Yankees vs. Orioles: You need to beat the birds Yankees vs. Orioles: You need to beat the birds Yankees vs. Orioles: You need to beat the birds
 

Yankees vs. Orioles: You need to beat the birds

The New York Yankees are in Baltimore to face the first-place Orioles for two quick games starting tonight.

New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles April 24...

New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles April 24, 2011 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The O’s have been playing some great baseball lately but the Yankees have won four of the six times the two AL East rivals have faced each other.

Can the Orioles make the playoffs for the first time since 1997?

Well, I know Orioles fans have ripped me lately for not ranking them higher in my weekly power rankings. But until I see Buck and his birds sustain the top spot all the way to the All-Star break, I am not convinced this the O’s pitching can last that long.

For now, the Yankees can use these two games to jump up in the divisional standings but it won’t be easy as the O’s would love to tie up their season record vs. New York by winning both games.

PITCHING MATCH-UPS:

Ivan Nova vs. Jason Hammel

This game favors Hammel, but not by much.

Both team’s bats have had success against the other’s pitcher. Hammel’s is coming off an injury, and missed his last start but has a 4-1 record with a 2.08 ERA on the season. Hammel’s one loss was against New York but Hiroki Kuroda was on the hill for the Yankees and he blanked the O’s.

Nova has been so-so vs. Baltimore, but the O’s do have a .330 batting average against him. In his two starts this season vs. the O’s, Nova is 1-1 and has given up four homers. Nova looked better in his last start and will be looking to continue that tonight.

This game will be decided by to the offenses….and I think the Yankees are looking to make a statement.

YANKEES WIN, 5-3.

CC Sabathia vs. Wei-Yin Chen

Sabathia has been unbelievable; throwing eight innings in his last four starts and has third most strikeouts in baseball with 53. The Yankees ace is holding opposing bats to a .228 average and I think his strong connection with catcher Chris Stewart is playing a huge part in that.

Chen is no slouch either, as he is 3-0 on the season with a 2.68 ERA. In his one start vs. New York back in April, Chen went 5.2 innings, allowing four runs and one homer as the O’s fell to the Yankees, 4-5.

YANKEES WIN, 4-2.