'This is our year': Tribe fans confident vs. Cubs

World Series begins 8 p.m. Tuesday on FOX

'This is our year': Tribe fans confident vs. Cubs

CLEVELAND -- The Chicago Cubs had baseball's best regular-season record and now they'll join the Indians on their own curse-breaking quest in the World Series.

Any other year, one might hear some apprehension, some shred of doubt, in the voice of a Cleveland Indians fan dissecting the World Series matchup that begins Tuesday night.

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Game Date Matchup Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 25 CLE 6, CHC 0 video
Gm 2 Oct. 26 CHC 5, CLE 1 video
Gm 3 Oct. 28 CLE 1, CHC 0 video
Gm 4 Oct. 29 CLE 7, CHC 2 video
Gm 5 Oct. 30 CHC 3, CLE 2 video
Gm 6 Nov. 1 CHC 9, CLE 3 video
Gm 7 Nov. 2 CHC 8 CLE, 7 (10) video

But these aren't your father's Indians fans.

"You look at the two franchises," Clevelander Bryan Stewart said. "Who wouldn't want this?"

World Series Game 1: Tuesday 7:30 p.m. ET air time/8 p.m. game time on FOX

This is Cleveland, the newly minted city of champions, and to this previously suffering bunch, not even a team backed by Bill Murray is about to end this run.

As the Cubs celebrated their NLCS-clinching win at Wrigley Field Saturday night with a 5-0 win over the Dodgers, Indians fans in downtown Cleveland watched closely and began to consider the historic matchup, crunching the numbers on both team's bullpens, offenses and, most importantly, their impressive streaks of World Series futility. The Cubs haven't even appeared in a World Series since 1945 and the Indians haven't won it since '48.

The numbers and scope of this Series are incredible. But however Cleveland fans look at it, the answer stays the same. Who cares about the Cubs' own date with destiny? The Indians, who have overcome so much this season, have one of their own.

"I think we have an underrated team that's gonna take care of business," said Mike Veverka, who watched the game in his Francisco Lindor jersey at the Clevelander Bar & Grill. "With our injuries and everything, we've overcome a lot. I don't think everyone had us tabbed as the best team in the league, but here we are."

2016 World Series duel set

For some fans of these Midwestern teams, this particular World Series adds another layer of personal tension.

At City Tap down the street, Cubs fan Colin Franklin stared at the surreal celebration on TV in his Jake Arrieta jersey with his hands on his head before giving his girlfriend, Nikolett Kalnoki-Kis, a big hug of relief. There was just one problem -- she's an Indians fan.

Now that the World Series is set, they're officially enemies.

"Never thought in a million years this would happen. House divided for sure," Kalnoki-Kis said. "This is our year. We deserve this."

"We're probably going to have a really hard time communicating on Tuesday," Franklin said.

Indians' road to the Series

At the Winking Lizard, Stewart was celebrating his engagement with his fiancee. Figuring he'd make a good year even better, he proposed to her on Prospect Avenue just a few hours earlier and the two had moved to the bar to watch the Game 6 of the NLCS in full Indians garb.

Like all of the other Indians fans seeking refuge from the chilly October night in a downtown bar, Stewart had nothing but indefatigable belief in his team. Fans can cite the tangible elements like the Indians' dominant bullpen, a seemingly impenetrable defense or Terry Francona's managerial mastery. But in a year where absolutely everything seems to be going Cleveland's way, maybe something a little more mystical is in play.

"This city has such energy right now," Stewart said. "Nothing can stop it."

Steve DiMatteo is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.