Who will win the 2007 World Series, the Boston Red Sox or the upstart Colorado Rockies? And more important yet to many fans, which team should you bet to win the World Series this year?
Both teams come into the Series blazing hot. The Rockies have won 21 of their last 22 games, including a perfect 7 for 7 so far in the playoffs, while the Red Sox come in having won their last three games in a row with all three having been elimination games vs the Cleveland Indians. Both are impressive feats but what the Rockies have done the last 22 games is legendary. They came from nowhere to win their way into the playoffs and then swept the Philadelphia Phillies and Arizona Diamondbacks right out of the playoffs. Can they keep on winning?
Despite the Rockies impressive winning streak the Red Sox are better than 2 to 1 favorites to win the World Series. If you like to bet on the Series should you take the short odds on the Red Sox or the juicy price offered on the Rockies?
From a historical standpoint the answer is clear. The Red Sox made the World Series after leading the American League this year in fewest runs allowed. From a statistical standpoint the Red Sox should have made the World Series because teams that lead their league in fewest runs allowed have the best statistical odds of making the World Series. Out of 210 previous pennant winning teams 95 led their league in fewest runs allowed and went on to the World Series. That’s over 45% of the time and when we factor out that many of the teams that did league their league in fewest runs allowed did not make the playoffs, like the San Diego Padres in the National League this year, the number rises even higher.
So the Red Sox should have, statistically, made the World Series and they did. But once in the World Series teams that led their league in fewest runs allowed (but did not lead their league in most runs scored) have gone just 42-46 (.477). Even worse when one team led their league in fewest runs allowed but the other team did not, like this season with the Red Sox and the Rockies, the team that led their league went just 27-32 (.458).
Statistically speaking then you should bet the Rockies to win this year’s World Series. The Red Sox can certainly win and should be favored to win but the Rockies are a better bet historically.
The Red Sox do come into this World Series with two of the greatest post-season pitchers in baseball history pitching for them. Josh Beckett is a combined 5-2 with a 1.78 ERA and 3 complete game shut-outs in the post season while Curt Schilling is a combined 10-2 with a 2.25 ERA. Unbelievably impressive numbers and seemingly impossible stats for the Rockies to overcome but the Rockies did face both Beckett and Schilling this season at Fenway Park back in June and defeated them both easily.
The Boston Red Sox come into the 2007 World Series as deserving favorites over the Colorado Rockies. But if you like to bet the odds from a historical perspective you must place your money on the Rockies to win this year. Last year’s World Series saw the exact same type of setup with the Detroit Tigers leading the American League in fewest runs allowed and then facing off against the St Louis Cardinals who did not lead the National League in fewest runs allowed. The Tigers were huge favorites to win but the smart money was bet on the huge underdog Cardinals who prevailed.
Last year I bet $50 to win on the Cardinals and was handsomely rewarded for betting them. This season I do not have the same faith as last season but will still wire or transfer $20 of money to my friend in Las Vegas to place on the underdog Rockies to win the World Series. I may lose this year’s bet but in the long run I will come out ahead betting the historical odds.
Nevertheless, winning and losing are very much part of the parcel when it comes to betting and you cannot just rely on one player’s credentials, irrespective of the sport and when two teams collide, sparks are bound to fly both to score tips on how and how not to play by learning of each others’ weakness and improvising on their own performance.