The 2016 World Series, featuring the Cleveland Indians vs. the Chicago Cubs, is the battle of teams with long-standing world-championship droughts.
A combined 176 years without a World Series championship. The two teams with the longest title droughts. The Cleveland Indians haven’t won the Fall Classic since 1948; the Chicago Cubs haven’t won since 1908, and haven’t even won a National League Pennant since 1945.
Whatever happens in the 2016 World Series, history will be made.
Whether you blame The Curse of the Billy Goat or the Curse of Chief Wahoo, Steve Bartman or Rocky Colavito, this year’s matchup will probably draw some of the highest World Series TV ratings ever.
The average asking price of a World Series ticket for the first two games in Cleveland is already almost $4,000. The price to see the Indians play the Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago will cost close to $7,200 a seat.
But thousands are willing to pay the price to see their cursed teams duke it out beginning October 25th at 8:00 p.m. ET at Cleveland’s Progressive Field.
The Indians’ will therefore be on home turf when the face the Cubs for Game 1 on Tuesday night. After a strong performance in the regular season (94-67) and an outstanding performance in the postseason, Cleveland won’t necessarily need this advantage— but it can’t hurt.
After sweeping the Red Sox 4-0 in the American League Division Series (ALDS), the Tribe crushed the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 in the Championship Series (ALCS) and have had since last Wednesday to plan their World Series strategy.
The Cubs on the other hand, will be coming off of only a few days rest and victory-induced delirium when they face the Indians on Tuesday.
Yet despite the disadvantages of a short rest time and beginning the Series with away games, the Cubs are the clear favorites to win the World Series.
The Cubs have had a strong showing throughout the season and especially in the National League Championship Series (NLCS). Winning the series 4-2, the Cubs showed strong performances from their bullpen and beyond.
Coming out of Chicago’s 5-0 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 6 of the series, second baseman Javier Baez and left-handed starting pitcher Jon Lester were awarded the NLCS MVP prize and all the Cubs— including manager Joe Maddon—were enjoying the end of a very long championship drought.
“We kinda had a plan from the beginning,” Maddon told NBC affiliates in Chicago on Saturday night post-game. “We worked the plan the entire year, and then we played our best game tonight.”
Despite breathless excitement about winning the NLCS, some fans are worried about how the Cubs win and potential for continued success will threaten their cult following as “lovable losers.”
Not Maddon. In his mind, at least, the perception of the Cubs has changed for the better.
“The thing I’ve always heard about the Cubs being lovable losers, I never quite understood that. That’s not the way I was raised,” Maddon said after Saturday’s game. “Getting here and not paying attention to the superficial nonsense, the superstition that really has dragged a lot of people’s minds down ... to escape that is great, to continue to move it forward. The perception has changed.”
Whether the Cubs finally beat the Curse or remain lovable losers remains to be seen. You can catch all the action live streaming, beginning with Game 1 of the 2016 World Series on Tuesday, October 25th at 8:00 p.m. ET.
How to Watch the 2016 World Series:
The World Series begins Tuesday, October 25th, at 8:00 p.m. ET in Cleveland.
In order to watch the games online, fans can use the Fox Sports GO website (or app for mobile viewing), but access requires a valid login through a cable provider. Games are also available for streaming on TBS Sports and you can find even more ways to watch without a cable login from Cut Cable Today.
World Series Schedule
Game 1: 8:00 p.m. ET, Tuesday, October 25 in Cleveland
Game 2: 7:00 p.m. ET, Wednesday, October 26 in Cleveland
Game 3: 8:00 p.m. ET, Friday, October 28 in Chicago
Game 4: 8:00 p.m. ET, Saturday, October 29 in Chicago
Game 5*: 8:00 p.m. ET, Sunday, October 30 in Chicago
Game 6*: 8:00 p.m. ET, Tuesday, November 1 in Cleveland
Game 7*: 8:00 p.m. ET, Wednesday, November 2 in Cleveland
* if necessary