Road anything but Rocky for Colorado

Oct 16, 2007 6:58 AM

Barring an epic collapse of New York Yankees proportions (2004 vintage) the Colorado Rockies will be in their first ever World Series.

Leading three games to none entering Monday night’s fourth game, Colorado would need to do what only one other team had done (the 2004 Yankees) to not make it to the Series.

The Rocks have won 20 of their last 21 games, perhaps the greatest stretch run of all time. They have used a combination of solid starting pitching, timely hitting, excellent bullpen work and an outstanding defense to advance this far. In the first three games of the NLCS against Arizona the Rockies have outscored the Diamondbacks 12-4 as all three games went easily under the total.

And don’t forget that Colorado need to win the Wild Card tiebreaker to even make it to the postseason. And recall that they needed to overcome a two run deficit in the thirteenth inning against one of the game’s greatest closers, San Diego’s Trevor Hoffman, to pull out that win.

Perhaps Colorado is truly a team of destiny. It will be hard picking against them even if they are in the much weaker National League and facing one of a pair of well rounded teams, Boston or Cleveland.

The NL Championship Series may well have ended by the time you are reading this. But in the unlikely event that Arizona wins both Games 4 and 5 in Colorado to return home down three games to two, the Diamondbacks would be playable at a price of -140 or less to win Games 6 and 7.

But Colorado may well wrap up the series in Game 4 on Monday or Game 5 on Tuesday and in neither could a solid case be made for playing the D’backs. Arizona backers, yours truly included, have been burnt a few times trying to derail the Rocks. It would take that unlikely two game losing streak to make a case for Arizona back home.

The American League Series is much more compelling as the Red Sox and Indians travel to Cleveland tied at one game apiece. Both games in Boston were surprisingly high scoring as Cleveland’s two aces CC Sabathia and Fausto Carmona were ineffective against the patient Boston bats, issuing a combined 10 walks in just 81/3 innings.

The expectation is still for Boston to win the series with potential Games 6 and 7 back in Boston. The Red Sox will be playable in Cleveland as underdogs in any matchup, and back in Boston if favored by -150 or less assuming Boston starts Josh Beckett, Curt Schilling or Daisake Matsuzaka in those two games.

The World Series starts next Wednesday, October 24, and the forecast for the Fall Classic shall come in next week’s column when baseball’s Final Two have been determined.