Luke Graham: Money I'm not

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Once again, the Colorado Rockies are giving me headaches.

It's to be expected, however, when you root for a team like the Rockies.

They can sweep the Yankees (yes, playoffs!), follow that up with a 1-9 stretch including four blown saves (hello football season), then sweep the Mets (we own New York), then give up only three hits to the Brewers on Saturday and still lose, and then:well, you get the point. If not, watch a week's worth of Rockies games.

But all that said, the Rockies still are in the playoff hunt. They are .500, they have the best lineup in the National League, Jeff Francis is a top-10, left-handed starter and the bullpen is decent.

And with the All-Star game in the books (if you watched it, you're a better man than me. The allure of Pittsburgh's Freddy Sanchez playing his heart out so the National League can have homefield advantage for the World Series aside, baseball's All-Star game is the worst of it's kind. It's like Ambien on steroids.), we can look forward to the second half of the season.

If you're keeping score at home, I'm still in the game for two of my six picks for players awards. Not bad for me. As we all know when it comes to predictions, I'm far from money - I usually just owe it.

But I'll give myself credit for letting the people know about San Diego's Jake Peavy and Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki. Like I said - and correctly predicted - Peavy was the first-half Cy Young Award winner in the National League, and Tulowitzki still is in the running for National League Rookie of the Year.

Unfortunately, like most of my sports predictions, Rich Harden isn't winning the American League Cy Young Award. He's pitched 25 innings and has made the disabled list into a second home. Derrek Lee - my pick for NL MVP - is hitting well, but has about as many home runs as Sara Lee.

The Yankees aren't winning the World Series, Pittsburgh isn't winning the National League Central, Philadelphia isn't making the World Series (they did, however, lose their 10,000th game) and Cleveland looks a little too green to compete in the American League.

Of course, my National League Wild Card team still has a chance.

The Rockies are 4 1/2 games out.

They've got the killer lineup.

The bullpen's decent.

And they've won seven of their last 10.

What's that mean?

The Rockies are getting ready to drop seven of 10, hit under .200 as a team in the second half and have the bullpen implode like my head after watching a week's worth of games.

I might be better off just curling up with a bottle of Advil and waiting for football season.

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