I've been making predictions before each round in the MLB playoffs and last time I correctly chose both winners and was one game away from a perfect prediction in terms of number of games. I even was right about the flow of the series and the relative level of scoring. So now it's time to pick a World Series winner.
To be honest, once the Rockies swept Arizona I thought whoever came out of the ALCS was in big trouble. Now that I see what the Red Sox can really do, I don't think this series will be a sweep, on either side. Both of these teams are really good, far and away the two best in baseball this season. I want to first address the 8 day layoff that the Rockies have had. Every time a team has a long layoff, especially before a championship series, the media loves to point at that layoff and say it's a bad thing and will cost the team early in the series. I disagree. Yes, if the Rockies were coming in off fresh competition like the Red Sox are I would say that Colorado has to be fevored to sweep. But even with the layoff, the Rockies are still coming in on a 10 game winning streak. I don't think they'll be rusty in the first game. Also the Rockies pitchers are coming in really fresh and ready to throw while the arms of the Red Sox pitchers might be a little more tired. I don't think the layoff is a legitimate intangible. Both teams are coming in on winning streaks.
I have to give the Red Sox the edge here. Their stud pitchers are better than the Colorado aces, especially Josh Beckett who might be the best pitcher in the game right now. But it is not a blowout. If a team has 4 stud starting pitchers like the White Sox did in 2005, then starting pitching can dominate the series. In this case I think the Red Sox starters have the edge, but I don't think that's enough to get it done.
I give the edge to the Rockies. Their bullpen has had to work in so many close games at the end of the season and the playoffs and has been reliable. It's easy to close a game with a big lead because there is no pressure, but show me relievers who don't give up runs late in the game and I'll show you a winning team. The Rockies bullpen is fresh as a daisy right now and can outhurl the Red Sox relievers.
The Rockies bats are definitely stronger. The Red Sox have their two big sluggers in Ortiz and Ramirez, but what about the rest of their line-up? They don't consistently put hits and RBI's on the board. The Rockies are really deep and anybody can beat you in their order, and Matt Holiday definitely will make you pay.
Defense wins championships, no matter what sport you're talking about. I don't expect too many errors out of either side, so the question is which side is more likely to make tough catches and turn more double plays. I think this is a tie depending on the stadium. The Red Sox outfielders know how to play the ball off the green monster, but overall I think the Rockies have stronger gloves.
The Red Sox are the only team with championship experience. They have won the big one and are the best in sports right now at winning elimination games. The Red Sox will not go down without seriously contesting for the championship. The Rockies have no post-season experience, but I like the Rockies chances in a close game. If Boston's bats aren't putting up a lot of runs I think Colorado can keep the games close and win in the clutch.
I'm picking the Colorado Rockies in 6 games. Here's what I think will happen. Colorado will come into Boston and win games 1 and 2 and follow it up with a win in game 3 at home. The Rockies will be poised to truly make history by running the table in the playoffs, but that close out victory will elude them. The Red Sox will win games 4 and 5 in Colorado to stay alive and bring the series back to Boston. At this point everyone will be thinking about another Red Sox comeback from 0-3 after being the first team to beat Colorado in the playoffs. But it's that 6th game that will be the end of the Red Sox. In a 7th game they absolutely are the favorite, but in game 6 the Rockies will figure out how to win that close out game and take the series.
Game 1: Rockies
Game 2: Rockies
Game 3: Rockies
Game 4: Red Sox
Game 5: Red Sox
Game 6: Rockies