awesome all day. Because I fully expect Arrieta to completely clamp down the Indians lineup tonight as the Cubs exit Progressive Field with a W.
Conventional wisdom would call this loss a disaster for the Indians. And it’s certainly not good, Bob. Losing Game 2 at home means the Cubs just have to win 3, 4 and 5 in Wrigley (where they have the best record in baseball) and they can schedule a parade.
But, as great as a 2-0 knockout punch would be, I think Tito’s playing the long game with this series. My gut tells me he’s trying to make sure he’s got a 100 percent Kluber, a 100 percent Miller and a 100 percent Allen to throw at the Cubs in Game 1 (check) Game 4 (perhaps) and Game 7 (we’ll see) because he’s confident that’s 3 wins for the Good Guys. Throw the kitchen sink at them for games 2, 3, 5 and 6 and maybe you get lucky with one of those.
I also know the Indians are the only team in baseball that didn’t have a 4 game losing streak this season. I’m aware of that fact because Tito’s bragged about it to the radio crew a few times. Which is to say I am pretty sure it’s something he relishes and think he’s banking on it. “Cede” game 2 to the Cubs, keep your powder dry, because you’re confident they’re not taking the series 4-1.
First pitch tonight was moved up an hour to 7 eastern due to anticipated bad weather in the Cleveland area. Personally, that’s good for me, because I am fucking dead tired. However, I think there’s a bit of an edge to that for the Cubs. I’d love a situation where Bauer gave us 5 or 6 good innings and then a rain out meant we got to come back tomorrow to finish it out with a rested Miller taking the hill.
But we don’t get what we want, so I’ll take the extra sleep.