Sunday Service Picks and Free Consensus Reports:
Re: Sunday Service Picks and Free Consensus Reports:
At 8:30pm our selection is on the Arizona Diamondbacks over the Colorado Rockies. Somebody forgot to tell Colorado that they barely made it into the postseason and are supposed to be sitting home by now. Instead, they have won all of their playoff games, including the last two in Arizona, and now come back to Colorado for the second time with a chance to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the NLCS. But unlike the last time they came home in the NLDS to face the Phillies, the Rockies won't have the services of perhaps the most talented young righthander in the league in 23 year old Ubaldo Jimenez because the Rockies already used him in game two of this series. Instead, righthanded veteran Josh Fogg will make his first appearance since starting the game that got Colorado into the postseason, the one-game playoff against the Padres on October 1. Fogg and D-Backs righthanded starter Livan Hernandez have statistics for 2007 that are so similar it's scary, but there are more than a few reasons to like Hernandez here. First, Fogg's ERA at home (5.97) is 1.82 runs more than his road ERA and opponents are batting .320 vs. Fogg at Coors Field. Secondly, Hernandez has a world of postseason experience, including an NLDS-clinching victory against the Cubs on the road eight days ago. The former World Series MVP has faced Colorado five times during the 2007 regular season, and he has pitched brilliantly in all five of those games, including two which were played at Coors Field. Indeed, Hernandez held Colorado this season to a team slugging percentage of .336, which was the 2nd lowest percentage of the clubs that Hernandez faced (the rest of the league slugged .523 against him). Finally, although Colorado is up 2 games to none, they've not made great contact at the plate in the series. Their 'well-hit' average (the percentage of balls hit on the button) is a very poor .085 (6 for 71), while Arizona's is .288 (21 for 73). Not surprisingly, four of the five extra-base hits in the series also belong to Arizona. The price of tonight's game is out of whack due to Colorado's extended winning streak (19-1 last 20). Look for the Diamondbacks to break through tonight. Take Arizona. As always, good luck...Al McMordie.