For the first time in baseball history, two teams in the same division will face off in the ALDS, as the Baltimore Orioles take on the New York Yankees at Camden Yards.
New York has to be a bit surprised that it is in this situation coming to Baltimore instead of going to Arlington for the first game of the postseason, but the truth of the matter is that it didn’t change anything that Manager Joe Girardi was going to do. CC Sabathia is going to get the ball for Game 1 of this series, and he is the man for the job for sure. Sabathia might have only gone 15-6 this year, but he still threw 200 innings in spite of the fact that he only made 28 starts. His WHIP of 1.14 was great, and a 3.38 ERA, though higher than what we have come respect, is still one of the top marks in the league. Over the course of his last three starts, Sabathia has led the Yankees to three victories, and he has thrown eight innings in all three of those outings. He has a total of 28 strikeouts in the three games. What’s amazing about Sabathia is that, in spite of the fact that he has just two complete games this year, he is averaging over seven innings per start.
Baltimore made it to the ALDS after shocking the Texas Rangers in the opening game of the postseason in the American League, and it has to be thrilled to be back at home at Camden Yards. That fulfills the hope that Manager Buck Showalter made when his team left Baltimore for Tampa Bay for the last three games of the regular season. Showalter has a real problem with his starting rotation, but the truth of the matter is that regardless of who he throws out there, it is going to take every bit of moxie that this team has to stick with the Bronx Bombers. Jason Hammel is the man that is getting the ball, and he is going to hope to build upon his 8-6 record on the season. Hammel had a 3.43 ERA this year, and he is one of the many on this staff that completed overachieved this year.
In the end, the Orioles just keep finding ways to win these big time games, and there is no reason to think that they won’t be able to get at least one of these first two from New York. Go with Baltimore to grab Game 1 and send a real message to the Yankees and the rest of baseball that it should be taken seriously. Baltimore 5 – New York 4