(Used courtesy of The Baltimore Sun)
The rosters are set, the comparisons and contrasts have been made, the advantages, on paper at least, have been analyzed, and the lineup cards for tonight are in the process of being filled out. The only thing left to do from a blogger standpoint is put my fictional internet money on the line and make a pick.
Truth be told, it didn't take a lot of time to come to this conclusion. I've felt the Yankees are the better team all along and I still think it's a matter of time until the rabbit's foot Baltimore has been carrying around in its back pocket all season falls out. And if you're wondering why I haven't said boo about the 2-3 setup for this series that starts the Yankees out on the road despite having a better record than Baltimore and winning the division over them, there's an answer for that too. I don't think it's going to matter much after tonight because I believe CC Sabathia is going to come out firing tonight. I think the extra rest his 2 DL stints gave him is going to do him a world of good this postseason, and I think he comes out tonight and dominates to win Game 1 and set the stage for the rest of the series.
The Yankees are a better baseball team than the Orioles. They have a deeper, more talented, more experienced lineup, a pretty flexible bench with Gardner and Nix back in there, a better starting rotation, and a bullpen that's at least as good as Baltimore's even on its worst day. Anything can happen in a 5-game series, and the lower-seeded team starting at home can add to that unpredictability, but I don't think it will in this series. Yankees take Game 1 tonight and take the series easily.
Official AB4AR Prediction- Yanks in 4