World Series Preview and Prediction

October 23, 2007 at 11:39 am 33 comments

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The Colorado Rockies vs. the Boston Red Sox. First timers vs. 2004 World Champions. We have a matchup that no one could’ve predicted. Who would’ve predicted the Colorado Rockies to be in the World Series? If you did and you have written documentation stating you picked them in Spring Training then I would love to see it. Anyway, here I go with my breakdown of the teams:

Starting Rotation: The Boston Red Sox have one of the best playoff pitchers of all-time in Josh Beckett and he will get the ball atleast two times in a series that isn’t swept. They also have veteran, and playoff great Curt Schilling. Following them will be Daisuke Matsuzaka and Tim Wakefield. I don’t think Beckett will have a problem, especially in front of his home crowd. If Schilling can command his fastball he will give you a good 7 innnings. I worry about Dice-K pitching in Coors and Wakefield’s knuckle being obsolete in Coors.

The Colorado Rockies have lefty Jeff Francis going but Game 1 will be his biggest game ever. He has done well in high pressure situations in Coors but Fenway is a different story. Ubaldo Jimenez might have the same problems against that Fenway crowd. If he can’t command his pitches it’ll be a short outing for him, he walked over 100 total batter this season. Game 3 is Fogg vs. Dice-K and that might be Colorado’s best chance. If they can get to Dice-K early and force the bullpen in early they can try to wear down the pen for the series. Game 4 starters for Colorado haven’t been decided but I would go with Franklin Morales over Aaron Cook. Morales has more electrifying stuff and Cook could be a good long reliever if they need to save the pen in a potential blow out.

Advantage: Red Sox

Bullpen: The Red Sox have a deep pen and possibly the best closer in the game in Jonathan Papelbon. Throw in Hideki Okajima to face Helton and Hawpe, Delcarmen and his mid-high 90s fastball, and Timlin and his control and you have a well-balanced, deep pen.

The Rockies have a great closer in Manny Corpas, who may get more movement on his fastball than Mariano Rivera does. After Corpas the Rockies are a little thin. I like Brian Fuentes to get the lefties out. Matt Herges has been surprisingly good. They have a good pen for long relief though with Taylor Buchholz and either Morales or Cook.

Advantage: Red Sox

Lineup: We all the Red Sox have a deep lineup from top to near bottom. Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis (who should’ve won ALCS MVP), David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Mike Lowell, J.D. Drew (who finally learned how to hit), Jason Varitek, Jacoby Ellsbury (he’s an upgrade over Crisp), and Julio Lugo. I love the layout of the lineup. On-base and power from 1-7, then 8 and 9 are fast guys who can set the table for the top of the lineup. This team takes pitches so if one of the Rockies’ starters are off this team will make them pay.

The Rockies’ lineup, in my opinion, stacks up nicely against the Red Sox. Willy Taveras could stand to take a few pitches but he can be a threat on the bases. Kaz Matsui is the same. Troy Tulowitzki (my R.O.Y.) is a dangerous #2 hitter and has the same fire of greatness that Josh Beckett has. Once you reach Helton you know you’ll get a long, good at-bat. After him is the power. MVP candidate Matt Holliday (who homered off of Beckett in Boston), then Garrett Atkins (who hit a grand slam off Beckett), then Brad Hawpe. After that it gets a little thin. This team scores in bunches and if the bottom of the lineup hits then you are in trouble.

Advantage: Red Sox (very close call though)

Home Field Advantage: Both home teams will make noise that will register on the Richter Scale. The Fenway Faithful don’t mess around, they never stop and do whatever it takes to get the opponents attention. The Rockies may actually have a louder stadium because they have higher attendance and the Rockies have some great fans. When the Red Sox come to Coors they will be forced to field Ortiz at 1B and move Youkilis to RF and replace a Gold Glove caliber Drew. the right side of the field just got way worse. When you go back to Fenway the Rox just get to put a bat inplace of the pitcher so there is no loss there. Seth Smith has been hot and Jeff Baker can hit if Jon Lester or another lefty comes in.

Advantage: Rockies

Prediction: I think it is going to be very hard to beat Beckett even though the Rockies already did it once this season. The Red Sox have the better team, period. The 9 day layoff is surely going to hurt the Rockies and the momentum the Red Sox got from coming back down 3-1 is huge. Conventional wisdom would pick the Red Sox in 5 or 6 but conventional wisdom flew out the door when the Rockies made the postseason. Call me crazy but I am going to go with my gut and say the Rockies in 6.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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ALCS Preview: Indians vs. Red Sox Sox Up 2-0, Heading to Colorado

33 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Shawn K  |  October 23, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    I have to say, this is a very good sympnosis. But, perhaps being biased by being a Red Sox fan, I have to disagree. I just think the Rockies’ fairytale is just about over. I think if we can halt their momentum from the get go with Beckett, it may be a little too much for them to rebound from. I think it will be well fought and close of course(The Rockies certainly aren’t playing around), but I think we will pull it out when all is said and done in 6 games.

    Reply
  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  October 23, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    Thanks Shawn! I almost have to disagree with myself due to basic stats and basic wisdom but I am a gut man and I have to go with it here. Red Sox in 5 with Becket going twice and winning MVP sounds very possible but I think the Rox are gonna surprise. They just have to go into Coors with it 1-1 to have a chance. Thanks for the comment Shawn, keep em coming!

    Reply
  • 3. Shawn K  |  October 23, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    Being a gut man is definately something I can respect a guy for. I think it’s really possible for them to come and just suprised the heck out of everyone…just like they have been since the last couple weeks of the regular season. They seem like a team of destiny, but I don’t think the Sox came back 3 games to 1 just to lay down and die either. Either way, I’m excited…and I think baseball will truly live up to its unpredictability in this series.

    Reply
  • 4. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  October 23, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    Good call Shawn! I love how you come off as a baseball fan and not a fanboy of a team when they win. I am excited too and this should be a great series to watch.

    Reply
  • 5. Nicole  |  October 23, 2007 at 3:47 pm

    Being a lifelong Sox fan, I’m obviously rooting for them to win. I will say that I think the Rockies are a great team and I don’t expect them to just roll over. They have been an incredible story and are absolutely great for the game of baseball. They’ve got a lot of great talent and will have a wonderful team for years to come. I just have to think that the Sox post season experience is going to give them enough of an edge to be able to walk away victorious. No matter what, I think this is going to be a great series.

    Reply
  • 6. Adam  |  October 23, 2007 at 4:22 pm

    Looks like I’m the third Red Sox fan to reply. I think more than anything, the Rockies have the disadvantage with the 9 days off. I think it might take them a few games to get their ducks in a row, and unfortunately, this is the World Series, so I think it might come back to haunt them. That said, they’re an amazing team, and they should just be proud they got this far.

    Reply
  • 7. Shawn K  |  October 23, 2007 at 4:58 pm

    Well thanks, Jonathan…I have a been a Red Sox fan my whole life practically, and have seen some pretty disapointing times too. I don’t particularly like frontrunners(see LeBron James w/ Yankees cap in alds) too much, and trust me, I see a lot of it with the Red Sox.

    On a different note, Adam…come on man. They shouldn’t be “just” happy to get there, they busted ass harder than anyone to make it in the first place. They’re in it to win it, and they SHOULD be. I hope they don’t win, but they’re going to want it just as much.

    Finally, to me, Colorado is at least a more likable opponent than the Indians. I will just say this to Cleveland: Drew Carey isn’t funny, and Bob Evans restaurant gives people diarea. There, I said it.

    Reply
  • 8. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  October 23, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    Nicole – I agree that the Red Sox postseason experience should come out in thier play. They are definitely the favorites to win this series, even if they do I hope it’s a long series with a lot of close games.

    Reply
  • 9. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  October 23, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    Adam – The 9 day layoff is awful for the Rockies. You are totally right, even if they lose they should be proud of what they have accomplished.

    I must say that I am pleased to have logical fans comment on here. When we have written stuff in the past about the Yankees the fans would just say stuff that was ridiculous and we would sometimes get cussed out. You guys are great! Thanks and keep it coming!

    Reply
  • 10. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  October 23, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    Shawn – Bro, you made me laugh with the Cleveland comments! That was awesome!

    I don’t think he meant the Rox will be happy to just be there but if they lose they can say “look how far we got” and be proud of it. Thanks again for being a real fan and not a bandwagon jumper!

    Reply
  • 11. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  October 23, 2007 at 5:26 pm

    Just in – Jon Lester is going to start game 4 and Wakefield is off teh roster due to injry.

    Reply
  • 12. Tyler  |  October 23, 2007 at 5:37 pm

    The Rockies offense scares me beyond all reason (needless to say, I’m a Red Sox fan). They have so many potent hitters, just looking at the line up gives me the willies. However; I don’t have much faith in the Rockies pitching. Looking at their starting pitchers, the three you named, not one has an ERA lower than 4.1. Also, Francis and Jimenez are young, the Fenway Faithful tend to eat up young pitchers for breakfast. I think between Beckett, Schilling, and Daisuke, the Red Sox will end up taking the Series, but it wont be flawless.

    Reply
  • 13. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  October 23, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    Another respectful, good call from a Red Sox fan. Thanks Tyler. I do fear for Francis and Jimenez pitching in Fenway. Poor Francis, even if he pitches well he has to face Josh Beckett.

    Reply
  • 14. Shawn K  |  October 23, 2007 at 9:34 pm

    Well, you know those Yankees fans;-). I can understand the logic behind being able to say “Look how far we got” and being somewhat pleased about it, even if they do lose. If nothing else, the Padres can feel better that they didn’t lose to the “too little too late” Rockies, but the “We’re going to kill the entire national league and you will like it” Rockies in the tie breaker game.

    Reply
  • 15. Charlie Nehl  |  October 24, 2007 at 10:07 am

    Honestly? Outside of Beckett, I think it’s going to be an offensive minded series. Schilling isn’t as good as he use to be. Which Dice-K is going to show? Game 3 or Game 7? And in my opinion, the Rockies lineup is stronger than the Indians. On the flipside, the BoSox lineup is way stronger than the DBacks. I would like the cinderella story to continue and have the rockies to win. That’s what I _want_ to happen. My gut is telling me that BoSox will will win in 5 or 6. This will be the first World Series I’ll actually sit down and watch the games. Who knows though, this world series is definately up for grabs. Leaving Tim Wakefield off the roster is probably a better thing anyway. The Rockies hitters would light up that canucknuckle puck.

    Reply
  • 16. James  |  October 24, 2007 at 10:37 am

    Red Sox in 6, Boston has to much for the Rockies. The Rox might have won, 21/22, but no team can continue that run. Should be a great series….

    Reply
  • 17. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  October 24, 2007 at 11:07 am

    Charlie – I think it’s going to be a good offensive series as well. There might be a good pitching matchup or two but I think there will be a good number of runs scored. I hope you enjoy watching it, I can’t believe you’ve never sat down and watched a World Series.

    Reply
  • 18. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  October 24, 2007 at 11:08 am

    James – I agree the Sox look way better and have a better team. It will be hard to maintain such a great streak too. This matchup heavily favors the Sox but you can’t count out the Rox.

    Reply
  • 19. Shawn K  |  October 24, 2007 at 11:31 am

    For the Sox fans, remember to compare post season batting averages between the two teams. Sure, the Rockies hitting is timely, but they were playing freaking Arizona, which much like the Padres, don’t score a whole lot of runs. Man, I can’t even remember ever being this excited for the World Series. Even though 2004 was huge, the world series itself will be much more exciting this year.

    Reply
  • 20. Rachel  |  October 24, 2007 at 12:01 pm

    I agree w/ EVERYTHING said. It will deff. be a great W/S, but a tough decison on who is going to win!!!

    Reply
  • 21. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  October 24, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    Shawn – Colorado did play Philadelphia though and they led the league in runs scored I believe.

    Reply
  • 22. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  October 24, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    Rachel! Glad to see you on here! Finally a Rox fan joining the conversation. It will be a tough one but it should be a good World Series even if it is a sweep. Remember when the White Sox swept the Astros, each game was close but it was still a sweep. I expect this to either be a close sweep or a 6 or 7 game series.

    Reply
  • 23. Charlie Nehl  |  October 24, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    We’ll I’ve watched some here and there. I didnt watch the last two because of the ChiSox and the Cardinals (as a Cubs fan i couldn’t bring myself to it). I’m not a fan of the Yankees either. It’s good to get a new team in there!

    Reply
  • 24. Shawn K  |  October 24, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    Yeah, I know, Philly can score. But they were also like a hot pocket out of the microwave. They are either completely frozen, or will destroy the lining of your mouth they’re so hot. I think the 2007 ALDS Phillies were pretty much a halfway thawed lean pocket. No good. But hell, it’s really hard to say.

    Reply
  • 25. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  October 24, 2007 at 6:08 pm

    Charlie – That’s why I hope the Rox win. It’ll be a different winner every year this millenium.

    Reply
  • 26. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  October 24, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    Shawn – I like the Hot Pocket simile.

    The Sox are up 3-0 as I write this.

    Reply
  • 27. Charlie Nehl  |  October 24, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    wow 13-1 now.

    Looks like the Morales got game 1 jitters sheesh! Walking 3 in. Not so good.

    Reply
  • 28. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  October 24, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    Francis didn’t have command, I bet nerves got the best of him too.

    Reply
  • 29. Charlie Nehl  |  October 25, 2007 at 5:27 am

    I’m sure he’s pretty young to start game 1 of the World Series. I had volleyball last night so that’s why I missed the game. When I flipped it on, it was already 13-1, so i just turned it back off. hehe.

    Reply
  • 30. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  October 25, 2007 at 7:25 am

    I honestly only watched about half. The game was out of reach. The Rox hitters had no timing and Brad Hawpe was 0-4 with 4Ks. Bad night all around for the Rox.

    Reply
  • 31. tom  |  October 25, 2007 at 10:52 am

    rockies are going all the way.

    Reply
  • 32. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  October 25, 2007 at 10:54 am

    Another Rox fan! Welcome! The Rockies have an uphill battle but they could pull it off with some magic.

    Reply
  • 33. Charlie Nehl  |  October 26, 2007 at 7:15 am

    Even moreso uphill loosing again last night.

    Reply

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