AL East Battle: Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees Expert Picks

The New York Yankees are coming off a Sunday Night Baseball loss against the Boston Red Sox and now get set to host the surprising Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium

Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees

The New York Yankees have won both home games with A.J. Burnett on the mound this year

Baltimore finished the 2010 season in strong fashion under manager Buck Showalter and used that success to open this year’s campaign with a solid 6-3 record.  The Orioles split the final six meetings with the Yankees under his direction, but will need better production from the top of the lineup to remain competitive in this particular three-game series.  “I can speak for myself and Brian at the top of the order, I think we can do a little better job of getting on base,” said outfielder Nick Markakis.  “But we’ve been facing some tough pitching.”  The club comes in with plenty of confidence due to playing three tough teams in the early going and shouldn’t be overwhelmed in playing its first series in the Bronx.  “We have played three pretty good clubs,” said Showalter.  “We know what the Yankees bring.”  Baltimore is 5-1 versus right-handed starters this year.

Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman is set to make his third start of the year and lead the club to a third straight victory with him on the mound.  The right-hander has yet to record a decision during the 2011 campaign, allowing four runs and six hits over 10.2 innings of work.  Tillman will be making his fourth career start versus the Bronx Bombers, bringing in an even 1-1 record and 5.52 ERA.

New York dropped two of three games versus Boston in its latest series, including a 4-0 loss on Sunday without the services of slugger Alex Rodriguez due to illness.  “He looked wiped out,” manager Joe Girardi said.  “Hopefully, the rest will have him back at full strength.”  The club is also hoping for a resurgence from captain Derek Jeter offensively, who is hitting just .206 with no home runs and two RBIs in the early going.  “I’m fine, I feel good,” Jeter commented.  “I mean, obviously I don’t have the results.  But what I worry about is being comfortable.”  New York returns home from its first road trip of the season and now will play the next seven games inside Yankee Stadium.

Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett brings in a perfect 2-0 record and 4.09 ERA into his third start of the season.  The power right-hander is 7-0 with a 3.91 ERA in 12 April starts with the club and looks to improve his 11-4 career mark against the Orioles.  Burnett has compiled a 4-3 record and 4.01 ERA versus tonight’s opponent since joining  New York in 2009.  He has already made two starts at Yankee Stadium this season, with the club winning both games by a combined 14-9 margin.

Bettors may elect to back the Orioles due to their 18-4 record during game one of a series, while the Yankees are 1-11 in Burnett’s last 12 starts versus the American League East.

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