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Rant-O-Matic: Previewing Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland Athletics

Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees

The Orioles appeared to be on their way to a 2-1 series lead on Wednesday before Raul Ibanez crashed the party in the bottom of the ninth inning by hitting the game-tying home run before doing the same exact thing in the bottom of the 12th inning for the game winner. Now, Baltimore faces a must-win situation as Joe Saunders squares off against Phil Hughes in this crucial Game 4 matchup.

Hughes performed well against the Orioles at the beginning of September when he pitched six innings and allowed just six hits with two runs and the Yankees hope he can display a similar performance on Thursday. If New York can pull off the win, they’ll advance to the ALCS for a matchup against the Oakland Athletics or Detroit Tigers in a battle to represent the American League in the World Series.

Detroit Tigers vs. Oakland Athletics

The Tigers have to be kicking themselves for what happened in the bottom of the ninth inning on Wednesday considering they were in the perfect position to close out the series against the Athletics and advance to the ALCS for the second-straight season. Unfortunately for Detroit, Oakland managed to score three runs thanks to Seth Smith and Coco Crisp to push the series to a critical Game 5.

Justin Verlander will be taking the mound for the Tigers as he looks to build off his impressive performance in Game 1 in which he allowed just one win in seven innings. While he picked up the win then, things will be more difficult this time around in Oakland considering the A’s have won eight-straight games at home.

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