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American League Divisional Series Baltimore Orioles +175 (Jason Hammel R) at New York Yankees -205 (C.C. Sabathia L) Total: OvUn 7.5
First Pitch: Friday, October 12, 2012 5:07 EST Series Tied 2-2
The Yankees and Orioles fought hard to make the playoffs, taking the chase for the AL East crown to the last day of the regular season. Now, after splitting the first two games of a best-of- five, the two AL East rivals will face each other in a winner take all Game 5 to decide who moves on to the American Championship Series.
Except for Game 1, a 7-2 Yankee win, each game in the series has been decided by one run. Game 3 and Game 4 both went to extra innings. Baltimore ultimately won Game 4 on Thursday – a pitcher’s duel and a 13 inning affair. The Orioles led off the scoring in the fifth inning with a McLouth solo shot. The Yankees answered in the bottom of the 6th with a Cano RBI ground out. That would be all of the scoring until the top of the 13th inning. J.J. Hardy scored Manny Machado on an RBI double to deep center, and Jim Johnson finished off the Yankees to earn the save in the bottom of the 13th.
The Yankees will start lefthander C.C. Sabathia, who is certainly one of the best pitchers of the last decade. The Orioles will go with right hander Jason Hammel. This will be a rematch of Game 1 starting pitchers.
Hammel has had a strong half season or so, throwing 118 innings with an 8-6 record and a 3.43 ERA. Pitching in Game 1 of this series, Hammel gave up 2 earned runs over 5.2 innings, walked four and struck out five. He is 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA in four starts against the Yankees this year.
A number of Yankees have solid numbers against Hammel. The much maligned Alex Rodriguez has a whopping four home runs in 22 at bats against Hammel and is hitting .364 off the right hander. Ichiro is hitting .583 off Hammel in 12 at bats, with 7 singles. Robinson Cano – who has struggled this postseason going just 2 for 18, is hitting .348 off Hammel in 23 at bats, with a double and home run.
Sabathia faced Baltimore in Game 1 and was brilliant. Pitching one out of short of a complete game, he dominated the Orioles lineup. C.C. is 6-1 with a 3.29 ERA in 11 playoff starts with the Yankees.
Not many Orioles have great numbers against Sabathia. However, Adam Jones has been excellent against the lefty, hitting .341 in 41 career at bats with two doubles, a triple and three home runs. J.J. Hardy has also fared well against him, hitting .429 in 14 career at bats, with two doubles and a home run.
This series has been one for the pitcher – other than Game 1, each game has been decided by one run and has had less than five runs scored, including two extra inning games.
Much of the baseball world was shocked to see the Orioles even make the playoffs, let alone take the Yankees into an elimination game. Still, a tough sell for this story to end with an O’s victory and the Yankees have their super stopper on the mound to end this fairytale. The problem is that the odds are quite high -205, but we think they are worth it. C.C dominated the O’s less than a week ago and will be facing virtually the same lineup. They roughed up Hammel, and have a number of players who have proven they can hit him. We like the Yankees and C.C. in the new House that Ruth Built to win the series against the Orioles.
Our pick is the New York Yankees -205, which you can back at our favorite USA betting site www.topbet.eu