AL East showdown: The Orioles begin a big series in New York tonight

The last time the Orioles won a season series from the New York Yankees was in 1997 when they went 8-4. That was the last O's team to get to the playoffs and this team has a chance to do both again.

The 2012 Orioles are three games behind New York in the AL East and hold the second wild card position right now. These Orioles are 5-6 against the Yankees.

The clubs begin a big weekend series tonight in New York. If you enjoy these games, you'll get to see the clubs play another weekend series in Baltimore next weekend as they meet seven times over the next 10 games.

For those fans that get excited when the national media talks well of the Orioles, you've been getting some of that in recent days. No doubt many national reporters and outlets will be closely monitoring the events in Yankee Stadium the next three days.

Can the O's win in New York? Well keep in mind this stat: Until the Yankees beat the Orioles 12-3 on Aug. 1 to avoid seeing the Orioles post their first three-game sweep at Yankee Stadium since June 6-8, 1986, the Orioles were 4-1 this year in New York and had outscored the Yankees 29-12 in those games. They have won in Yankee Stadium this season by scores of 7-1, 5-0, 5-4 and 11-5.

Since losing the first four games between these teams in 2012, two in extra-innings and another by one run, the Orioles are 5-2 against New York.

Maybe this is the perfect time for this showdown for the Orioles. They have been getting solid starting pitching and timely hitting in recent games, and they have won eight of 11, 11 of 16, 17 of 24 and 26 of their last 40 games.

On July 18, the Orioles were 10 games behind New York. Since then the Yankees are 18-21 and the Orioles are 25-14.

Buck Showalter has been saying that the Orioles aren't thinking about the wild card spot, but rather winning the AL East. Well, here are seven chances to impact that directly. Yes, the Orioles can talk about winning the AL East on the last day of August. Pinch yourself if you like, but it will hurt, because this is no dream.

In the head-to-head games this season, the Orioles have outscored the Yankees 52-51, outhit them in average .290 to .262, have a better team OPS of .818 to .761 and have a better team ERA of 4.19 to 4.41.

These Orioles have put up good numbers vs. New York:
Robert Andino - .370-0-3
J.J. Hardy - .314-4-10
Adam Jones - .326-1-2
Matt Wieters - .429-2-3

This time O's fans don't have to hope their team can somehow hold its own or steal a few wins in New York. This team has already done that. Let the big weekend of baseball begin.

What is your take?: How will the Orioles do this weekend in New York?

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