October 24, 2007

World Series Game 1 Preview

2007 World Series: Game 1

Jeff Francis ........... Josh Beckett

The Red Sox come into the game winning 3 elimination games in a row against Cleveland where they outscored the Indians 30-5. The team last played on Sunday, which means that the bats will probably remain hot as they carry a lot of momentum heading into game one.

The Rockies on the other hand haven't played since October 15th. The team also has a lot of momentum as they've won 20 of their last 21 games including all 7 so far in the playoffs. Although they've definitely been a very good team thus far, I think that the extended layoff is going to end up hurting them and I expect their bats to be cool. That's something that they can not have happen as the Rockies will face Josh Beckett in game 1.

Beckett has been phenomenal in the playoffs up to this point. He is 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA and 11K/1B through 23 innings pitched. He will be facing young southpaw Jeff Francis who has also been quite impressive in the playoffs. He is 2-0 with a 2.13 ERA and 4K/1BB in 12.2 innings.

Both teams will need to get off to a hot start, and I think that game 1 is the most crucial for this series. If the Rockies win, they will knock out Josh Beckett and will go back to Coors Field (at the worst) tied with the Red Sox (possibly up 2-0). But if the Red Sox win, they'll knock out Jeff Francis and will be in good shape to continue their success throughout the series.

Game 1 Pitching Advantage: Red Sox

Offensively, both teams are stacked with big bats that can carry themselves to a championship.

The Colorado Rockies batters have been alright up to this point, but the team will need Todd Helton to step up after hitting a measly .154 with just 1 RBI through the NLDS & NLCS. Troy Tulowitzki and Garrett Atkins both have hit under .200 as well. They have been riding strong starting pitching through the entire playoffs, but I'm afraid that their luck will end here if they don't start hitting the ball.

The Red Sox have had strong play by Kevin Youkilis, Mike Lowell, Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz and rookie Dustin Pedroia came on strong in the last 3 games of the NLCS with 3 multi-hit games in a row. The Red Sox lineup has been unreal so far, they've even faired well against great pitchers including C.C. Sabathia, Fausto Carmona, John Lackey, Kelvim Escobar and Jared Weaver. Hopefully the Paul Byrd and Jake Westbrook-type pitchers won't give them too many problems in this series like in the Cleveland series.

Offensive Advantage: Red Sox

This is a big game for both teams. And I really expect to see a great game.

Game 1 Prediction: Red Sox win, 6-4


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