Yankees-Orioles, Nationals-Cardinals previews

New York Yankees batter Robinson Cano, right, celebrates with teammate Mark Teixeira after he hit a...

New York Yankees batter Robinson Cano, right, celebrates with teammate Mark Teixeira after he hit a two-run home run, his second of the game, against the Boston Red Sox in the fifth inning of their MLB American League game at Yankee Stadium in New York, October 3, 2012. (REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)

Bob Elliott, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:58 PM ET

AMERICAN LEAGUE

New York Yankees (95-67) at Baltimore Orioles (93-69)

Split 18 meetings this season

New York Yankees

How they got here: Won AL East.

 

Team payroll: $197.9 Million (1st)

Octobers: 27 World Series titles, 40 pennants and 50 playoff appearances.

Post-season record: 203-146.

Last post season: Lost 2011 division series in five games to the Tigers.

Stud Hosses: 2B Robinson Cano had 33 home runs and 94 RBIs, hitting .313 with a .929 OPS, while RF Nick Swisher had 24 homers, 93 RBIs, a .272 average and an .837 OPS.

Manager: Joe Girardi.

Theme: “We’re not done yet -- we have Raul Ibanez!”

Looking up: CF Curtis Granderson had 43 homers with 106 RBIs, hitting .232 with an .811 OPS and LHP CC Sabathia is 15-6 with a 3.38 ERA, fanning 197 hitters in 200 innings.

Looking down: Mark Teixeira, 32, is back from an injured hamstring, while Alex Rodriguez, 36, Raul Ibanez, 40 and Andruw Jones 35.

Retired numbers: Billy Martin (1), Babe Ruth (3), Lou Gehrig (4), Joe DiMaggio (5), Mickey Mantle (7), Bill Dickey (8), Yogi Berra (8), Roger Maris (9), Phil Rizzuto (10), Thurman Munson (15), Whitey Ford (16), Don Mattingly (23), Elston Howard (32), Casey Stengel (37), Reggie Jackson (44), Ron Guidry (49) and Jackie Robinson (42).

J factor: INF Jayson Nix made 54 starts and OF Dewayne Wise 15.

Canadian content: Montreal C Russell Martin and Stratford third base coach Rob Thompson.

Canada’s team: 3rd out of 10.

Bodog odds to win World Series: Co-favoured at 5-1.

Baltimore Orioles

How they got here: Upset Rangers in wild-card game.

Team payroll: $81.43 million (19th)

Octobers: Three World Series titles, six pennants, and 10 Octobers.

Post-season record: 41-35.

Last post season: 1997, lost ALCS to Indians in six games.

Manager: Buck Showalter.

Stud Hosses: CF Adam Jones is there best player hitting .287 with 32 homers, 82 RBIs and an .835 OPS.

Theme: “2012’s baseball capital lies outside the D.C. Beltway.”

Looking up: DH Chris Davis hit .270 with 33 homers, 85 RBIs with an .827 OPS and C Matt Wieters batted .249 with 23 homers, 83 RBIs and a .786 OPS. Jim Johnson saved 51 games.

Looking down: 1B Mark Reynolds hit 221 with 159 strikeouts.

Retired numbers: Earl Weaver (4), Brooks Robinson (5), Cal Ripken, Jr. (8), Frank Robinson (20), Jim Palmer (22), Eddie Murray (33), Jackie Robinson (42).

J factor: Ex-Jays closer Kevin Gregg was released.

Canadian content: None.

Canada’s team: Ranks 9th of 10.

Bodog odds to win World Series: 15/1.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Washington Nationals (98-64) at St. Louis Cardinals (88-74)

Nationals won four of seven meetings

Washington Nationals

How they got here: Won the NL East.

Team payroll: $81.3 (20th)

Octobers: First

Post-season record: When they were the Expos they lost Game 5 of NLCS on Rick Monday’s ninth inning homer.

Stud Hosses: SS Ian Desmond hit .292 with 25 homers, 73 RBIs and an .845 OPS while 3B Ryan Zimmerman knocked in 95 runs, hitting .282 with 25 homers, plus an .824 OPS.

Manager: Davey Johnson.

Theme: “The baseball capital is inside the beltway.”

Looking up: Some teams thought RHP Gio Gonzalez walked too many to pitch in the AL East. He was 21-8, with a 2.89 ERA, walking 76 and striking out 207 in 199 1/3 innings and 1B Adam LaRoche who batted .271 with 33 homers, 100 RBIs and an .853 OPS.

Looking down: RF Jayson Werth batted .300 with five homers and 31 RBIs with an .827 OPS in only 33 games due to injury, Stephen Strasburg will watch having reached his pitch limit.

Retired numbers: None.

J factor: Jayson Werth dealt to the Dodgers for Jason Frasor.

Canadian content: None.

Canada’s team: Ranked 10th.

Bodog odds to win World Series: Co-favoured at 5-1.

St. Louis Cardinals

How they got here: Beat Atlanta using the outfield/infield fly.

Team payroll: $110.3 million (9th)

Octobers: 11 World Series, 18 pennants, 22 playoff appearances.

Post-season record: 110-95

Last post season: 2011, World Series champs.

Manager: Mike Matheny.

Stud Hosses: LF Matt Holliday hit .295 with 27 homers, 102 RBIs with an .877 OPS, while Allen Craig batted .307 with 22 homers, 92 RBIs and an .876 OPS.

Theme: “Repeating is easy without Tony.”

Looking up: No one says he has dominant stuff, but RHP Kyle Loshe has dominant numbers: 16-3, 2.86, with 38 walks and 143 strikeouts in 211 innings.

Looking down: Lance Berkman hit .259 with two homers and seven RBIs.

Retired numbers: Ken Boyer (14), Lou Brock (20), Dizzy Dean (17), Bob Gibson (45), Whitey Herzog (24) Rogers Hornsby, Tony La Russa (10), Stan Musial (6), Red Schoendienst (2), Enos (Country) Slaughter (9), Ozzie Smith (1), Bruce Sutter (42), Jack Buck, August Busch, Jr. and Jackie Robinson (42).

J factor: Chris Carpenter who won a Cy Young award, but was 0-2 in three starts coming back from injury -- see the Jays were right in 2002, lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski, former catcher Matheny.

Canadian content: Bullpen catcher Jamie Pogue from Guelph.

Canada’s team: 6th of 10th.

Bodog odds to win World Series: 15-1.

 


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