The losing teams took all of one game in the division series round. Will the outcome be different in the Championship series? Well, I’d hope so. MLB hasn’t gone the NBA route and extended the Division series to 7 games, but maybe they should. in any case it’ll be the BoSox v. Indians and the Rockies v. the D-backs playing to set the World Series match-up.
Game one is Friday in Arizona, with Brandon Webb facing off against Jeff Francis. At face value Webb has the better numbers, but digging a little deeper reveals that Webb was 1-3 with a 5.77 era in his 6 starts against the Rockies this year, while Francis posted a 1-1 record with a 2.84 era in 3 starts against Arizona. Colorado hitters knock Webb around to the tune of a .287 average, with 4 homers in those 6 games, and given the pace they hit at in the Cubs series its a good bet that Colorado will take game one.
It gets better for Zona in game 2 (marginally) as they will likely send Doug Davis to the mound. Davis, who’s 1-2 in 3 starts with a 3.18 era vs. Colorado, but his WHIP of over 2 (23 hits, 12 walks, in 17 innings) and an opponents BA of .343 should keep D-back fans on the edge of their seats as the Rockies send Ubaldo Jimenez to the hill. Jimenez comes into this series with a 2.77 era against the D-backs (who managed to hit a paltry .093 in Jimenez’s 2 starts) On the upside for Arizona, those numbers are HALF of Ubaldo’s season stats (a 4.28 era, .228 OBA) , which should make you wonder if the D-backs can crack the Ubaldo-vinci Code this time. I think Colorado makes it 2 games to none.
For the Rockies first home game they send Franklin Morales to face the heat against Livan Hernandez. Morales has yet to face the D-backs in this, his rookie campaign. Morales looks suspect here, as his postseason debut against Philly was a debacle, lasting only 3 innings, allowing 3 runs (for you mathematicians out there, thats for an ERA of 9.00) On the other side of the Game 3 Card is Livan Hernandez, who’s posted an incredible 1.54 ERA in 5 starts against the Coors Crew, and had a good outing against the Cubs in his previous playoff appearance. As long as Livan can keep the ball down in the zone the D-backs should be set up to win game 3, thus making the series COL(2) – ARI(1).
No pitching match-ups have been announced for games 4 or 5 , but when I crunch the numbers I have to conclude that without Randy Johnson (who shut out the Rockies early in the season, you know, before the inevitable extended stint on the DL that renders his 15.6 million dollar salary irrelevant?) the D-backs won’t win more that 2 games this series, Rockies should take the series 4 games to 2.
Bosox vs. Indians Tomorrow (or today. If I feel ambitious)
Also, with Dallas beating Buffalo on Monday night (I know I know, not quite the romp I predicted, but a Dallas win is a Dallas win when it comes to me versus the DVOA) it means I go to 10-4 on the week, and DVOA goes to 12-2. picking on the higher DVOA as a predictor of victory is looking solid, and this week, I’ll try to expand on that principle by comparing % differences to margin of victory, thus seeking to apply this formula to the spread. My initial thoughts on week 6 by wend., picks by Friday.