CLEVELAND — Something’s gotta give, and nobody in Major League Baseball knows that better than Jason Kipnis. Before he rose through the Cleveland farm system and became an All-Star second baseman for the Indians, Kipnis was just another kid growing up half an hour north of Chicago’s Wrigley Field wondering if the “Lovable Losers” would ever bring a title home.

Tuesday night, Kipnis figures to start at second base and bat second as the Indians host the opening game of the World Series for the first time ever. In the opposite dugout will sit the Cubs, seeking their first championship in 108 years in what is their first trip to the Series since 1945.

It’s a battle between “Believeland” and the longest drought in baseball, and Kipnis is squarely in the middle.

“They’re the lovable losers they’ve always been, but they’re not really losers anymore,” Kipnis said Monday at Progressive Field. “They’re a darn good ball club. There’s a reason they’re the other team we’re facing and they’re still playing — but we love the way we’re playing and the group we have here right now.”

The Indians have not won a World Series since 1948. The combined 174 years of futility between the two teams is the largest in World Series history, besting the second-highest mark by 44 years. In Cleveland, though, there’s a growing feeling of actual confidence from a team that has overcome significant injuries to reach the World Series for the first time in 19 years.

Some of that is crossover from their neighbors directly to the north in the NBA’s Cavaliers, who four months ago delivered the city its first professional sports title since the 1964 Browns won the NFL Championship.

“Curses aren’t really broken unless something like that happens,” Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer said. “You saw it with the Red Sox back in 2004. It was really exciting. They were able to pull it off, and I know a lot of people are kind of down on us, too, so hopefully we can do the same thing.”

Financially, interest in the Series is at a record high. According to TicketCity.com, the median ticket price for Game 1 was $1,100 — while the same ticket at Wrigley for Game 4 was $3,750. The demand for Game 5 is greater than for any Super Bowl, according to USA Today.

For veteran Indians outfielder Coco Crisp, this is where he always believed he was supposed to be. As the starting left fielder for the 2005 Indians, Crisp was part of a team that dropped six of its last seven games and missed the postseason with a 93-69 record. He was traded the following winter.

Cleveland dealt for him on the final day of August this summer, and that near-miss 11 years ago still sticks with him.

“That’s the only time I’ve cried in the big leagues,” he said. “I’m standing on the rails (of the dugout), my eyes are getting watery. I felt like we had a team that could’ve won the World Series back then, and we just didn’t do it.”

The curse will end for somebody. Kipnis made no doubt where his heart lies, or about what this would mean to either franchise.

“They’re the only drought that could make ours look small,” he said. “It’s the longest two, and they’ve still got us by 40 years. Both franchises have been yearning for that next championship. I think it’s pretty neat that one of them will come to an end here.”

— Adam Jardy can be reached at ajardy@dispatch.com or on Twitter @AdamJardy.