They are on a hot streak coming into the playoffs but they should have a few concerns if they get deeper into the playoffs.
Lew Ford is starting in right field. Don't get me wrong he is a good fielder but his bat isn't a good presence in the line up. Ford probably wouldn't even seen the starting lineup if Sabathia hadn't intentionlly pegged Nick Markakis in the hand, which caused it to be broken.
The only starters I would be comfortable with if I were the O's are Chris Tilman and Miguel Gonzalez. Whatever the minor league instructors said or did to Tilman on his recent minor league demotion, he must have listened this time because right now he is their ace. Gonzalez came out of no where as he became a very reliable starter for them. He came as a minor league free agent and I would consider him as a steal for them.
Wei Yin Chen hasn't been hot of late. It seems he gets rocked in the first inning a lot and all goes down hill for him. Joe Saunders had a great start against Texas but he can scare fans at times. Jason Hammel is a very good starter but that knee injury has me pretty concerned.
One of the biggest advantages for the O's is their bullpen. They have dominated all year. The Orioles are undefeated in extra inning games since losing their first two extra inning games. The main reason they won those games is because of their outstanding bullpen. The Orioles also are undefeated when leading after 7 innings.
A big factor in this series for the O's is their lead off hitter, Nate McLouth. He is always a rally starter or momentum changer. He can hit homeruns, get on base, steal a base, and is an excellent fielder. He was signed as a minor league free agent in June and was called up at the begining of August and has been a big factor since.
The Orioles are second in the MLB in homeruns. The only problem with being second is that they are playing the number one team in homerun in the Yankees. Most homeruns for the Yankees came at home especially with the short porches they have in right and left field and the short porches couuld be big factors especially with the final 3 games being in New York.
The Birds are also being outscored by opponents on the year and yet they have a winning record. "How is that possible?" you're wondering. It's simple. When they win they win by only a handful of runs and when they lose they get demolished. So if they get demolished it is no big deal since they can bounce back easily and win by small ball if their pitching is on.
They have executed small ball and haven't really been on any type of cold streak all season. I think the O's will win the series in 4 games. The only game I think they will lose is Game 2 because I don't think Wei Yin Chen will have his A+ game with him and the Yanks will take advantage of it.