Cleveland will be happy to be home, even as they lament not taking advantage of Jon Lester in Game 5. They will definitely not be pleased to see Jake Arrieta on the hill opposing them, however, as the hirsute Cub righty shut them down and delivered Chicago their first win of the series last week. Cleveland has shown an uncommon capacity to bash offspeed pitches all year, but struggled to hit fastballs, ranking 22nd as a team against heaters in the regular season. a more thorough investigation into this uncommon trend was done in September here by August Fagerstrom for anyone who is interested. Arrieta, who throws 65% fastballs, will put a lot of pressure on them to step up, as will Hector Roneon, who is almost assured to make an appearance after the extended usage of Aroldis Chapman in Game 5.
Chicago at Cleveland - (Cleveland leads 3-2) 5:00 PM PT on FOX
Jason Heyward started 66 games hitting in the 2nd spot in the order this year, before his hitting struggles bumped him down and granted it to likely NL MVP Kris Bryant. With the season on the line Bryant is being pushed back one spot for the return of the DH. Kyle Schwarber is not the only big boy happy to be back in an AL stadium, of course. Mike Napoli and Carlos Santana can now more comfortably inhabit the lineup together without also inhabiting the outfield. The ‘Little Cowboy,’ as Manny Acta apparently deemed him to be, Josh Tomlin would be a very safe bet to not make it 5 IP, no matter how well he's pitching.
|CHICAGO CUBS||CLEVELAND INDIANS|
|Dexter Fowler - CF||Carlos Santana - DH|
|Kyle Schwarber - DH||Jason Kipnis - 2B|
|Kris Bryant - 3B||Francisco Lindor - SS|
|Anthony Rizzo - 1B||Mike Napoli - 1B|
|Ben Zobrist - LF||Jose Ramirez - 3B|
|Addison Russell - SS||Lonnie Chisenhall - RF|
|Willson Contreras - C||Coco Crisp - LF|
|Jason Heyward - RF||Tyler Naquin - CF|
|Javier Baez - 2B||Roberto Perez - C|
|Jake Arrieta - RHP||Josh Tomlin - RHP|
FiveThirtyEight: 52% Cubs win.
This could be the last game of baseball for the rest of the year, so let's hope its a good one.