O's need big series from Machado

Key matchups and players in New York-Baltimore series, plus a prediction

Updated: October 6, 2012, 6:12 PM ET
By Dave Cameron | ESPN Insider

The Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees will square off in the American League Division Series. Here's a look at what to watch, who will win and why:

Key matchup: Manny Machado versus CC Sabathia/Andy Pettitte

The Orioles pulled their 20-year-old third baseman up from Double-A in August, and the talented youngster managed to hold his own down the stretch, even while making the adjustment from shortstop at the same time. Although he's still rough around the edges, Machado already has shown that he's capable of driving the baseball, especially against left-handers.

If the series goes five games, the Yankees will throw a left-handed starter in three of them, and the Orioles will need production from Machado to offset those southpaws' ability to neutralize power hitters Jim Thome and Chris Davis.