Sticking with the Red Sox |

Sticking with the Red Sox

Joe Ellison
Nevada Appeal Betting Columnist

The first round of the Major League Baseball postseason was a mixture of pleasure and pain for many fans, as the hated New York Yankees and beloved Chicago Cubs both went down in flames. When one adds on the equally pathetic performances by Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Angels, however, the overall feeling becomes one of disappointment. Other than a few exciting finishes and the horde of insects in Cleveland, really not much interesting happened.

Of course, if the weather wasn’t so unseasonably warm this year, Cleveland’s midges would never have swarmed Jacobs Field in the first place. In New York, the game-time temperature for Game 4 was 87 degrees. It’s funny to think that some people were opposed to a possible World Series Game 7 being played in November because of cold and snow.

So, we’re left with Colorado against Arizona, and Boston versus Cleveland, in two series fans probably won’t care a lot about. But people often complain how in baseball successful teams like the Yankees can be bought because there is no salary cap. Before the season started, Arizona had the fifth-lowest, Colorado the sixth-lowest, and Cleveland the eighth-lowest payrolls in the league. Baseball fans should appreciate these surprise teams, because you can’t have it both ways.

Playoffs – To be honest, I can’t say I watch much baseball or follow it that closely, but one simple thing I know is that in the playoffs the team with the better pitching almost always prevails.

Boston vs Cleveland – Boston pitcher Josh Beckett was the 2003 playoff MVP for Florida, and Curt Schilling owns a 1.93 Earned Run Average and 9-2 record in the postseason. Neither gave up a run to the Angels. Tack on a bullpen that went 4 2/3 hitless innings in Game 2, and one can begin to understand how the Red Sox could have a staff that led the American League in ERA. Cleveland was not too shabby in the AL with the third-best ERA.

Predictions – With Beckett facing C.C. Sabathia, and Schilling squaring up against Fausto Carmona, in Games 1 and 2 the bet is on Boston at home and under. If Cleveland’s Paul Byrd goes up against Beckett, again I’ll try Boston and under. But if Byrd faces someone else, Cleveland is the pick. Whenever anyone else is pitching, like in Game 3, the choice will be the over. Boston wins in 6.

Colorado vs Arizona – I wish I already knew what happened in last night’s game between division rivals, but nonetheless, it seems impossible to pick against Colorado. The Rockies entered the series on a white hot 17-1 streak, including eight consecutive victories on the road, with the help of the National League’s highest batting average and fielding percentage. The Diamondbacks earned the NL’s best record despite owning the league’s worst batting average and defense, and being outscored.

Predictions – In Game 2 the pick is Colorado, but in Game 3 I’ll go with veteran Arizona pitcher Livan Hernandez. A Wild Card team has reached the World Series six out of the last seven years, so Colorado eventually wins this series in 7.

World Series – The pre-playoffs pick of Boston to defeat Colorado is still alive.