Before Game 7 of the World Series, the Chicago Cubs held a 6.5 to 4.5 odds in favour of winning the game. Following a disappointing Game 6, most sportsbooks saw the Cubs’ odds increase to 7 to 5 or 8 to 6. The final odds, which appeared at the time of writing, are now 8 to 7 in favour of the Cubs.
Despite their apparent boost in confidence, the Cubs actually entered the World Series as a slight underdog. As we’ll soon see, they weren’t supposed to win, and they certainly didn’t. But just what were the betting odds on the Cubs winning Game 7? Let’s take a quick look.
Game 6: Chicago Cubs 16, Cleveland Indians 13
The Cubs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in Game 6 and maintained possession of the World Series trophy through five innings. But the Indians fought back, using a pair of long balls in the sixth to tie the game. The visitors took the lead in the top of the seventh, but the Cubs countered by scoring two runs in the bottom of the inning, sending the game to extra innings.
In the top of the tenth, Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor hit a ball that travelled 549 feet, tying the game at 6-6. This would be the last gasp for the Indians, however, as Chicago closed the deal in the bottom of the tenth to secure their third World Series title in a row. The Cubs won the series 16-13, and their odds of winning Game 7 were trimmed in half from 6.5 to 3.25.
Game 7: Chicago Cubs 3, Cleveland Indians 2
Despite the Cubs’ confidence that came from their Game 6 comeback, they were anything but dominant in Game 7. They raced out to a 6-0 lead in the first inning, but allowed the Indians to tie the game with a pair of runs in the second. The Cubs regained the lead in the bottom of the second, but Cleveland answered with two more runs in the third. The three-run advantage would be enough for the visitors, who scored once in the fourth and once in the fifth to secure a 3-2 win and even the series at two games each.
This was an extremely close finish in a very exciting Game 7. As we write this, the final score is Cubs 3, Indians 2. Despite their 2-1 series lead, the underdogs have been eliminated. But just how much did we learn from this World Series? Let’s take a look.
Three Key Takeaways
1. The Cubs are a well-balanced and deep team. Although they may have come up short against the Indians in the end, they didn’t allow the underdog to get a sniff of the trophy. It was the perfect game plan: take the series in good, old-fashioned fashion. And they did just that, securing their third straight World Series title with a 16-13 victory in Game 6. They may not have been the most entertaining team in the league this year, but if they keep playing the way they have been, the 2020 edition of the World Series won’t be any different. This year’s Champion, the Chicago Cubs.
2. The Indians are an extremely dangerous team. Although they didn’t win the World Series this year, they certainly didn’t come up short, either, as they won 11 out of 18 games against the Cubs, including the last three. They’re a much more complete team than the Cubbies, and that was made evident in Game 7, as they showed up to play and won the final two games of the series. It doesn’t hurt that they have one of the best batters in the league in their lineup, either. Going into the final game of the series, the Cubs held a slight 3-2 series lead. But the Indians didn’t go quietly, winning the last two games to eliminate the underdogs and take the series 3-2.
3. When the going gets tough, the tough win. Even though the Cubs outscored the Indians 12-7 in the first six games, they ultimately got outscored 15-12 in the last two. But that’s just the way the baseball gods wanted it, as they always have the last laugh. The Cubs came back from an 0-3 series hole to knock off the Indians in six games, and it was the perfect storm. After losing the first game of the series, the Cubs won the next five. The Indians only won two of the last six games, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. The visitors came back from a 3-0 deficit in Game 6 to force a Game 7, and they won the final two games to eliminate the underdogs and take the series 3-1. The Cubs played with a lot of heart in those last two games, and they never gave up, even when the scores showed that the game was over. This year’s World Series champs, the Indians.
The Perfect Storm
While the Cubs had the perfect game plan to end the 2019 season, the perfect storm analogy could not be more appropriate. The perfect game plan is always a good idea when it comes to baseball. But especially in a World Series, it’s even better when it’s backed by a perfect pitching performance from Clevenger, Hammel, and even more importantly, Lester. The difference this year was that the Cubs got two of those performances from star pitchers. In Game 4, they got a great start from the 28-year-old former Brewer, Wade Davis. Then, in Game 7, they got an even better start from the 26-year-old Justin Grimm. Davis struggled in the first game of the series, going 1-4 with a walk and an earned run. But he turned it around in Game 7, going 6-1 with a walk and four strikeouts. Grimm went one better, striking out 12 and allowing two earned runs in seven innings of work. In addition to those two starting pitchers, the Cubs had one of the best bullpens in the league, limiting the opposition to just six runs in the final two games of the series. But even that wasn’t good enough for the Cubs, as Davis gave up four runs in the ninth to get the final out.
Despite the fact that the Cubs had one of the best bullpens in the league this year, they still finished with just 5.28 runs per game, which ranked 12th out of 15 National League teams. So they did rely heavily on their fantastic starting pitching, which still isn’t good enough when the competition is as fierce as it is in the World Series. But it’s better than it has been in a long time, and that’s all that matters in the end. This season, the Chicago Cubs finally got over the hump and won the World Series. And it all started with a 12-7 victory in Game 1, which turned into a 0-3 deficit in the series. The team came back with a vengeance, winning the next five games to eliminate the Cleveland Indians and take the series 3-1. And although they came up short against the Indians in the end, the Cubs did it the old-fashioned way: they played hard, they pitched well, and they stuck to the game plan. This year’s World Series champs, the Chicago Cubs.