The Colorado Rockies return to Fenway Park for the first time since the 2007 World Series when the Rox swept through the National League playoffs in the midst of one of the longest winnings streaks in recent history before being swept at the hands of the Red Sox. This is almost a completely new Colorado team from 2007, especially still without injured shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.
The Sox come back home and get Juan Nicasio for Colorado. Nicasio throws some good stuff with a plus fastball and a pretty tight breaking ball. Nicasio comes right after hitters and blows many batters away with a powerful over the top delivery that hasn’t proven to necessarily tougher on either righties or lefties. The Sox have questions in their lineup with Shane Victorino banged up and the trio of Middlebrooks, Iglesias and Drew battling for playing time at just two positions. Nicasio has yet to face the Boston Red Sox and no BoSox batter has any career experience against the young righty. I expect Nicasio to come out and actually out-perform his counterpart on the hill for the home team. A veteran and former National Leaguer – Ryan Dempster.
The Rockies have spanked Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster in a medium-sized career sample size. Active Rockies are 17 for 42 career against Dempster for a mark that exceeds .400. Dexter Fowler and Carlos Gonzalez are the two keys for the Rockies to win on the road because they’re the biggest playmakers. Both have very good numbers against Dempster because they hit the low ball with ease. Dempster has to live down in the zone and he struggles against lefties because of it. Don’t expect Dempster to hang along very long for a Sox team that I expect to struggle on holding onto the lead in the American League East going into the All-Star break. With a thin bullpen and a team playing with low confidence coming off back to back series losses and a bevy of injuries and roster questions, the Red Sox look to be on fade mode until later notice.
The Rockies seem to have the edge in the pitching matchup with a young arm that appears to be getting more comfortable as the season goes on against a veteran that likely will go in the opposite direction as the season ages. The Sox are never a good spot when they are facing a guy for the first time and Nicasio is no unproven commodity at this point in his development. I like the Rockies’ bats against Dempster to at least put up four or five and the value sits on the side of the road team. Live ‘dog with the surprising Rockies against the team atop the AL East standings.
Free Pick: Colorado Rockies +150