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Baseball: Brilliant Beckett fancied to spur on the Red Sox.

Byline: By Stephen Morgan

CLEVELAND entertain Boston tonight knowing that they are only one win away from reaching their first World Series for ten years.

The Red Sox were in the comfort zone after winning the first game of the series off the back of a three-match sweep of the LA Angels, but three straight defeats by the Indians has left their championship hopes in jeopardy.

Josh Beckett will take to the mound for the Red Sox, and they will be hoping he can continue his brilliant post-season form.

The Tribe counter with their ace starter CC Sabathia, but he has not been his usual dominant self in the play-offs, with a huge earned-run average of 10.61 from two starts.

Cleveland have won only twice in his eight career starts against the Red Sox, and he was out-pitched by Beckett in game one.

Given this pitching advantage, the men from Massachusetts look a shade of value at 5-6 to win tonight and take the series back to their Fenway Park home.

Awaiting the winner of that series are Colorado, who are the National League champions after sweeping Arizona 4-0 in the championship series.

The men from Denver have seven wins from as many matches in the post-season and are in blinding form. The Rockies will fancy their chances against whoever they face in their first World Series, having won a remarkable 21 of their last 22 matches.

Everything has clicked into place for Colorado in this fantastic run. Matt Holliday has led the offence with four home runs and the team have averaged 4.86 runs per game in the play-offs, while their four starters have given up only ten earned runs in the play-offs and closer Manny Corpas has picked up five saves from six opportunities.

Whichever American League team they face in the Fall Classic should take nothing for granted against the red-hot Rockies, yet Cleveland are already odds-on for a World Series triumph.

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1pt 5-6 Bet365, Coral
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Oct 18, 2007
Words:337
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