If you’re a Chicago fan, a Cleveland fan or a just a fan of the underdog, this is the baseball postseason for you. In this year’s World Series, it’s the Chicago Cubs versus the Cleveland Indians, two teams who have not seen a World Series win in decades. For Cleveland, it’s been 68 years since winning the World Series. And for Chicago, it’s been 108 years. Whichever team wins, it’ll be a gigantic deal for their fans — and for the sports history books.
But before history is made, there’s games to be played. Here’s what to watch for in this year’s World Series — kicking off tonight — also known as the ultimate underdog match-up.
1. Lots of home runs
Both the Cubs and the Indians score big when it comes to home runs. In the postseason, 55 percent of the Indians’ runs have been homers, and for the Cubs, it’s at 42 percent — both higher numbers than the MLB average of 39 percent, according to Sports Illustrated. It’s the home runs that really bring the excitement in any baseball game, so expect your eyes to be glued to the outfield during this World Series.
2. High ticket prices
Being in the stands for this year’s World Series isn’t just about watching your team win — it’s about witnessing history. As such, people are willing to pay top dollar for a seat at both Wrigley and Progressive fields. According to TicketIQ, the average listing price for a seat at Wrigley is $6,400 a seat. On StubHub, the current starting prices for games one and two (in Cleveland) are $825 and $735, and for games three and four (in Chicago) they are $1,771 and $1,999. Keep in mind, all those starting prices are for standing room only tickets. Sitting behind the Cubs’ dugout could cost you as much as $15,000.
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3. Plenty of “curse” talk
Many Cubs fans attribute their lack of World Series wins to the famed curse of the billy goat. The story goes that in 1945, Billy Sianis, owner of the local Billy Goat Tavern, was asked to leave Wrigley Field because the smell of his goat, Murphy, was bothering other fans. Sianis reportedly declared that the Cubs “ain’t gonna win no more,” and thus, the curse was born.
Though the Indians’ curse isn’t as well known, they still have one: The curse of Rocky Colavito. In 1960, the Indians traded Colavito, the 1959 home run champion, for Harvey Kuenn of the Detroit Tigers. Cleveland fans were very mad, and it set off a streak of unfortunate events for the team, including bad trades, departing players, and seasons with 100+ losses.
This year, one curse will end — and you can bet that broadcasters and fans alike will be talking about both curses in the buildup.
4. Strikeouts galore
To make it to the World Series, you need some strong pitchers. The Cubs have them in Kyle Hendricks, Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta, while the Indians have Andrew Miller and Cody Allen. In the postseason, both teams have seen plenty of scoreless innings. The two teams ended the NLCS and ALCS, respectively, with their opponents not having scored a single run in the final game. Keep your eyes peeled for more strikeouts to come.
5. Regardless of who wins, people going crazy
These are two teams for whom the majority of fans haven’t seen a World Series win in their lifetime. No matter who wins, they’ll be ending a decades-long (and in the Cubs’s case, century-long) drought. Epic celebrations are sure to break out in either city, with closed-down streets, dancing on cars, and general city-stopping mayhem. Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood went absolutely nuts after their NLCS win on Saturday — a World Series win would only be crazier.