Before the World Series began, CBS Sports MLB analyst Jonah Keri predicted that the Cubs would beat the Indians in six games.
He is not backing off that pick. Not even after Cleveland’s 6-0 win in Game 1 on Tuesday.
“I said Kluber would win twice and the Cubs would win the other four games,” Keri said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “That’s exactly how I feel right now.”
Former AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber pitched six shutout inning in Game 1, striking out nine Cubs in the process. Chicago was shut out for the third time in six games, but Keri is sticking with his pick.
“Kluber is really good,” he said. “I figured they’d have their hands full with him and I was exactly right. Corey Kluber is probably going to be the most valuable guy in this series, no matter what happens. If the Indians happen to win it, I think he could be a lock for MVP. But even if it doesn’t happen, he’s going to be an impact guy. For him to pitch in Game 4 sets up a situation where maybe the Indians can get to a Game 7 and maybe he can go on. Mind you the Cubs have the ability to really beat up somewhat on (Josh) Tomlin but certainly (Trevor) Bauer, and that could be the difference.”
The Cubs may very well beat up on Tomlin and Bauer, but if they do, it will likely occur without Jason Heyward, who did not start in Game 1 and will not start in Game 2. Heyward, who signed an eight-year, $184-million contract with the Cubs last December, is the highest-paid player on the roster. He’s also been perhaps their worst player of the postseason.
Heyward is hitting .071 with a .133 OBP in 10 postseason games. He has two hits and eight strikeouts in 28 at-bats.
What does it say that the 27-year-old is riding the pine yet again?
“It’s a problem obviously for the long-term,” Keri said. “I’m sure they’ll go back in the offseason and really try to rebuild his swing and his confidence. Those are mechanics issues that are tough to answer from a distance. But they’re trying to win right now. . . . Their attitude is ‘(The money is) spent. It’s a sunk cost, in economic terms. Who really cares if Jason Heyward is playing or not? We’re just trying to win our first World Series in 108 years. Jason Heyward is not our best guy in right field right now. So be it.’”