Here are matchups that will determine the outcome of what will be a historic World Series -- and we know this because the Elias Sports Bureau reports that this is the first World Series to be played between two franchises that have at least a 50-year current championship drought.
The Indians' baserunners versus Jon Lester's base-throwing yips and the Cubs' slow-moving starting pitchers
The Dodgers' game plan against Lester in Game 5 was sound; they did all they could to attack the most significant vulnerabilities of one of the best postseason pitchers of all time. Lester can nick both sides of the plate, he has a nasty cutter and he seems to be steeled emotionally when there are runners in scoring position -- but Lester has a mountainous mental block in throwing to bases.
However, because the Dodgers were such a conservative baserunning team during the season and because efficiency on the bases was never really a priority, there was nothing comfortable or instinctive about their attack on Lester. The Indians, on the other hand, have been incredibly aggressive all season through a collective effort to always look for a chance to take an extra base. Rajai Davis, a right-handed hitter who will play against Lester, led the AL in stolen bases with 43 -- or just two fewer than the Dodgers had all season. The Indians had easily the most steals in the AL with 134, and Cleveland manager Terry Francona has said this is the best baserunning team that he has been a part of.