Nate Silver’s blog “FiveThirtyEight” has become famous for its accurate predictions involving politics, sports, and just about anything.
Oftentimes, this is where people will first go to see what is probable to expect, of course backed up with statistics. With the World Series matchup being finalized with the Chicago Cubs defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers, it’s interesting to see what the initial expectations are for the odds of a World Series victory for each of the teams.
First of all, there are still a number of questions lingering in regards to the exact matchup. Notably, Kyle Schwarber came back just today to play in the Arizona Fall League. This may indicate that if he appears to be able to hit Major League pitching again, he very well may make a comeback despite his injury right at the beginning of the season. If he comes back, it could be a game changer as he could be an awesome Designated Hitter for the games in Cleveland.
With this in mind and the Indians holding home field advantage, FiveThirtyEight currently holds the odds of the Cubs winning the World Series at 63%, with a 52% chance of winning game one.
Cleveland does have some very real advantages coming in, aside from the home field advantage they have a whole week to recover since playing their last game. This means their pitchers have the ability to get extra rest, something that can be invaluable after playing over 170 games thus far through the regular season and the playoffs combined.
Interestingly, FiveThirtyEight had projected the Cubs to be the winners in 5 of the 6 games during the National League Championship Series. The only exception was Game 3, the first game in Los Angeles where there was a 50%-50% tie between the Cubs and the Dodgers according to the projections.
On a game by game basis for the series, the Cubs are favored in each one as well, with the lowest projection being 52% in Game 1, and the highest Games 3-5 with the Cubs at 62% in each. If the Series comes down to a Game 7, the Cubs would be favored to win with 53% and the Indians would be expected to win 47% of the time.
Although FiveThirtyEight does have a good track record with predicting various events, once the first pitch is thrown all bets are off with what will actually go on. It’s anybody’s guess if the Chicago Cubs will be able to bring home the hardware for the first time since 1908.