On The Bench

By: Trent Strafaci

The Cleveland Indians will win the World Series

I’m not good with predictions, but I figure I can be just as good as a weatherman, so I’ve predicted the 2017 World Series. How does a rematch sound? While it is only the start of spring training, the excitement is building,as we wait to see if the Cubs and the Indians end up in a “Series Battle,” and I predict that the Cleveland Indians are going to win the World Series in 2017.

Remember last year when the Cubs stormed back from a 3-1 World Series deficit and won Game 7? That was probably one of the greatest baseball games in history. The Cubs in Game 7 were up 5-1 and then the Indians made a serious comeback. It took everything the Cubs had to hold off the pesky Indians. The 10th inning proved to be the magic for the Cubs.

I don’t know if the 2017 World Series will have the same drama and excitement of 2016, but I predict the Cleveland Indians will win it this year. Based on the players returning from injuries, the free agent additions, and the sweet taste of revenge, the Indians are more than a legitimate contender. The key injuries of left fielder Michael Brantley, who chalked up 35 home runs with 38 stolen bases in 40 in 2014-2015, missed all of the 2016 season with a shoulder injury, which affected the Indians’ chances. But the biggest injury had to be to their No. 2 pitcher Carlos Carrasco, whose hand injury knocked him out of starting position for the playoffs.

The sour taste of defeat left the Indians scrambling to fill in the holes. The addition of designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion from the Toronto Blue Jays gave almost unlimited power to an already-scrappy lineup. Encarnacion consistently produces an on-base percentage of .350 or better every year and a career slugging percentage of .498. Encarnacion promises to light up the field with his bat.

I am not dissing the Chicago Cubs, but the hype around the Cubs came from the fact that the Cubs had not even won a pennant since 1945 and had not won a series since 1908. Ninety-nine years has got to be a record drought, so everybody was rooting for the “poor Cubs,” and they proved they had the right stuff.

But my prediction remains the same. It will be Cleveland all the way, and what’s more I am taking the leap of faith and saying Cleveland will be close to the top for the next three to four seasons. Let’s hope a rematch will be as entertaining as the first series.

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