The first two games of the World Series have shown us that the team that scores first will probably win. Both teams’ bullpens are good enough to shut down the opposing team after they have taken the first lead. In game one, Cleveland scored two runs in the first inning and never looked back behind ace Cory Kluber. Last night, Chicago responded with Jake Arrieta as the pitching star which allowed the Cubs’ bats to get warm and even the series.
Games one and two show that both these teams are at their best when they are able to control the game and utilize their bullpens the way they want respectively. Cleveland likes to get the game to superstar left-handed reliever Andrew Miller with the lead, as quickly as possible, followed by closer Cody Allen. The Cubs would prefer for their starter to go as long as possible and use Aroldis Chapman to close out the games.
Don’t expect there to be much late inning drama in the remaining games of this series if either team can help it. An early lead allows both teams to structure the game pitching-wise the way each of them wants it to go. In game 1, the Indians scored first and won, and in game 2, Chicago did the same. With both these bullpens, the first three innings are very important because early runs set both teams up for success. The team that scores first in every remaining game should win if form holds.
Here’s a gentle reminder not to miss any pitches of the remaining 2016 World Series games. They could very well be decided before the first or second inning is over.