Battle of the Midwestern Titans: Chicago Cubs Vs. Cleveland Guardians

Kevin Smith

cubs vs guardians

The Chicago Cubs vs. Cleveland Guardians rivalry stands as one of the most captivating and storied rivalries in Major League Baseball.

Dating back to the early 20th century, these two iconic franchises have engaged in thrilling battles on the diamond, creating a history filled with legendary players, intense matchups, and unforgettable moments.

From the Cubs’ historic 2016 World Series triumph that ended a century-long drought to the Guardians’ own championship glory, the passion and loyalty of both fan bases have been instrumental in shaping this enduring and exciting rivalry.

This introduction sets the stage for a compelling exploration of their shared history on the baseball field.

History: Chicago Cubs Vs Cleveland Guardians


  • Chicago Cubs: The Cubs are one of the oldest and most storied franchises in MLB. They were established in 1876 and were originally known as the Chicago White Stockings.
    The team underwent various name changes before adopting the “Cubs” moniker in 1903.

  • Cleveland Guardians: The Guardians, on the other hand, were established in 1901 as one of the original eight charter members of the American League.
    They were initially named the Cleveland Bluebirds but changed their name to the Cleveland Indians in 1915. The team adopted the name “Cleveland Guardians” starting in the 2022 season.

World Series Titles

  • Chicago Cubs: The Cubs’ history is highlighted by their three World Series championships. They won their titles in 1907, 1908, and the most recent one in 2016.
    The 2016 championship victory was particularly significant as it ended a 108-year-long drought and is often celebrated as one of the most memorable moments in MLB history.

  • Cleveland Guardians: Prior to being renamed the Guardians, the franchise won two World Series titles in their history.
    They captured championships in 1920 and 1948. The Guardians have experienced notable successes and have been competitive in the American League over the years.

Championship Droughts

  • Chicago Cubs: As mentioned earlier, the Cubs endured one of the longest championship droughts in professional sports history.
    From their 1908 World Series win until their victory in 2016, the Cubs experienced a 108-year-long dry spell, which added to the emotional significance of their eventual triumph.

  • Cleveland Guardians: Before winning the 2016 World Series, the Cubs’ drought was often compared to the “Curse of the Billy Goat.”
    The Guardians also had their own drought to break. From their 1948 World Series win until 2016, the Guardians endured a 68-year championship drought. While not as long as the Cubs’, it was still a significant period of time without a title.

Fanbase: Chicago Cubs Vs Cleveland Guardians

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs have one of the most storied and iconic fan bases in all of sports. Cubs fans, often referred to as the “Cubs Nation,” are known for their unwavering loyalty and enduring support for their team.

The Cubs’ fan base has a deep-rooted history that spans generations, as the team has been part of MLB since 1876.

One of the key factors that define Cubs fans is their resilience and dedication despite enduring a long championship drought.

As mentioned earlier, the Cubs went 108 years without winning a World Series title from 1908 to 2016, and throughout this period, the fans remained fiercely loyal, filling Wrigley Field with enthusiasm and hope every season.

Wrigley Field, the Cubs’ home stadium, is also a significant part of the fan base’s identity. Known for its unique and historic atmosphere, attending a game at Wrigley Field is often seen as a bucket-list experience for baseball fans.

Cleveland Guardians

Similar to the Cubs, the Cleveland Guardians’ fan base is passionate and devoted to their team. Guardians fans have shown unwavering support over the years, even during periods when the team faced challenges or went through rebuilding phases.

The Guardians’ fan base has a strong sense of pride in the team’s history, which includes notable players and moments. They have celebrated successes such as their two World Series titles in 1920 and 1948, as well as other memorable achievements from various eras.

One of the defining aspects of the Guardians’ fan base has been their dedication to the team’s name change process.

Prior to the 2022 season, the team retired the name “Cleveland Indians” and adopted the name “Cleveland Guardians” as a response to concerns about the appropriateness of the former name.

The fans actively engaged in the rebranding process, demonstrating their commitment to their team’s identity.

Iconic Moments: Chicago Cubs Vs Cleveland Guardians Rivalry

2016 World Series – Cubs Vs. Guardians

One of the most iconic moments in the rivalry came during the 2016 World Series when the Cubs and the Guardians faced off in a historic matchup.

Both teams were looking to end their respective championship droughts, with the Cubs seeking their first title since 1908 and the Guardians aiming to secure their first championship since 1948.

The series went to an exhilarating Game 7, which is often regarded as one of the greatest games in World Series history.

It was a back-and-forth battle, with the Cubs taking an early lead, only for the Guardians to tie the game in the eighth inning.

The rain delay before the 10th inning added to the drama, and the Cubs ultimately secured a 8-7 victory, ending their 108-year championship drought.

This historic win became a defining moment for both franchises and added another chapter to their storied rivalry.

July 4, 1999 – Sammy Sosa’s 400th Home Run

In a regular-season matchup between the Cubs and the Guardians on July 4, 1999, Sammy Sosa, a legendary Cubs player, hit his 400th career home run. Sosa’s milestone home run showcased his power-hitting abilities and his significance to the Cubs’ franchise during his time with the team.

August 31, 1987 – Andre Dawson Hits for the Cycle

During a game in 1987, Cubs outfielder Andre Dawson achieved the rare feat of hitting for the cycle against the Guardians. Hitting for the cycle means a player gets a single, double, triple, and home run all in the same game.

Dawson’s accomplishment was a memorable moment in the rivalry and highlighted his exceptional talent as a player.

Classic Regular-season Clashes

Throughout the years, the Cubs and the Guardians have had numerous intense regular-season matchups. These games have often been closely contested, and many have featured standout performances from players on both sides.

Classic regular-season battles between these teams have further fueled the rivalry and created memorable moments for fans.

Future Outlook: Chicago Cubs Vs Cleveland Guardians

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs possess a talented core of young players, providing optimism for future success. However, the looming possibility of losing key players to free agency presents a major challenge for the team’s management.

Decisions regarding re-signing star players or trading them for prospects will significantly shape the team’s trajectory. The Cubs’ solid offense needs support from a pitching staff that must show improvement to compete at the highest level.

Striking the right balance between preserving a championship-contending roster and building for the future will be crucial for the Cubs’ sustained success.

Cleveland Guardians

The Guardians are armed with a formidable pitching rotation, led by the dominant Shane Bieber, who won the Cy Young Award in the past. Their pitching strength positions them well for competitive games, but the team faces a notable challenge with its offense.

The lack of power and speed necessitates finding impactful hitters to support the contact-oriented players. The Guardians’ low payroll may limit their ability to compete for marquee free agents and trades, adding another layer of complexity to their journey.

Building a winning culture under their new identity while maintaining competitiveness in a competitive league is a priority for the Guardians.

Recent Performance: Chicago Cubs Vs Cleveland Guardians

Regular Season (since 2015)

  • Total Games Played: 29

  • Chicago Cubs Wins: 16

  • Cleveland Guardians Wins: 13

  • Cubs’ Run Differential: +29

  • Guardians’ Run Differential: -29

  • Home Runs (Cubs): 39

  • Home Runs (Guardians): 30

  • Stolen Bases (Cubs): 15

  • Stolen Bases (Guardians): 24

  • Cubs’ Batting Average: .272

  • Cubs’ On-Base Percentage: .346

  • Cubs’ Slugging Percentage: .436

  • Cubs’ OPS: .782

  • Guardians’ Batting Average: .246

  • Guardians’ On-Base Percentage: .325

  • Guardians’ Slugging Percentage: .376

  • Guardians’ OPS: .701

Most Recent Regular Season Series (July 2023)

  • Games Played: 3

  • Guardians Wins: 2

  • Cubs Wins: 1

  • Total Runs Scored (Guardians): 16

  • Total Runs Scored (Cubs): 15

  • Total Home Runs (Guardians): 6

  • Total Home Runs (Cubs): 6

Postseason (2016 World Series)

  • Total Games Played: 7

  • Chicago Cubs Wins: 4

  • Cleveland Guardians Wins: 3

  • Total Runs Scored (Guardians): 27

  • Total Runs Scored (Cubs): 27

  • Total Home Runs (Guardians): 7

  • Total Home Runs (Cubs): 9

Chicago Cubs Vs Cleveland Guardians Rivalry

2016Nov 2, 2016Progressive FieldChicago Cubs8 – 7 (10 innings)
2011Jun 19, 2011Wrigley FieldCleveland Guardians6 – 5
2008Jun 21, 2008Progressive FieldChicago Cubs7 – 2
2001Jul 8, 2001Wrigley FieldCleveland Guardians13 – 4
1999Jul 6, 1999Progressive FieldCleveland Guardians5 – 2
1992Jul 3, 1992Wrigley FieldChicago Cubs11 – 4
1987May 9, 1987Progressive FieldChicago Cubs6 – 4
1985Jun 23, 1985Wrigley FieldCleveland Guardians7 – 2
1945Oct 6, 1945Wrigley Field (WS Game 6)Chicago Cubs8 – 7
1920Oct 11, 1920Dunn Field (WS Game 5)Cleveland Guardians8 – 5


When did the Chicago Cubs vs. Cleveland Guardians rivalry begin?

The rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Guardians started in the early 20th century when both teams were founding members of the American League in 1901.

How many World Series titles have the Cubs and Guardians won in their history?

The Chicago Cubs have won three World Series titles (1907, 1908, and 2016), while the Cleveland Guardians (formerly Cleveland Indians) have secured two World Series championships (1920 and 1948).

What is the significance of the 2016 World Series matchup between the Cubs and Guardians?

The 2016 World Series matchup between the Cubs and Guardians was historic as both teams were seeking to end long championship droughts. The Cubs ultimately won the series, capturing their first World Series title in 108 years.

Which stadiums do the Cubs and Guardians call their home venues?

The Chicago Cubs play their home games at Wrigley Field, an iconic stadium located in Chicago, Illinois. The Cleveland Guardians (formerly Cleveland Indians) played their home games at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio.

Are there any notable player rivalries between the Cubs and Guardians?

While the rivalry between the teams has focused on overall team competition, individual player matchups have also been significant. Throughout the years, star players like Sammy Sosa (Cubs) and Albert Belle (Guardians) have faced off, adding extra excitement to the rivalry.

To Recap

The rivalry between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Guardians has been a captivating and storied chapter in Major League Baseball history.

Spanning over a century, these two teams have provided fans with iconic moments, intense matchups, and unforgettable achievements.

The Cubs’ triumphant 2016 World Series victory, breaking a century-long curse, remains a symbol of unwavering dedication.

Meanwhile, the Guardians’ rich history boasts two World Series titles, displaying their own moments of glory.

Throughout the years, both fan bases have showcased unwavering loyalty and passionate support.

As the rivalry continues to evolve, it will undoubtedly create more cherished memories, adding to the legacy of this enduring and exciting matchup.

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Kevin Smith

I am a dedicated learner who is constantly pursuing my dreams in many areas of life. I am a Finance major at the University of Maryland, a professional baseball player for the Toronto Blue Jays and the owner of my personal brand, Elevate Baseball. I hope to inspire younger learners of all sports and interests to tirelessly pursue their dreams, whatever that may be. LinkedIn