2016 World Series – Game 6 Preview

2016 World Series – Game 6 Preview

The 2016 World Series moves back to Progressive Field on Tuesday night, where Jake Arietta will try to pump one more breath of air into the Cubs, as they face elimination down 3 games to 2. The Cubbies will be up against a raucous atmosphere in Cleveland and the likes of Josh Tomlin, who has given up only 3 runs in his 15 1/3 innings of playoff baseball.

josh-tomlin

Arietta took a no-no into the 6th inning in his Game 2 appearance, using his filthy two-seamer to keep the Cleveland hitters at bay. Tomlin gave up just two hits and a walk in his game 3 outing of 4 2/3 innings of shutout baseball and the Indians would go on to win that game 1-0. Expect each pitcher to get no more than 6 innings of work, as Terry Francona and Joe Maddon have been turning to their dominant bullpens at the first sign of trouble.

The Cubs will return Kyle Schwarber to the lineup in the 2-hole, with the dangerous bats of Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo following behind him. Schwarber returned to the Cubs lineup in Game 1 of the World Series after recovering from a season long knee-injury, sustained in just his second game of the year. Schwarber had only 5 at bats before the injury, but the powerful left bat showed enough promise in rehab hitting drills for the Cubs to activate him onto the World Series roster. In Games 1 and 2, Schwarber quieted all critics, going 3-8 with a double, 2 RBI, and 2 BBs. Unable to play the field, Schwarber was forced to sit during the games at Wrigley, but rejoins a potent Cubs offense in Game 6:

  1. Dexter Fowler, CF
  2. Kyle Schwarber, DH
  3. Kris Bryant, 3B
  4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  5. Ben Zobrist, LF
  6. Addison Russell, SS
  7. Wilson Contreras, C
  8. Jason Heyward, RF
  9. Javier Baez, 2B

The Indians will have to be better against Arietta this time around if they want to lock down the series tonight. One of the league’s best lineups was held hitless through 5 2/3 innings in game 2, but they still hold the firepower to put together a rally at any point:

  1. Carlos Santana, DH
  2. Jason Kipnis, 2B
  3. Francisco Lindor, SS
  4. Mike Napoli, 1B
  5. Jose Ramirez, 3B
  6. Lonnie Chisenhall, RF
  7. Coco Crisp, LF
  8. Tyler Naquin, CF
  9. Roberto Perez, C

One of the biggest questions of the night is how early will we see stud relievers Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman. Miller and Chapman are typically 8th and 9th inning guys, used for 1 to 2 innings max. Terry Francona and Joe Maddon have re-written the “rulebook”, however. Francona moved first by calling on Miller as early as the 5th inning when Tomlin got into trouble in Game 3. Joe Maddon then followed suit, bringing in Chapman for the final 8 outs of their 3-2 win in Game 5. It will be interesting to see how the managers flex their muscles this time if starters Arietta and Tomlin get into early trouble.

miller-chapman

The Cubs will need a solid outing from Jake Arietta to get into at least the 6th inning. From there they can use relievers Montgomery, Wood, Grim, and Edwards Jr to get to Chapman, who we could see go 2+ innings again. With two games left and a must-win attitude, you have to believe both Maddon and Chapman are on board for almost anything.

Francona will bring in Miller as long as the game is close and into at least the 5th inning. If the Indians can grab an early lead and hold it thru the middle innings, they could be World Series Champs by the end of the night.

Prediction: Jake Arietta bulldogs his way through the Indians lineup and the Cubs hold on to win, forcing a game 7.

 

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