MLB Playoff Predictions Game 4: Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees

The Baltimore Orioles (1-2) and New York Yankees (2-1) will continue their 2012 American League Division Series on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:37 ET on TBS

Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees   

New York Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez is struggling mightily at the plate

Baltimore had won 16 consecutive extra-inning games, but strange things happen when facing the New York Yankees in the Bronx, as the club suffered a 3-2 loss in a pivotal Game 3 on Wednesday night.  “It breaks your heart,” commented Orioles pitcher Miguel Gonzalez.  The Orioles are capable of bouncing back, considering they won six games inside this ballpark during the regular season, which were their most in that situation since 1976.  Closer Jim Johnson has allowed the game-winning run in two of his three appearances in the series.  Baltimore is 20-7 following a loss.

Orioles starting pitcher Joe Saunders (9-13, 4.07 ERA) has already led the team to a crucial victory during the 2012 MLB postseason, as he got the nod to face the Texas Rangers in the AL Wild Card game in Arlington.  The left-hander allowed one run on six hits in 5.2 solid innings.  He compiled a disappointing 3-5 road record during the regular season despite finishing with a 2.66 ERA.  In six career games versus the Yankees, Saunders has tallied a 3-1 record and 5.82 ERA, including a 5-4 home win on Sept. 8.

New York manager Joe Girardi made a significant move in last night’s game, which paid major dividends for the most storied franchise in baseball, as Raul Ibanez delivered two home runs after entering the game to pinch hit for the struggling Alex Rodriguez.  “It’s an extraordinary feeling and it’s a great blessing,” stated Ibanez after the game.  The club will now try to become the 16th team in 21 chances during ALDS play to win the series after taking a 2-1 lead.  New York is 9-3 as a home favorite of -110 to -150.

Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes (16-13, 4.23 ERA) didn’t fare too well in ending the regular season, allowing 13 runs on 18 hits over 16.1 innings of work, but the team won two of those three games due to scoring 23 runs in that span.  The right-hander went 11-4 with a 3.74 ERA in 16 home outings, surrendering 22 home runs in 98.2 combined frames.  In 17 career games versus the Orioles, Hughes has tallied a 6-4 record and 5.10 ERA, including an 8-5 road win on Sept. 7.

Sports bettors will likely play the total, as the OVER is 8-2-1 in Hughes’ last 11 starts versus the Orioles.

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