Chicago Cubs vs. Cleveland Indians Game 4
Date and Time: Saturday, October 29, 2016, 8 p.m. ET
Location: Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
World Series Game 4 Odds at BookMaker.eu: Cubs -105, O/U 7
Probable Pitchers: Corey Kluber ( Cleveland ) vs. John Lackey ( Chicago )
Indians vs. Cubs Game 4 TV Coverage: FOX
Even though this series is a long way from being over, Corey Kluber has a chance to make himself the definitive choice for MVP of the Fall Classic should the Tribe close this out.
Kluber was fantastic in Game 1 of this series, needing just 88 pitches to clear six frames, and if he can do anything similar in this one, he's going to already put himself in Indians lore.
The one knock right now on the righty is that he hasn't pitched on the road a heck of a lot of late and hasn't been nearly as effective away from Progressive Field. At home, Kluber's ERA is 0.00 in 20.1 innings in the postseason. In his one away start, he allowed two runs to the Blue Jays in the ALCS, making the one mistake with the dinger he allowed to Josh Donaldson.
The away splits though, are grossly overstated since Kluber had a better ERA on the road ( 3.03 ) than he did at home ( 3.24 ).
John Lackey is going to be on a short leash for sure as the fourth starter for Chicago. Jon Lester isn't coming back on three days of rest in Game 4 and will instead throw in Game 5, so the ball really has to stay in the hands of the veteran.
Lackey has been here and done this, so the moment isn't going to be too big for him. However, can he really hang in there for more than four frames as he did in each of his first two starts of the postseason? He did go 11-8 with a 3.35 ERA in the regular season, so we do expect better.
The big story in Game 3 of this series was the fact that the wind was blowing out all night long in Wrigley Field in a big time way. Any ball that got into the outfield was liable to head out onto Waverly Avenue. Both Josh Tomlin and Kyle Hendricks are vintage groundball pitchers though, and as a result, the long ball didn't come into play over the course of the game.
Now, with Lackey and Kluber on the bump, men who combined to surrender 45 home runs in the regular season, this could have been an issue. Except for the fact that the wind is shifting over the course of the day and will ultimately blowing in from the north.
The wind shift is going to cause two things to happen on Saturday night. First off, obviously fly balls are going to be hanging up there for longer and will give outfielders a chance to run down balls that would have been homers in Game 3, but maybe more important is the fact that it could end up being brutally cold for the batters with the wind in their face. We won't see those howling winds that we saw in Game 3, but we definitely could see the wind play a role in this one.
Indians vs. Cubs Free Picks
This game is effectively a pick 'em on the odds at BookMaker.eu with Chicago set at -127. That said, the better play here is clearly on the under. The Indians had their chances for sure in Game 3, far more than Chicago ended up having over the course of the game, but in the end, the bats were all generally horrible with men on base.
It's just going to be hard with the wind blowing in and the temperatures so darn cold for these bats to get going. The under remains the word for us in this low-scoring series.
Indians vs. Cubs Game 4 Pick: Under 7 at BookMaker.eu
Indians vs. Cubs Score Prediction: Chicago 3, Cleveland 1