The Chicago Cubs are the safe pick to win their first World Series since 1908, but consider this: Indians manager Terry Francona is 8-0 in World Series games.
“He’s been an outstanding manager and he’s been an outstanding postseason manager,” Bleacher Report MLB writer Danny Knobler said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “Now he goes with a different team. He was obviously with the Red Sox the first two times he went to the World Series, but he’s proven a lot over his career. Most of it is having good teams, but he’s proven that he understands what it’s about in the postseason. Anybody who watched the Indians in the first two rounds of the playoffs this year understands what that means. He understands a) the urgency of a postseason game, which is different from a regular season game, but b) that you can’t get caught up in that urgency and make a move you shouldn’t make. Even though he went to the bullpen early in most of the games, there were a couple of times when he maybe stuck with the starting pitcher maybe longer than people expected it. He has a very good feel for it, and he understands going in what it’s going to take for his team to win. That doesn’t mean his team is always going to win, but he has a real good idea of what it’s going to take for them to win.”
The Indians are 7-1 in the postseason. They swept the Red Sox in the ALDS and beat the Blue Jays, 4-1, in the ALCS. Unfortunately for them, they haven’t played in six days. The Cubs, meanwhile, are riding high after a cathartic 5-0 win in Game 6 of the NLCS on Saturday.
“I think (there’s) danger for the Indians,” Knobler said. “The Cubs had an outstanding season. They were better than everybody this year. The Indians had a very, very good season. If they had the pitching, and I know they put (Danny) Salazar back on the roster, but if they had their rotation the way it was supposed to be, I think you give them a bigger chance. They have a chance, but things are going to have to go right for them. The danger I see is that because they did so well in the ALCS, they got a lot of time off. A team that was really going and had the momentum going for them in the first two rounds of the playoffs, I don’t think that much time off is great for them. I won’t be shocked if they win, but when I had to put together a pick, that’s one of the reasons I picked the Cubs.”