On Friday night, the Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees will begin a three-game series that will have an impact on the AL East standings. Yankee Stadium is the setting for a matchup between two of the top three teams in the division.

The Orioles, who are 21-17 on the road, just took two of three games from the last place Tampa Bay Rays. The Birds (37-34) enter the Bronx in 3rd-place and are only 2.5 games back of the division-leading Toronto Blue Jays.

The Yankees, who are only 16-16 at home, are riding high after sweeping the Jays in the New York. With the sweep, the 2nd-place Yanks (38-33) moved to within 1.5 games of Toronto.

Both clubs are just one game back of the Blue Jays (41-33) in the loss column.

RHP Ubaldo Jimenez will begin the series for the Orioles and will have to step up his performance against a club that has had his number in the past. Jimenez has lost four-straight to the Yankees and his career record against them is a dreadful 1-4 with a 6.67 ERA.

Baltimore gave the veteran starter a hefty contract in the offseason. So far, they are still waiting for a positive return on their investment.

Right-handers Bud Norris and Chris Tillman will follow Jimenez as the Orioles will try to improve upon their 19-12 record against the AL East.

Hopefully, the Orioles will handle their business in New York before they return to Camden Yards on Monday where an 11-game home stand awaits them.

We’re almost halfway through the 2014 MLB season and the Orioles are a factor. I have feeling they will continue to be one throughout the summer.



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