With the Chicago Cubs 3-2 win in Game 5 over the Cleveland Indians, the World Series returns to Cleveland for Game 6 and Game 7 if necessary with the Indians holding a 3-2 lead.
The Cubs finally took a lead into the late innings and closer Aroldis Chapman shut the door with authority with a save of eight outs after coming in with one out in the seventh.
The Cubs Jon Lester came through with six strong innings and Kris Bryant slammed a home run as the best players on the Cubs finally came up big in the Fall Classic.
Jake Arrieta the reigning Cy Young holder will start for Chicago on Tuesday in Game 6 and Kyle Hendricks the ERA leader in the majors will go in Game 7, if played.
Regardless of the momentum Chicago took from their Game 5 victory, Cleveland remains in the driver’s seat with a solid grip on the steering wheel.
The Indians own a 3-2 lead and over 70% of teams that have taken that lead in the series have gone on to win. It leaps to almost 79% if that team holds the home field advantage in the final two games and Cleveland has that.
Chicago must win two more and three straight overall to win the title, while Cleveland can go 1-1 and win it.
Going home to play is a big thing. Just one team in the majors had a better record at home than did the Indians in the regular season and that was the Cubs.
Cleveland in 81 home games was 53-28 and owned a run differential of +105 on its home field. Chicago on the road this season was 41-39 with a run differential of just +4.
In addition, Cleveland is 5-1 with a run differential of +12 during the playoffs at home this year.
Josh Tomlin will pitch Game 6 on Tuesday and the Indians will give the ball for a third time to Corey Kluber in Game 7 if necessary.
Tomlin has an ERA in the postseason of 1.76 and he is the team’s fifth starter. He won Game 3 against the Cubs and looks to shut them down again in Game 6. Kluber has an ERA of 0.89 in 30 innings of work in the postseason.
Therefore, the Cubs may hold some momentum on the plane back to Cleveland, but the Indians have a distinct advantage heading into Game 6 on Tuesday night.