Red Sox Heavy Favorites

The Rockies have been more amazing than, well, the '69 Mets. Soothsayers predict they'll finally crumble in the 2007 World Series, though.

Boston advanced to late-season playdates with National League pennant winner Colorado by virtue of a comeback from 3-1down versus AL Central Division champ Cleveland.

Colorado swept both Philadelphia and Arizona en route to its incredible postseason drive and franchise's first-ever Fall Classic.

Boston, which won the 2004 World Series, opened as a big favorite to win both Game 1 and the best-of-seven meeting.

Las Vegas Sports Consultants Sunday night sent Boston out as a minus $2.00 favorite to win the series and the number quickly shot to minus $2.30.

LVSC oddsmaker Ken White cites the fact that Vegas bet shops seriously need Boston to prevail as a good excuse to wager on Colorado for those with a grudge against bookmakers.

"Every book in Las Vegas needs the Red Sox," White said.

"We opened Boston at minus $2.00 (to win the best-of-seven showdown) and it went to minus $2.30.

"We opened conservatively because if it goes too high, money will start coming back on Colorado.

"Boston was one of the favorites all season. You don't lose a lot of money on favorites."

The Rockies are another story.

"We sent them (futures) out at 75/1," White said. "I heard a couple books had them as high as 300/1 at one point."

The Fall Classic opens Wednesday at Fenway Park with Red Sox ace Josh Beckett facing Colorado lefty Jeff Francis.

"Francis is going to have his work cut out in Game 1, especially being a lefty," White observed. "You have that short porch in left and I can just see doubles bouncing off the wall."

The oddsmaker believes Colorado's nine-day layoff definitely will work against the Rockies, an argument with which a pair of Professional Handicappers League members totally concur.

"That's a big advantage for Boston," White said.

"Francis hasn't pitched since Oct. 11 and there's no way he can be sharp.

"He'll need time to loosen up."

East Coast PHL sports analyst Bill Fishman dittos that an extended vacation might have been more enjoyable for the Rockies spent hanging out at a Tropics spa than spinning wheels in snow of the type that blanketed the Mile High City on Sunday.

"The layoff will hurt the Rockies," Fishman echoed.

"They've had over a week to get ready for their opponent.

"They will make it entertaining, but the Sox win easily.

"They would've given the Tribe a decent showing and had a chance to win, though."

The Midwest's Jimmy Boyd, Fishman's PHL associate, agrees with "Fish" as well as Las Vegas' official oddsmaker that Boston's seasoning is a main ingredient in what makes the Red Sox hot.

"Boston is the more experienced club," Boyd said.

"With homefield advantage and two games with Josh Beckett on the hill, one has to think the Red Sox will prove victorious.

"To pick Colorado in this series, one would be picking on the hope that Colorado stayed hot and that's it.

"Boston has them in every area.

"Even with that being said, this series is likely closer than expected.

"I say Boston in six."

White gives pitching and offensives nods to the Red Sox, but tosses the Rockies a defensive bone.

"One thing I found interesting about the Red Sox is the ALCS marked the first time all year their three starters (Beckett, Curt Schilling and Dice-K) were pulled back-to-back-to-back before they finished the fifth inning.," he said.

"Colorado has it together defensively.

"They also have games at home in which Boston gets no DH.

"I don't think the DH rule will hurt Colorado.

"They can take somebody off the bench to hit for the pitcher at Fenway, but Boston can't use the DH in Colorado."

White acknowledgeds both league reps have Big Mo going for them.

"They both have momentum, but it's hard to carry over momentum, especially after a layoff," White observed.

"I think a better phrase is 'great chemistry.'

"Both of these clubs have solid chemistry, but I think if you're talking talent, you have to go with the Red Sox."

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

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