2016 World Series Champs v. 2016 World Series Participants, September 15-16, 2020 | Bleacher Nation

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2016 World Series Champs v. 2016 World Series Participants, September 15-16, 2020

Chicago Cubs

It’s a little known fact that the Chicago Cubs came back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Cleveland Indians in the 2016 World Series.

Some thought they were dreaming, others couldn’t believe their eyes, but it did, in fact, happen. And you should never forget it.

The Cubs aren’t returning to Cleveland this week, but they are hosting the Indians and it’s a series on a Tuesday and a Wednesday, so, you know, I couldn’t not bring it up.

After this two-gamer, the Cubs have another off-day on Thursday before hosting the Minnesota Twins for three games. After that, they head out on the road for their final seven games of the season, with four against the Pirates and three against the White Sox. As of today, the Cubs are a virtual lock for the playoffs, but they could still win home field advantage for at least the first series of the year – when the games actually would be *at Wrigley* – so the games still matter.

Also, just a random observation:

We’re Going Streaking

The Chicago Cubs (28-20) are still just 5-5 in their last ten, but have plenty of positive vibes after a solid weekend against the Brewers, including Alec Mills no-hitter, Jon Lester’s bounce back, and Jason Heyward’s continued dominance. They also have a 4.0 game lead over the .500-Cardinals and once again have the best run differential in the NL Central.

The Cleveland Indians (26-21) may be five games over .500, but they just dropped 7 of 10 and have sunk deeper into third place of the AL Central (5.0 games behind the Sox and 3.0 games behind the Twins). They do currently hold the 8th seed in the AL, though, so they are very much still trying to win.

Game Times and Broadcasts Info

•   Tuesday, September 15th at 7:15 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score
•   Wednesday, September 16th at 7:15 CT on MARQ, 670 The Score

Pitching Matchups

Game 1: Carlos Carrasco (R) v. Yu Darvish (R)
Game 2: Aaron Civale (R) v. Jon Lester (L)

Chicago Cubs

•   C – Willson Contreras
•   1B – Anthony Rizzo
•   2B – Jason Kipnis
•   3B – Kris Bryant
•   SS – Javy Baez
•   LF – Kyle Schwarber
•   CF – Ian Happ
•   RF – Jason Heyward
•   DH – Victor Caratini/David Bote

Unavailable: Andrew Chafin, Tyler Chatwood, Jose Quintana, Daniel Descalso, James Norwood, Brad Wieck

Cleveland Indians

•   C – Roberto Perez
•   1B – Carlos Santana
•   2B – Cesar Hernandez
•   3B – Jose Ramirez
•   SS – Francisco Lindor
•   LF – Jordan Luplow
•   CF – Delino DeShields
•   RF – Josh Naylor
•   DH – Franmil Reyes

Unavailable: Jefry Rodriguez

Keep An Eye Out For …

Cubs Pitcher: Jon Lester delivered a MUCH needed bounceback against the Brewers this weekend, and it was especially encouraging considering Milwaukee’s success against left-handed pitchers. He had gone through a fairly awful five-game stretch just before that, but came out strong with just 3 hits, 2 walks, and 8 strikeouts over 6.0 scoreless innings. If he could build on that again over what could be his second to last start before October, he might be able to build some momentum going into the postseason. Here’s hoping. For what it’s worth, the Indians are one of the worst teams in MLB against southpaws (75 wRC+, 27th).

Cubs Player: It’s been 8 games since Ian Happ’s last multi-hit outing, a stretch during which he’s recorded just 4 hits and 5 walks against 14 strikeouts. He does have just 3Ks over his last three games, after recording 10 in the three games prior, so hopefully he’s coming out of the funk, but, yes. He’s been cold. And now would be a good time to heat back up.

Indians Pitcher: Carlos Carrasco walked five Cubs batters in just 4.1 IP last time he faced this team in mid-August, but he’s coming off a fantastic three-game stretch against the Royals, Brewers, and Cardinals, during which he’s allowed just 2 earned runs over 19.0 IP with 19Ks and 5 walks.

Indians Player: Jose Ramirez has strung together three straight multi-hit games and is hitting .309/.397/.618 (168 wRC+) over his last 78 plate appearances. He’s always a dangerous hitter (one of the most underrated guys in the game) and it seems he’s hitting his stride. Don’t let him beat you.

Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami