An interesting article in the Denver Post last weekend focused on the famous humidor affect at Coors Field, which plays with the total runs per game.
From April to August last year, teams at Coors averaged 9Â½ runs per game, which is about where the typical opening over/under total is set by Las Vegas Sports Consultants for most major league games. Of course at Coors ”˜Canaveral’ the average total is around 13, so the under enjoyed a banner year.
That is until September, when supposedly the humidor was turned off and teams again started belting homers at Coors through the rarified air. Nearly four per game with a total of 16Â½ runs caused an outbreak of over results the final months.
The Post suspects we’ll see a return to more stable run totals at Coors, but the over/under is a prop bet many wiseguys are sure to keep a close watch upon, especially at the start of the 2007 campaign.
And what of the Rockies’ chances you say?
Well, at the Las Vegas Hilton, Colorado is listed at 150/1 to win the World Series and 40/1 to capture the National League pennant. The projected victory total this season is 74Â½ for 162 games. Last season Colorado finished 76-86, a dozen games behind both San Diego and Los Angeles in the Western Division.
It’s hard not to think the Rockies are headed in the right direction. There’s a lot of good young talent developed in the organization. The perennial problem with Colorado is an inability to win consistently on the road. Much of the reason for the losses is the Coors Field factor, which turns .300 hitters at home into .240 on the road and vastly reduces the power production.
Also, the Rockies are not a team that likes to get into the free agent sweepstakes. First baseman Todd Helton is beginning his second decade with the Rockies. He would carry a lot of value in trade talk, and there was some in the offseason. But, Helton and his .300, 25-HR, 100 RBI bat will remain at first and probably secure another Gold Glove.
Helton is the core behind a solid young lineup that features rising starts Garrett Atkins (.329 BA, 120 RBI) and Matt Holliday (34 homers). If Helton can stay healthy most of the year, look for the Rocks to score a lot of runs again at Coors.
Jeff Francis (13 wins) and Brian Fuentes (30 saves) are the foundation of a pitching staff that is always under pressure at Coors. The Rockies signed veteran outfielder Steve Finley to a minor league contract.